Africa is the World's second-largest continent - 30,065,000 km2 covering approximately 20% of the Earth's land and 6% of the Earth's surface .
It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Indian Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. The Red Sea and Suez Canal lie to the north-east and separate Africa from Asia.
The longest river in the World, The Nile, measuring 6,695 km - flows north ending in a delta that empties into the Mediterranean Sea.
The World's largest desert, The Sahara, measuring 9,000,000 km2, covers much of north Africa. The Kalahari desert in south-west Africa measures 259,000 km2.
The Atlas mountain range lies in the north-west of Africa and the highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, 5895 m, is in Tanzania.
There are 54 countries and one "non-self governing territory", the Western Sahara, in Africa. All of Africa was colonized by foreign powers during the "scramble for Africa", except Ethiopia and Liberia.
Before colonial rule Africa comprised up to 10,000 different states and autonomous groups with distinct languages and customs.
The Pharaonic civilization of ancient Egypt is one of the world's oldest and longest-lasting civilizations. African continent is the world's oldest populated area.
Arabic is spoken by 170 million people on the continent, followed in popularity by English (130 million), Swahili (100), French (115), Berber (50), Hausa (50), Portuguese (20) and Spanish (10).
Over 25% all languages are spoken only in Africa with over 2,000 recognised languages spoken on the continent