Geographical Location of the Continent of Africa – Africa is the second largest continent in the world. The African continent has a land area of 30.365 million square kilometers, which is about 8 thousand kilometers from north to south and 7,400 kilometers from east to west.
Astronomical and Geographical Location of the African Continent
The African continent has a position at 37°N – 34°S and 17°W – 51°East. Geographically, the African continent is between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. The African continent is also south of the European continent.
The northernmost point of the African Continent is Al-Ghiran, Tunisia, and the southernmost point is Cape Agulhas, South Africa. The easternmost point is at Xaafuun (Hafun) Point, near the Cape Gwardafuy area, Somalia. And the westernmost point is Almadi Point, Cape Verde, Senegal.
The boundaries of the African Continent are as follows:
- North: Mediterranean Sea or Mediterranean Sea and Continental Europe
- South and West: Atlantic Ocean East: Indian Ocean and Red Sea.
Profile of the continent of Africa
The African continent has an area of up to 30.365 million square kilometers which makes this continent the second largest continent in the world after Asia. The continent of Africa stretches for 8,000 km from north to south and 7,400 km from east to west.
The northernmost point of the African continent is located in Al-Ghiran, Tunisia while the southernmost point is Cape Agulhas, South Africa. In addition, the easternmost point is located at Xaafuun (Hafun) Point, which is close to the Cape Gwardafuy (Guardafui) area, Somalia. Meanwhile, the westernmost point is Almadi Point, Cape Verde, Senegal.
In the past during the imperialism of European countries, the African continent was nicknamed the Dark Continent. This nickname was given not only because of the skin color of its inhabitants, but also because the African continent is considered to be very mysterious and holds many mysteries. The continent of Africa at that time was still not much explored and not much had been mapped.
As quoted from the Encyclopedia Britannica, in ancient times the Greeks were said to have called this continent the continent of Libya and the Romans called it Africa. These names are thought to have come from the Latin aprica which means “bright” or the Greek aphrike which means “without cold”.
Climate Conditions of the African Continent
Due to the astronomical location of the African Continent, this continent can be grouped into 4 climate regions, which are as follows:
1. Tropical climate
The African region which includes a tropical climate is the area around the equator, which divides the African continent into two in the middle. The region includes Guinea-Congolia and Madagascar. Quoting from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the tropical region has a rainfall of around 1,000 to 2,000 milliliters per year. This makes this area overgrown with many plants and forms tropical rainforests and moist tropical deciduous forests.
2. Subtropical climate
The African region which includes a subtropical climate is an area that is located away from the equator. This area is filled with savanna, one of the most famous of which is the Serengeti area.
3. Desert climate
The vast continent of Africa makes this continent have several climates. Desert climates can be found in the north, south, and southwest. Quoted from Safaris Africana, the desert is defined as an area that is dry and receives less than 12 inches of rainfall each year. Africa has the hottest desert in the world, namely the Sahara Desert, which stretches up to 9.4 million kilometers or has the same size as the United States.
4. Mediterranean climate
The northernmost African region has a Mediterranean climate type, namely around the Atlas Mountains, the Mediterranean Sea, and a small part of southwest Africa. This area tends to be dry in summer and has cold winds with low temperatures in winter.
5. Mountain climate
The African continent also has a mountainous climate, precisely in the Ethiopian highlands. The area is located around northeastern Africa. Launching from National Geographic, the Ethiopian plateau is home to 80 percent of the highest mountains in Africa. The plateau is home to a variety of animal species including the Walia ibex and the now endangered Ethiopian wolf.
Landscapes of the African Continent
The continent of Africa and the continent of Europe are separated by the Strait of Gibraltar, the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. The continent of Africa unites with the continent of Asia at its northeastern tip by passing through the Suez Canal which has a width of 130 km.
The continent of Africa is passed by several major rivers. One of the rivers through Africa, including the Nile, with a length of up to 6,400 km. The Nile is the longest river in the world and passes through the countries of Sudan and Egypt. Besides that, Africa is also traversed by the Zambesi, Congo, Niger, and Orange Rivers. Lakes on the African continent include Lake Victoria, Tanganyika, Chad, and Nasser.
The continent of Africa is vast and covers nearly one-fifth of the land area on earth. Areas of this continent include mountains and mountains. The fold mountains are located at the northern tip of the African continent, namely the Atlas Mountains.
The mountains on the African Continent include Mount Kilimanjaro (5,890 m) in Tanzania, Mount Margherita (5,109 m) in Congo, Mount Ras Dashen (4,629 m) in Ethiopia, Mount Cameroon (4,070 m) in Cameroon, Mount Emi Koussi (3,415 m) in Chad, and Mount Kinyeti (3,187 m) in Sudan.
Flora and Fauna of the African Continent
The astronomical location of the African continent makes climatic conditions and natural conditions greatly affect the distribution of flora and fauna on the African continent. Therefore, the flora on the African continent is a combination of tropical rainforest plants, for example various types of mosses, ferns, shrubs, and plants with dense leaves in Central Africa and West Africa. In the north, the plants that live are generally grasses, shrubs and plants with soft stems. Likewise those in the south, the plants that live are generally types of grass, shrubs, and soft plants.
