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Africa

Map of Africa, showing its nations and their capital cities Africa is the second largest continent after Asia. The north of the continent is mostly occupied by the hot, barren Sahara Desert, edged with coastal areas that are cooler and wetter in winter. Farther south, the desert gives way to areas of dry, flat grassland called the Sahel. The Equator runs through the centre of Africa. The lands close to it are dominated by tropical rainforest. Here the climate is hot and wet. In the east and south of Africa are large areas of grassland known as savanna. High mountains rise in East Africa on either side of the Great Rift Valley. A plateau rises in southern Africa, bordered by mountains in the southeast and desert in the southwest. Thousands of different peoples live in Africa, many often sharing the same countries. Islam is the religion of the north, while traditional beliefs and Christianity are followed in the rest of Africa.



A market in Kampala, Uganda. In many parts of Africa, the markets are full of fruits, vegetables and other produce. Fertile...Read More >>A market in Kampala, Uganda. In many parts of Africa, the markets are full of fruits, vegetables and other produce. Fertile soils, especially close to rivers like the Niger, Nile and Volta, mean rich farmland, although many crops are produced to be sold to rich countries in Europe and North America for cash.

Developing nations

Africa exports its natural resources of metals, minerals and oil, as well as crops such as coffee and cocoa. Some African countries—such as Ghana and Botswana, for example—are developing fast and will soon become prosperous nations. Others are far less developed compared to the rest of the world. In these countries there are few manufacturing industries. Most people still live in the countryside, and rely on producing only enough crops, or raising enough cattle, to support their families.

Even though Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, is almost on the Equator, it is so high that glaciers form on its summit. If, however, global warming continues at its current rate, Kilimanjaro will be ice-free within the next 20 years.

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