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7 Amazing Facts About ‘Shithole’ Africa

Recently, allegedly President Trump dismissed Africa as a shithole continent. Not surprisingly many Africans felt insulted by the comment and viewed it as ignorant. Much of the world knows very little about Africa beyond stereotypes and headlines. Often Africa is perceived just as a continent of poverty and drought. But that is only one side of the coin. Here are some lesser-known and amazing facts about Africa.

  1. A Huge And Diverse Land

Africa is the second largest continent on Earth. Over 1.2 billion people live in Africa. As of 2016, that was about 16% of the total world population which makes it the second most populous continent on Earth. In Africa people speak over 1500 different languages. The continent is made up of 54 countries and 9 territories. Nigeria with 183,000,000 plus people is the most populous country. Because of their multitude of languages and tribes African countries are typically considered the most diverse in the world.

  1. Home of World Wonders

Africa is home to two world wonders.

First is the Great Pyramid of Giza. It was built at around 2560 B.C. by an ancient Egyptian civilization. It still stands to this date. Every year, thousands of tourists visit the site in Egypt to have a glimpse. Engineers are still marveled at the technology used to build it.

The second is the spectacular Victoria Falls. They are a natural world wonder. They are located along the Zambia Zimbabwe border and on the Zambezi River. More than 100,000 foreign tourists visited the site in the first half of 2017 alone.

Victoria Fall

By DoctorJoeE (Vacation photo Previously published: NA) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)

  1. Home To Amazing Wildlife

Africa is home to almost all of the biggest land animals. The lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo, hippo and the leopard all call Africa home. The largest animal is the elephant with an average weight of around 15,500 pounds. 99% of all lions are found in Africa while 85% of all elephants are also found in Africa. The tallest animal on earth, the giraffe, is also a resident in Africa.

  1. Legendary Long Distance Runners

In the world’s athletic arena, Kenya and Ethiopia in particular have dominated the long distance races. Their dominance has existed for decades. In Kenya, most of these iconic runners come from a single tribe called the Kalenjin. The Kalenjin tribe is made up of about 5 million people, which still makes it a minority in Kenya. Theories for the Kalenjin’s dominance have been proposed ranging from a heavy starch diet, to having naturally small ankles and to a tribal culture that celebrates withstanding pain. But exactly why the Kalenjin tribe dominates long distance running is mysterious.

  1. The Sahara Desert

The Sahara is the world’s largest sandy desert. It is almost the same size as the entire United States. The River Nile, the world’s longest river, cuts across it on its eastern extreme. It runs through eleven countries. The Nile’s importance can be dated back to the ancient Egyptian era and during the building of the great pyramids.

The source of River Nile is Lake Victoria. Lake Victoria is huge in its own right as it is the second largest freshwater lake on Earth after Lake Superior. Lake Victoria is shared by three countries; Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

  1. Luxury Passenger Train: Rovos Rail
Rovos Rail

David Brossard [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Africa has one of the most luxurious passenger trains in the world. This is Rovos Rail which originates out of South Africa and travels up Southern Africa to Tanzania. It is a train-hotel that features two restaurants, two lounges, private suites with full in-cabin bathrooms. Every two years Rovos Rail does a trip up to Cairo.

  1. Connecting To The World: Internet Penetration And Usage

As of June 2017, there was a total of almost 390 million active internet users in Africa. That is a growth of 8,503.1% compared to the statistics of the year 2000. Nigeria alone has over 91 million internet users. Of these, more than 160 million are active Facebook users. Internet penetration in Africa stands at 31.2%. All of that makes Africa the fastest growing telecommunications market on the planet.

 

These are just a few basic facts about Africa but there is much more to discover. Make Africa your next vacation destination and let us know what you discovered!

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Alex Muiruri

Alex is a passionate writer born and raised in Kenya. He is professionally trained as a public health officer but loves writing more. When not writing, he enjoys reading, doing charity work and spending time with friends and family. He is also a crazy pianist!

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