9 AWESOME Facts About Africa That You Probably Didn't Know

9 AWESOME Facts About Africa That You Probably Didn't Know

by Saskia Carelse July 06, 2018

I bet you didn't know these 9 interesting and awesome facts about the African continent


1) Rwanda's capital city, Kigali, is the cleanest city in Africa

If you've ever visited Kigali, you may have realised that there is NO litter lying around. In fact, people may get locked up for littering! For this reason, Kigali is known as Africa's cleanest (or greenest) city - but it has taken hard work to reach that point. In 2008, the country of Rwanda banned non-biodegradable plastic, thereafter introducing brown paper bags to replace plastic packets (time for other countries to follow suite). Another incredible factor contributing to the cleanliness of Rwanda is that on the last Saturday of every month, people across the country commit time to projects aimed at improving the country’s public spaces, in a mandatory practice called Umuganda (meaning“coming together to achieve a common purpose”). Go Rwanda!

Kigali - Cleanest City In Africa - Facts

2) Africa is the second largest continent in the world

While Asia is ranked as the biggest of all continents, Africa comes in second with African soil stretching over an impressive 30 370 000 square km!

Africa is second largest continent in world

3) Over 1 500 different languages are spoken throughout Africa

Africa has a very high linguistic diversity due to the fact that the population is enormous, with multitudes of cultures, tribes, countries and kingdoms. There are over 1 500 recorded, official languages spoken throughout Africa with Arabic being the the most spoken language and Swahili being the second most spoken language on the continent.

Africa Language Culture Facts

4) Africa’s Nile River is the world’s longest river

The Nile River is famous for being the longest river on the entire planet, running for approximately 6 853km covering 11 countries, namely, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Republic of the Sudan and Egypt.

Nile River, Longest River In World

5) Both the world’s tallest and largest land animals come from Africa

Africa is home to the world's tallest animal, the giraffe. Male giraffes can reach up to 6 m in height, while females can reach about 4,6m. The world's largest land animal, the African bush elephant, also comes from.. you guessed it, Africa! These elephants can weigh up to 6 000kg at over 3m tall!

World's largest and tallest land animals, elephant and giraffe

6) More people speak French in Africa than do those in France

It is estimated that about 300 000 000 people speak French across the globe. Due to Africa's high population compared to the population in France, the language is spoken by a higher number of people in Africa than France. Who would have thought?

Eiffel Tower, France, Paris, French

7) The name 'Africa' came from the Romans.. or did it?

The origin of the word, 'Africa' is highly debated, with many people arguing that it stems from 2 different languages being Latin ("Aprica" meaning 'sunny') and Greek ("Aphrike" meaning 'without cold'). Others say that the name 'Africa' came from the Egyptian word “Afru-ika”which is translated to 'Motherland'.

Egyptian Origin in the Word Africa

 8) The Serengeti in Tanzania hosts the world’s largest wildlife migration on Earth

Each year from January to March, you can witness the world's greatest migration in the Serengeti. The migration begins in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area of the southern Serengeti in Tanzania and loops in a clockwise direction through the Serengeti National Park and north towards the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya. About 260 000 zebra take part in this natural phenomenon along with a whopping 1 700 000 wildebeest. This is an exquisite time of year to book a safari tour in these areas.

Widebeest Great Migration in Serengeti, Tanzania

9) South Africa is home to the highest commercial bungy jump in the world, called Bloukrans Bridge Bungy

The Bloukrans Bridge near Plettenberg Bay in South Africa stands at 216m high and is the highest commercial bungy jump in the world. For adrenaline junkies, this is a MUST! Bloukrans Bridge World's Highest Bungy Jump South Africa

There you have it, folks! If you're ever stuck in an awkward conversation, whip out the good old, 'Did you know..?' card. You're sure to keep people engaged!

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Saskia Carelse
Saskia Carelse


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