Characteristics of the African Continent
Based on the astronomical location of the African continent, there are several characteristics that must be known, including:
- It is called the ‘Dark Continent’ because most of its inhabitants have black skin.
- It has the largest desert in the world, namely the Sahara Desert. The desert has an area of up to about 8.4 million km². This desert stretches from Senegal in the west to Kenya in the east. The deserts in the South are the Kalahari Desert and the Namibian Desert.
- Has the Ethiopian plateau and the Kilimanjaro volcano as the highest mountain on the African continent.
- The African continent has one of the longest rivers in the world, namely the Nile with a length of up to 6,690 km. This river flows from Lake Victoria and Lake Tana to the Mediterranean Sea. Then there is the Congo River, the Orange River in South Africa, the Niger River in Nigeria, and the Zambesi River in Zambia. Some of these rivers are dammed for irrigation as well as power generation, for example the Aswan dam which dams the Nile River and the Akosombo dam which dams the Volta River in Ghana.
- Found the pyramids which are the tombs of the kings of ancient Egypt. This pyramid is one of the wonders of the world.
- Africa has the 800 most widely spoken languages, for example the Afro Asiatic language group (Arabic, Somali, Amharic, Berber, Hausa and Oromo), Nile-Saharan languages (Luo, Songhay, Nubian, and Maasai), Niger-Congo (Swahili, Igbo, Yoruba, Fula, and Shona), and Khoisan (Sandawe, Khoe, Hadza, Ju).
- Stretching from north to south for 8,000 km, the African continent has a wide variety of climates. An area located near the equator with a tropical, then subtropical, and desert climate.
- The economies of the countries on the African Continent are included in the lower middle class category up to the crisis limit. All of this is influenced by various factors, such as the climate, most parts of Africa are classified as dry and have less potential for work.
- The continent of Africa has a wide variety of biodiversity due to different climatic conditions.
List of Countries on the African Continent and Their Capitals
The African continent is divided into five regions namely North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa and South Africa. According to 2018 data from the United Nations, the African continent is inhabited by around 1.3 billion people with a density of up to 36 people per square km.
1. North Africa Region
The countries in North Africa and their capitals are:
- Egypt: Cairo
- Libya: Tripoli
- Morocco: Rabat
- Algeria : Algiers
- Tunisian: Tunis
- Sudan: Khartoum
- South Sudan: Juba
Apart from that, in North Africa, there are also the Canary Islands which are Spanish territory. Spain also has the autonomous cities of Melilla and Ceuta. Meanwhile, Portugal also has Madeira Island in this area.
There is also the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic which claims that its territory is the entire territory of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony. This country was declared by the Frente Popular de Liberacion de Saguia el Hamra y Rio de Oro or Polisario Front on 22 February 1976 in Bir Lehlu.
2. East Africa Region
The countries in East Africa and their capitals are:
- Zambia: Lusaka
- Rwanda: Kigali
- Zimbabwe: Harare
- Eritrea: Asmara
- Djibouti : Djibouti
- Tanzanian: Dodoma
- Mauritius: Port Louis
- Kenya: Nairobi
- Comoros: Moroni
- Burundi: Bujumbura
- Malawi: Lilongwe
- Somalia: Mogadishu
- Uganda: Kampala
- Mozambique: Maputo
- Seychelles : Victoria
- Ethiopia : Addis Ababa
- Madagascar : Antananarivo
Besides that, there is also Somaliland with the capital city Hargeisa. This entity has not been recognized by the United Nations as a state.
3. West Africa Region
The West African region has a regional organization called The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). This organization has existed since 1975 through the Lagos Treaty.
The countries in West Africa and their capitals are:
- Mauritania: Nouakchott
- Sierra Leone : Freetown
- Senegal: Dakar
- Togo : Lome
- Guinea-Bissau : Bissau
- Benin : Porto-Novo
- Gambia : Banjul
- Ghana: Accra
- Niger: Niamey
- Ivory Coast: Yamoussoukro
- Guinean: Conakry
- Burkina Faso: Ouagadougou
- Liberia : Monrovia
- Nigeria: Abuja
- Cape Verde : Praia
- Mali : Bamako
4. Central African Region
The countries in Central Africa and their capitals are:
- Central African Republic : Bangui
- Cameroon: Yaounde
- Gabonese: Libreville
- Sao Tome and Principe : Sao Tome
- Angola: Luanda
- Democratic Republic of the Congo: Kinshasa
- Chad : N’Djamena
- Equatorial Guinea : Malabo
- Congo: Brazzaville
5. South Africa Region
Countries in South Africa and their capital cities are:
- South Africa : Cape Town, Pretoria, and Bloemfontein
- Swaziland : Mbabane
- Botswana : Gaborone
- Namibia: Windhoek
- Lesotho: Maseru
It should be noted that this southern African continent has three capital cities. Pretoria is the capital for the executive, Bloemfontein for the judiciary, and Cape Town for the legislature.
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