Africa is one of the largest continents, the second largest behind Asia, and covers about one fifth of Earth's land area. This continent is unique, varied, and fascinating to learn about.
The world's hottest continent, Africa is home to the Earth’s largest desert, the Sahara. Not all of Africa is dry desert, however; parts of the continent, particularly near the equator, contain lush rain forests. Many African regions, including the rainforests, teem with all kinds of wild animals.
Africa is also home to many diverse cultures. Over 1,000 languages are spoken south of the Sahara alone. The people who live in northern Africa are mostly of Arab and Berber origin, many of whom speak Arabic and follow Islam. Southern Africa is populated by Black Africans.
Africa also has a storied past. One particularly important event in African history took place in 1994, when South Africa became a democracy under the leadership of Nelson Mandela. Before that, the country was divided along color lines. This policy, called apartheid, had given white people power to control people of color since 1948. Mandela’s election is historic because it brought an end to this horrific policy.
These facts are just the beginning of a rich conversation about a beautifully complex part of the world.
[Source: The Kingfisher Children Encyclopedia]