Africa Trivia

Republic of Sudan, in north-eastern Africa, is the largest country of the African continent. Sudan has a total area of 2,505,800 sq km (967,490 sq mi).

The smallest African country is The Seychelles covering an area of 453 sq km but Gambia is the smallest of the mainland African states, covering an area of 11,300 sq km (4,363 sq mi).

Other animals on the savannah (such as zebras, ostriches, antelopes) use giraffes as watchtowers or observation posts for predators!

A giraffe's heart can pump 61L (16 gallons) of blood in one minute!

Did you know that the tongue of a giraffe can be as long as 45cm (18 inches)? They can reach their ears with their tongue!

Hippos excrete a red liquid from their pores, which protects their skin from sun and infection!

Hippos can open their mouths up to 150 degrees wide!

Adult hippos have only two enemies in the world: other hippos and humans!

The African elephant is the largest living land mammal.

An elephant can weigh up to 6-7 tons and has no natural enemies for he is not a predator and there is none large enough to challenge him.

Did you know elephants drink up to 160 liters of water per day.

An African elephant possesses such "manual" dexterity in his/her trunk tip that he/she can actually turn the pages of a book with it.

The Gorilla is the largest of the living primates, male gorillas weight up to 200kg, yet are shy and retiring.

The cheetah is the fastest land animal at 95 km/h (60mph).

The world's largest and heaviest beetle, the Goliath Beetle is found in tropical Africa. It can reach a length of 12.5cm (5 inches) and weigh up to 225g(¼ lb).

Having a wingspan of only 1.25cm (½ inch), the smallest butterfly is in the world is found in South Africa. It is know as the Dwarf Blue Butterfly.

The only place where schools of fresh water sardines are found is in Lake Tanganyika.

The ancient Egyptians slept on pillows made of stone.

The first successful heart transplant was performed in Cape Town, South Africa.

Africa includes the fifteen least developed nations in the world

With a population of more than 113 million, Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa.

African Greys have been known to carry vocabularies in excess of 100 words.

The world's largest church is located in the capital of Cote d'Ivoire, Africa.

More people are killed in Africa by crocodiles than by lions.

3,000 children under the age of five die each day from malaria in Africa.

Did you know, that Africa would have been an estimated US $100 billion better off in 1999 if malaria had been eliminated years ago?

Over 17 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have died of AIDS.

At least 25 million people in Africa are HIV-positive.

Over 12 million children have lost their parents to AIDS and face a precarious future.

The world's biggest hospital is in Soweto, South Africa.

The world's largest diamond was the Cullinan, found in South Africa in 1905. It weighed 3,106.75 carats uncut. It was cut into the Great Star of Africa, weighing 530.2 carats, the Lesser Star of Africa, which weighs 317.40 carats, and 104 other diamonds of nearly flawless colour and clarity. They now form part of the British crown jewels.

Each zebra has its own personal striping pattern. This makes identification of individuals easy for researchers!

Africa, is the second-largest of the Earth's seven continents - covering about 30,330,000 sq km (11,699,000 sq mi), which makes up about 22 per cent of the world's total land area. Africa has more countries than any other continent (40).

While several attempts have been made over the last two centuries, zebras have never been successfully domesticated.

South Africa has a penguin colony, which thrives thanks to the cold Antarctic currents on the west coast near the Cape.

The highest point on the continent is the perpetually snowcapped Mount Kilimanjaro - Uhuru Point - (5, 5.963 m/19,340 ft) in Tanzania.

The lowest point is Lake 'Asal (153 m/502 ft below sea level) in Djibouti.

The northern most tip is Cape Blanc (Ra's al Abyad;) in Tunisia.

The southern most tip is Cape Agulhas in South Africa.

Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and the is the world's second-largest freshwater lake - covering an area of 69,490 sq km (26,830 sq mi) and lies 1,130 m (3,720 ft) above sea level. Its greatest known depth is 82 m (270 ft).

Lake Tanganyika is the deepest lake in Africa. Its greatest depth is 1,436 m (4,710 ft), making it the second deepest freshwater lake in the world after Lake Baikal.

