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Travel - Adventures in Africa

Dec 27, 2006

Even if you weren't born in Africa, this place is the mother-land to all of us. This huge continent (it's the second largest next to Asia) is believed to be the place where human life first developed. Africa is home to some of the coolest plants and animals on earth, not to mention the amazing people and cultures that live in Africa.

Africa - A Little History

It's impossible to sum up the vast history of all of the African nations in one paragraph. In fact, Africa has the longest human history of any other continent. Hominids (human ancestors) date back 4 million years in Africa. And, it's been pretty firmly established that human life - as we know it now - began in Africa hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Modern Africa

In more modern times, Africa has been impacted by the effects of exploration, colonization by foreign powers and the slave trade. Africa is as diverse in terms of development as it is in every other way. In some parts of Africa - Capetown, South Africa, for example - you'll find modern skyscrapers and industry. In other parts, like the Kalahari desert in southern Africa, you'll find hunter-gatherer tribes living essentially the same way they have for the last twenty thousand years.

Who Lives in Africa?

A lot of people in North America tend to lump all of Africa together - as if it were one big country. In fact, there are 47 countries in Africa but due to political issues, this number can - and does - change frequently. It's estimated that there are more than 800 languages that are spoken in Africa.

Where is Africa?

Africa is a giant continent south of Europe, bordered to the west by the South Atlantic and to the east by the Indian Ocean. Africa is about 11,205,146 square miles (18,029,080 Kilometers).

African Animals

Giraffes: This long-necked creature is the world's tallest animal.
African Elephants: African elephants are the largest living land animal.
Lions: Male lions sleep 16 - 20 hours a day.
Baboons: Baboons can make about 30 different sounds, ranging from grunts to screams.
Rhinoceros: The rhino's horn is not a true horn - it's made of thickly matted hair that grows from the skull and isn't attached to the skeleton.
Zebra: A zebra's stripes are as distinctive as your fingerprints.

AIDS In Africa

There are about 40 million people living with AIDS in the world and almost 30 million of them live in Africa. About 13 million children have been orphaned by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa alone. Since many African nations are quite poor, other countries have tried to step in to help the problem but so far the disease continues to spread rapidly. Increased sex education, funding for treatment and political stability in Africa is needed before this disturbing trend will slow down.

Famous Africans

  • Nelson Mandela - Anti-apartheid activist and former South African President.
  • Charlize Theron - Actress.
  • Alec Wek - Supermodel.
  • Dave Matthews - Singer.
  • Iman - Supermodel.
  • J.R.R Tolkien - Author who wrote The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
  • Quinton Fortune - Soccer player who plays for Manchester United.
  • Dikembe Mutombo - Professional basketball player.
  • Djimon Hounsou - Actor.
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