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Africa

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Africa as seen from space.

Africa is the second biggest continent in the world. Africa is situated south of Europe. The Atlantic Ocean borders it in the West, the Indian Ocean in the East. The first people probably came from Africa, that is why the continent is also called the cradle of humanity.

Along the Nile, the longest river in Africa, the Egyptian kingdom was created over 5000 years ago. A lot of other groups in Africa were small and had no writing. That is why we know very little about the original story of Africa.

Near the end of the Middle Ages, European countries started to conquer areas of Africa. In the beginning, they only succeeded along the coast. Throughout the 19th century, almost all of Africa had been colonized by European countries. That changed from 1920 through 1960. Since then, most countries in Africa were free but mostly very poor. In Africa, there are 55 countries that are independent.

When you look at Africa you see three parts. The North is mainly the desert Sahara. The Arabs and the Berbers and most of the people believe in Islam. The middle of Africa belongs to the Tropics and has a rainforest. It is warm and moist there. The people there have a dark skin color and believe in Christianity or an African religion. There is more desert in the south or colder places. The people who live here, are families from Europe or Asia.

What are the outer points of Africa?

This satellite picture shows the westernmost point, called Cap-Vert

The northernmost point of Africa is the Ras al Abiad in Tunisia. It is located about 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) west of the city Bizerte. The whole landscape is also called “Whitecap”, the land here is flat.

The easternmost point of Africa is the cliff cap Guardafui. That is Portuguese for “cap yourself!”. In ancient times, people called it “Elephant cap”. It is located in Somalia. The whole area is also called “The Horn of Africa”.

The southernmost point of Africa is the cap Agulhas. At least, if you look at it closely enough. The name is Portuguese for “cap of the Needles”, that probably comes from a lot of coral reefs and cliffs. The southernmost point is called the cap of good hope. That is the cliff that is located more to the west. The first sailor that went around this cap was Portuguese, he was called Bartolomeo Diaz. He named the cap “cap of the storms”.

The westernmost point of Africa is the Cap-Vert or the “Green cap”, it is located on a peninsula together with Dakar in Senegal. The ground there is lava rock and only a little sand that the wind brought there. That is why there are not a lot of plants there.