Welcome to Africa – the second largest continent in the world. Africa is also second in the number of people – the population – who live here. Africa is a vast, beautiful land with dry, hot deserts in the north and grasslands and tropical jungles in the south.
Anthropologists believe that the first human beings lived in Africa 7 million years ago. These early people didn’t live in villages or cities. They roamed as nomads, hunting animals and gathering plants and berries.
Slavery has been a part of Africa’s history for hundreds of years. The Arab slave trade lasted from the 7th to the 20th century. During that time over 18 million slaves were shipped from Africa to the Middle East. The European slave trade, which includes slaves sold in the United States, operated from the 15th to the 19th century.
During this time, between seven and 12 million slaves were taken to the New World to work on plantations in America, as well as South America and the Caribbean Islands. Unfortunately, many governments in Africa benefited from selling slaves. In the mid-1850s, the British government worked to outlaw slavery. Some of Africa’s leaders refused to cooperate.
Africa was colonized by European countries in the late 1800s. This led to several wars for independence. Today, all countries in Africa are independent, yet the continent continues to endure wars and conflicts. Africa is the poorest continent in the world. Many people do not have enough food. They do not have clean water, electricity or access to medical care.
Fun Facts about Africa for Kids
- 50% of the African population is 19 years old or younger
- Ancient Greeks and Romans were the first Europeans to explore Africa
- Egypt, in northern Africa, was ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty for almost 300 years. All the males who ruled in Egypt during this time took the name “Ptolemy” while the females preferred Cleopatra, Arsinoe and Berenice
- Africans follow a wide variety of religions including Islam, Christianity, African Traditional Religion and even Hindu, Buddhist, Confucianist, Baha’I and Judaism
- Africa covers about 30.2 million square kilometers of land. This is 6% of the total surface of the Earth and 20.4% of total land area on the planet
- The Nile River in northeastern Africa is the longest river in the world
- The largest mountain in Africa is Mount Kilimanjaro at 5,895 m. It is located in Tanzania and is a dormant volcano.
- The largest country in Africa by area is Algeria.
- Nigeria has the largest population in Africa with over 190 million people living here.
- There are 54 recognized countries in Africa
- Slavery: Owning and/or selling of human beings as property
- Cooperate: Work together; function in harmony
- Plantation: Large farm
- Independence: Not controlled by others
- Continent: Large, continuous land-mass on the earth’s surface
All About Africa Video for Kids
Here’s a great video for kids on Africa:
A video of a children’s song all about Africa and the countries that belong in the continent.
Question: Does everyone in Africa go to school?
Answer: All children are allowed to go to school, but lack of funding, lack of facilities and the needs of the family usually mean kids don’t get to go. All of the military conflict common throughout African countries also can make it not just difficult, but dangerous for kids to go to school.
Question: Where do lions really live?
Answer: Though called “King of the Jungle” lions do not live in a jungle at all. They typically live in the wide open spaces of grassland and savanna areas. Sometimes they may live in the bush or forest depending on where they can find their prey.
Question: What type of Elephants live in Africa?
Answer: There are two types of elephants that live on the continent of Africa, they are: The African savanna and African forest.
Map of Africa
Here’s a map of the continent of Africa and all its countries. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around the continent of Africa! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of the countries of Africa, as though you are actually there!