Area: 30,221,532 square kilometer
Largest Country: Sudan
Smallest Country: Seychelles
Languages Spoken: Almost 2000 languages are spoken in this continent ranging from Afro-Asiatic, Nilo-Saharan, Niger-Congo, Khoisan and several more
Currency: No single currency but Rand is quite popular as in South Africa
Time Zone: UTC-1 to UTC +4
Religion: Christianity and Islam
Climate: Tropical to Sub-Arctic climate
Population Density: 30.51 square kilometer
Africa is synonymous with safari tours, wildlife, and rustic natural beauty. Reliable and enjoyable, the entire continent woos every visitor’s heart with its unpolluted scenic beauty, diverse ethnicity and culture and very rich tradition. Be it Algeria's fascinating landscapes or Angola's exotic diamond dust beaches or the wild adventures of Kenyan Safaris or the voodoo culture as present in many African countries, one can enjoy all when in this continent. Even the mythical Egypt and the paradise Seychelles can make you experience inexplicable moments of exhilarating happiness and seductive beauty. Exploration of this land of pharaohs is incomplete without a visit to the Egyptian pyramids. However, this Dark Continent today is attracting lot of tourists who are exploring every nook and corner of the continent to unravel its many mysteries.
Various etymologies are associated with the origin of the word ‘Africa’ such as Latin word aprica or the Greek word aphrike and many more. It is believed that human settlements in this land of wildlife and untamed natural beauty began some 5 million years back; needless to say that Africa is the oldest inhabited landmass on the earth. However, there was no differentiation of nation states during that time, instead group of hunters and gatherers began living in spread out locations before they began settling into agriculture and other farming industries.
With time, Africa experienced a sea change in its climate with more and more desertification happening due to intense heat. This led to migration of population to tropical lands of West Africa. Africa had been the birthplace of one of the most long-lasting Pharaonic civilization. This civilization flourished as settlements began on the banks of the River Nile, helping in irrigation and laying the foundation for a greater civilization. Over time, people from different parts of the world migrated to settle in Africa. Arabs came in large numbers and did spread Islam. Europeans began their settlement near the Cape of Good Hope and with it Christianity permeated through the lands of Africa. The black mark in the history of Africa had been slave trading. Although, it is not existent as of now yet the legacy of suffering seem to continue in this part of the world. Thus, it was 19th century that Africa was caught by famines and epidemics, but the continent is slowly growing over it to become an emerging force to reckon with.
Separated from Europe by the Mediterranean Sea, Africa is connected with Asia through the Isthmus of Seuz. It is the northern part of Africa that is predominantly desert, while the central and the southern plains are either savanna grasslands or deep rain forests giving way to coastal plains. However, most part of Africa is difficult to navigate because of its deep forests and vast stretch of deserts. Sahara, the largest desert in the world covers the northern part of Africa. Some of the major mountain ranges of Africa are Atlas and Ruwenzri. Africa's highest mountain is Kilimanjaro and it is a dormant volcano and some of the longest rivers of the world such as River Nile, Zaire and Niger drain the continent. Madagascar is the largest island while Lake Victoria is the largest lake.
Political unrest prevails in many parts of Africa, so it is recommended to check on the stability of the country before visiting it. Be it Sudan, Seychelles or Nigeria, feel the African pulse with a difference. Often religious tensions spark in different parts of the continent, so check out with the local government before planning for a vacation.
You may want to begin the African adventure with a visit to the greatest Victoria Falls in Zambia. It is at Ghana, in West Africa that you can bask in glory with the warmth of the people and abundant sunshine. However, it is the East African adventurous land that woos most tourists. Kenya resonates with magnificent wildlife parks, mountain scapes and thriving corals.
Tribal life is what is prevalent in most parts of Africa. One can get a glimpse of African way of life in Nairobi. Mozambique is yet another place if you are a beach animal. With its colonial-styled architectural backdrop and vibrant local culture, Mozambique has some exotic beaches and virgin islands you can head to. If you want to make a visit to the land of chimpanzees, go to Congo but the best of wild life parks with several elephants and antelopes can be seen at Cameroon. Bamako is another place that vibrates with energy and shimmers in enthusiasm. One can take a sneak peek into the museums of Bamako such as Musee de Bamako, Musee Muso Kunda and Musee National such that one can get glimpses of this oldest inhabited continent.
The perfect blend of modernity with antiquity can be found at Cairo. It has some 19th century building uniquely blended with mud-brick houses apart from flashy cars and animal drawn carts. It has those pyramids and the gushing That River. However, it is Cape Town that is most famous for hospitality and is stunningly beautiful with exotic species of plants and animals that permeates in every corner of living.
One can enjoy some great open-air spectacle at Djemaa-el-Fna Square in Marrakesh, the place vibrates with festive fervor as it lies nestled in the snow-capped Atlas mountain scape. To experience Spanish culture, you can head straight to the largest and highest island Tenerife in Africa. With varied topography of the place, it holds Spanish tradition with utmost value.
It is at Tanzania that one has the best wildlife spotting opportunities as it has a large wildlife population ranging from tigers, antelopes, and cheetahs, monkeys, beautiful flamingos and many more. From the mainland of Tanzania, simply jump to Zanjibar archipelago, and savor the beauty of varied shades of aqua marine blue and green with much unexplored. Again, at Dakar you have the urban Africa with exciting and ambitious living that offers a glimpse of Africa in its future.
Apart from all these, one can unwind and relax at the beautiful Mauritius Island that has palm-fringed beaches and crystal-clear waters.
If you are a theater and opera freak, you can enjoy some grand opera shows in many theaters of Africa or enjoy an unforgettable sunset concert at the Kirstenbosch Garden.
So just get set for a great wild life experience, all amidst deserts, rainforests and Savanna grasslands.
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