Whenever Africa is mentioned, most people think of roaming animals and jeep safaris. Whilst Africa has much more to offer than animals, the beauty that nature has bestowed on this continent cannot be overlooked. The animal inhabitants of Africa are amongst the most varied and beautiful in the world. Most of us know that Africa is home to the magnificent giraffe and the impressive cheetah. However, there is also a wider range of animals that live in Africa.
These include gazelles, crocodiles and the mighty hippopotamus. In some desert parts of Africa there are camels that roam freely. The image of these animals is a common feature in African films.
When you think of Africa you think seriously large. From the continental land mass to its individual parts, the scale is massive. Besides having the second largest continental surface area, containing 54 nations within its boundaries, it is also home to the River Nile, the longest river in the world, and also some very large lakes. As well as huge deserts, rivers and lakes, the continent also has high mountains containing igneous rocks and large swathes of ecologically important rain forest.
The Sahara desert is Africa's best known and biggest desert.
In fact, it is the most expansive arid region on the planet.
The African continent is home to more than 700 million inhabitants, who speak more than a thousand different languages between them. Many Africans have a low standard of living and in some countries suffer serious food shortages.
Tropical diseases such as yellow fever and also AIDS are a major problem.
Because of the African continent's sheer size and varied geology, a wide variety of important metal ores and also diamonds are mined. Many African nations are well known, from Morocco in the north through Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania to South Africa. South Africa, which is more developed than many of its neighbors, is making real efforts to develop its tourist trade. Abundant wildlife and areas of natural beauty, as well as availability of affordable high quality local wines makes South Africa attractive to visitors from Europe, Canada and the USA.