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I love trivia and I hope you enjoy these weird and wonderful tidbits – some of which I learned on my most recent trip to the African continent.
33 Interesting Facts About Africa
- There are 54 countries in Africa.
- One of the oldest universities in the world is in Timbuktu, Mali. By the 12th century Timbuktu was home to three universities. Over 25,000 students attended one of the Timbuktu universities in the 12th century.
- Nigeria is the most populated country with over 145 million people.
- Algeria is the largest country by area.
- Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and the world’s second largest fresh water lake.
- The northern most point in Africa is Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia. The most southerly point is Cape Agulhas in South Africa.
- Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the highest point in Africa. It tops out at 19,340 feet above sea level. (5,895 m)
- Equatorial Guinea is the richest country in Africa. The GDP per capita is $30,200. Botswana is second with a GDP of $15,800. Coming in last is Zimbabwe at $200 per year.
- Chad has the second fastest growing economy in the world.
- Unfortunately the top 10 poorest countries in the world are all in Africa.
- Mogadishu, Somalia is the fourth most dangerous city in the world. Johannesburg, South Africa is 10th. (For comparison’s sake Washington, DC is the 5th most dangerous city in the world!!!)
- Libreville, Gabon is the 5th most expensive city in the world to live in. Tokyo is the most expensive city.
- The Nile is the longest river in the world – the 6,670 kms takes you through Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan and Egypt.
- Six of the driest places in the world are in Africa – Al’Kufrah, Libya, Aswan and Luxor in Egypt, Wadi Halfa in Sudan, Pelican Point in Namibia and Aoelef in Algeria.
- The hottest place in the world is recorded at Al’Aziziyah in Libya.
- Eritrea, Egypt and Libya are in the number 1,2 amd 3 spots respectively for the world’s most dangerous roads. And I thought Kenya was bad.
- South Africa has the highest number (5.3 million) of people living with HIV/Aids in the world. Compare that to Canada with 56,000 and Croatia with only 200.
- Angola has the world’s highest infant mortality rate at 192.5 deaths per 1000 live births.
- Niger, Mali and Uganda take the #1,2 and 3 spots for the highest birth rates in the world.
- In the Gulf of Tadjourah in Djibouti you can swim from November to January with massive whale sharks who come to feed on plankton during their annual migration.
- Shipwreck Point in Liberia is a mecca for globe trotting surfers. They come for the 10 meter waves between March and October
- About half of the world’s diamonds come from southern and central Africa. The largest gem quality diamond ever found (the 3106.75 carat Cullinan Diamond) came from the Premier Mine near Pretoria. It was found in 1905.
- Three of the world’s largest gold producers have their primary operations in Africa – Harmony Gold, Gold Fields and Anglogold Ashanti.
- Eighteen people from Africa have been awarded a Nobel prize. They come from Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
- Almost 100 species of lemurs are found in Madagascar.
- African elephants are the largest living land animals. They can weigh up to 6-7 tons and drink over 160 liters of water a day.
- The world’s biggest frog comes from Cameroon. It is over one foot long.
- Four of the five fastest land animals live in Africa. The cheetah is the fastest and can run at 60 mph.
- The Sahara Desert is expanding in the south at a rate of about half a mile a month.
- The Fish River Canyon in Namibia is the second largest canyon in the world.
- Lake Malawi has the largest number of fish species in the world – over 500.
- There are about 2300 bird species in Africa.
- Three thousand kids a day die from malaria – mostly in sub Saharan Africa.