Africa - Wontra Travels

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Welcome to Africa


Africa :

Land Area of Africa: 11,668,599 (mi²) / 30,221,532 (km²)
Population of Africa:  1,110,635,000 (2014)
Largest City in Africa: Lagos, Nigeria (15,118,780) (2014)

Africa is the second largest continent in both land mass and population among the seven continents of the world. Home to over 1 billion people, the people of Africa are spread across 54 countries with diverse cultures, traditions, beliefs, religions and languages. The northern and southern parts of Africa lie on either side of the equator which provides the continent with largely warm and/ or tropical climate. This is evident in the fact that the continent houses the largest desert in the world as well as the lush green safari.

Africa is encompassed by the Mediterranean Sea in the north, the Indian Ocean toward the south east, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea toward the upper east up and down the Sinai Peninsula, and the Atlantic Ocean on the west.

Africa is also attributed to be the birthplace of mankind (Sterkfontein, South Africa).  Its large size and varying climates make it host to a very diverse species of plants and animals creating the safari experience most visitors who come to see and enjoy.  There are currently more than 7000 different species of mammals, fish and birds and also 100, species of insects as well. Famously Known as home to the big five (Elephant, Lion, giraffe) a trip to Africa will provide guests with sights not seen anywhere.

Africa boasts perhaps the world's largest combination of density and "range of freedom" of wild animal populations and diversity, with wild populations of large carnivores (such as lions, hyenas, and cheetahs) and herbivores (such as buffalo, elephants, camels, and giraffes) ranging freely on primarily open non-private plains. It is also home to a variety of "jungle" animals including snakes and primates and aquatic life such as crocodiles and amphibians.

Africa has over 1000 languages, most are of African origin, though some are of European or Asian origin. Africa is the most multilingual continent in the world, and it is not rare for individuals to fluently speak not only multiple African languages, but one or more European ones as well. 

Some aspects of traditional African cultures have become less practiced in recent years as a result of neglect and suppression by colonial and post-colonial regimes. Although, there is now a resurgence in the attempts to rediscover and revalue African traditional cultures, under such movements as the African Renaissance.

Egypt has long been a cultural focus of the Arab world, while remembrance of the rhythms of sub-Saharan Africa, in particular West Africa, was transmitted through the Atlantic slave trade to modern samba, blues, jazz, reggae, hip hop, and rock. The 1950s through the 1970s saw a conglomeration of these various styles with the popularization of Afrobeat and Highlife music. Modern music of the continent includes the highly complex choral singing of southern Africa and the dance rhythms of the musical genre of soukous, dominated by the music of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Indigenous musical and dance traditions of Africa are maintained by oral traditions, and they are distinct from the music and dance styles of North Africa and Southern Africa. Arab influences are visible in North African music and dance and, in Southern Africa, Western influences are apparent due to colonization.

Africans profess a wide variety of religious beliefs, and statistics on religious affiliation are difficult to come by since they are often a sensitive a topic for governments with mixed religious populations. According to the World Book Encyclopedia, Islam is the largest religion in Africa, followed by Christianity. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, 45% of the population are Christians, 40% are Muslims, and 10% follow traditional religions. A small number of Africans are Hindu, Buddhist, Confucianist, Baha'i, or have beliefs from the Judaic tradition. There is also a minority of Africans who are irreligious.

Fifty-three African countries have football (soccer) teams in the Confederation of African Football. Egypt has won the African Cup seven times, and a record-making three times in a row. Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, and Algeria have advanced to the knockout stage of recent FIFA World Cups. South Africa hosted the 2010 World Cup tournament, becoming the first African country to do so.Cricket is popular in some African nations. South Africa and Zimbabwe have Test status, while Kenya is the leading non-test team and previously had One-Day International cricket (ODI) status. 

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