The River Nile drains north-eastern Africa, and at 6,650 km (4,132 miles), is the longest river in Africa and in the world. It is formed from the Blue Nile, which originates at Lake Tana in Ethiopia, and the White Nile, which originates at Lake Victoria.

Lake Malawi contains the largest number of fish species of any lake in the world, probably over 500 from ten families. Particularly noteworthy are the Cichlidae, of which all but five of over 400 species are endemic to Lake Malawi. The lake contains 30% of all known cichlid species. Of particular interest is the 'mbuna' rock fish.

Giraffes have the largest eyes of any land mammal!

Madagascar is the home of the worlds largest as well as the smallest chameleons! Almost half of the world's chameleon species live on the island of Madagascar.

The largest seal colony in the southern hemisphere is a Cape Cross in Namibia.

The world's biggest frog is found in Cameroon. Named the goliath frog, their body can be 30cm (one foot) long.

The Nile crocodile is the planet's largest living reptile - growing to an average length of 5m (15 feet).

Did you know there are about 280 000 windmills on farms across South Africa, second in number only to Australia?

The African eagle, swooping at 100 miles per hour, can brake to a halt in 20 feet. The heaviest known meteorite to fall to Earth – the Hoba West meteorite – lies where it fell in Africa weighing 60 tons.
Elephant tusks grow throughout an elephant's life and can weigh more than 200 pounds.

The Olympic symbol is made up of five rings, standing for Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and North America.

Africa covers an area of 11,700,000 square miles

The largest city in Africa is Cairo, Egypt, with 9.2 million people.

The shoebill stork native to Africa will stand perfectly still waiting for fish to come to surface in the water.

The Sahara Desert alone is expanding southwards at 0.8 km a month.

Africa's longest river is the Nile, 4,160 miles long.

Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa covering an area of 69,490 sq km and lies 1,130 m above sea level.

There are an estimated 690 million people living in Africa

Africa is a continent of 53 independent countries.

In Africa there are more than 150 distinct harp traditions.

African elephants have larger bodies, bigger ears, less bumpy foreheads, and longer tusks than Asian elephants.

The largest country in Africa is Sudan, 968,000 square miles.

Four of the five fastest land animals live in Africa. The cheetah, wildebeest, lion, and Thomson's gazelle.

Africa's tallest mountain is Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, 19,340 feet.

An African elephant will eat up to 500 pounds of food a day.

Apart from Muslim nations, Ghana has the lowest per capita consumption of beer in Africa, yet its brewery industry is one of the most competitive.

Did you know that in Africa it is almost impossible to hold a small wedding? The idea of a private wedding is unknown and is greatly frowned upon. Friends and relatives expect to be invited to a wedding and to play a role in the ceremony.

More than 1,000 different languages are spoken in Africa!

Somalia is the only country in the world where all the citizens speak one language, Somali.

Swahili is a combination of African tribal languages, Arabic and Portuguese.

The Berbers of North Africa have no written form of their language.

The Namib is the world's oldest desert, and the only desert in Africa inhabited by elephant, rhino, giraffe and lion.

The Fish River canyon is the second largest canyon in the world.

The Sahara Desert is expanding southwards at an average of 0.8 km (½ mile) a month.

Four of the five fastest land animals live in Africa - the cheetah, wildebeest, lion, and Thomson's gazelle.

Lions normally walk 4 km/h (2.4 mph), but can run 48-59 km/h (29-35 mph). They are also able to leap distances of up to 12m (36 feet)!

A single lion needs approximately 10-20 large animals per year to sustain it!

Giraffes are 2m (6 feet) tall when they are born.

Even though their necks can be 2-2.5m (6-7 feet) in length, giraffes have the same number of vertebrae in their necks as humans (7).

The tallest animal on earth is the giraffe - its horn tops being up to 6 metres (18 feet) above ground level.

The language that is spoken by the most people is Arabic, which is concentrated in North Africa. The second biggest language is Swahili which has more than 20 million speakers along the East African coast.

The word "Crossword" in Kiswahili is "chemshebongo" which, when translated, means "boil brains".

90% of all malaria cases are in sub-Saharan Africa.

With a population of more than 113 million, Nigeria is easily the most populated country in Africa and the 10th most populous country in the world.

South Africa is the only country with three official capitals: Pretoria, Cape Town, and Bloemfontein.
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