: Morocco, Namibia, Features, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Angola, Sudan, Resources, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Somalia, South Africa, Madagascar, Kenya, Egypt|
Waterways, Climate, Winds and rainfall, Fauna and Flora, Fauna and Flora 2, Climatic Regions, Climatic Regions 2, Population|
1. Welcome, lone traveler from Ashburn!
Position and Size. Africa is the second largest continent.
Its area is about 11 million square miles, or approximately two-thirds that of Asia, to which it is joined by the Isthmus of Suez, now cut by a canal in Egypt. As Africa stretches for approximately 35° on each side of the Equator it is crossed by both Tropics: thus the bulk of the continent lies in tropical latitudes. Owing to its shape the portion north of the Equator is much bigger than that to the south. Africa is compact. Unlike Europe, its coasts are almost unbroken.
2. Main article
Physical Features. Apart from the Atlas Mountains in the northwest, which form part of the old-world fold mountain system, Africa is mainly a huge plateau rising by steep escarpments from narrow coastal plains. A line, slightly convex towards the southeast, extending from the mouth of the Congo to Port Sudan on the Red Sea, divides the plateau into two regions differing in elevation. The northwest portion is a comparatively low plateau consisting mainly of the Sahara Desert - crossed from southeast to northwest by the Ahaggar Plateau and the Tibesti Highlands. The southeast consists of a much loftier plateau bordered on its seaward side by mountains that are often higher than the interior.
This may be divided into the Ethiopian Plateau, of volcanic origin; the Central Lake Plateau in the middle of which lies Lake victoria; and the South African plateau eastern edge is formed by the Drakensberg. On the east side of the Eastern Rift Valley the extinct volcanoes of Kenya, on the Equator, and Kilimanjaro, some 200 miles to the south, rise to 17,040 and 19,320 feet respectively. Between Lake Albert and Lake Edward the Ruwenzori Range rise to the east of the western rift valley, while south of the latter lake are the Mfumbiro Mountains, with the still active volcano of Kirunga.