Geography of Africa

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Africa is a continent comprising 62 political territories, representing the largest of the great southward projections from the main mass of Earth's surface. It includes, within its remarkably regular outline, an area of 30,368,609 km2 (11,725,385 sq mi), including adjacent islands.

Africa is, in the field of geography, usually divided into 4 main following parts:

a)Northern Africa - predominantly Muslim, Arabic with dry and arid/semiarid climate conditions; mainly French speaking.

b)Western Africa - mixed Christian/Muslim population with higher level of precipitation in the average than the North Africa.

c)Eastern Africa - mixed Christian/Muslim population, very attractive for tourism (especially Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, and Mozambique).

d)Southern Africa - majority of the population Christian with the Republic of South Africa being the center of tourism; mainly English speaking.

Separated from Europe by the Mediterranean Sea and from much of Asia by the Red Sea, Africa is joined to Asia at its northeast extremity by the Isthmus of Suez (which is transected by the Suez Canal), 130 km (81 mi) wide. For geopolitical purposes, the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt – east of the Suez Canal – is often considered part of Africa. From the most northerly point, Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia, in 37°21′ N, to the most southerly point, Cape Agulhas in South Africa, 34°51′15″ S, is a distance approximately of 8,000 km (5,000 mi); from Cape Verde, 17°33′22″ W, the westernmost point, to Ras Hafun in Somalia, 51°27′52″ E, the most easterly projection, is a distance (also approximately) of 7,400 km (4,600 mi). The length of coast-line is 26,000 km (16,000 mi) and the absence of deep indentations of the shore is shown by the fact that Europe, which covers only 10,400,000 km2 (4,000,000 sq mi), has a coastline of 32,000 km (20,000 mi).

The main structural lines of the continent show both the east-to-west direction characteristic, at least in the eastern hemisphere, of the more northern parts of the world, and the north-to-south direction seen in the southern peninsulas. Africa is thus composed of two segments at right angles, the northern running from east to west, the southern from north to south, the subordinate lines corresponding in the main to these two directions.


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