Giraffes on the savanna of East Africa, with Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain, rising in the backgroundAfrica is the second largest continent after Asia. The hot, barren Sahara Desert covers most of north Africa. Mediterranean coastal lands are cooler and wetter. South of the Sahara, there is a wide strip of dry grassland called the Sahel. The lands of central Africa are covered by tropical rainforest. Here the climate is hot and wet. Savanna, dry grassland dotted with trees, covers much of eastern Africa. A plateau rises in southern Africa. It is bordered by mountains in the southeast and desert in the southwest.
Africa is rich in natural resources, including metals, diamonds and oil. Crops such as coffee and cocoa are also widely grown in Africa. But there are few manufacturing industries. Many people still live in the countryside. They produce only enough crops, or raise enough cattle, to support their families. Most African countries are far less developed compared to the rest of the world.
Most of the Sahara Desert is not sandy at all, but covered with rock and gravel. At night, it is usually freezing cold.
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