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10 Fascinating Facts About Life in Africa

Panoramic view of the mountains and National Park in Africa

 The continent of Africa is just brimming with world records, and we are going to share 10 fascinating facts about life in Africa, and the marvels that exist there.

  1. The Fastest Land Animal in the World Lives in Africa.

Image of a lying Cheetah, Africa

 Cheetahs have incredible hearing and can hear the slightest sound over vast distances. This is matched by their vision. A Cheetah can see as far as 0.5 km a distance that a man could only just see using binoculars.


 It is estimated that there are only 7,100 cheetahs left in the world. They nearly all live in Africa, with a few remaining in Iran.

 A Cheetah called Sarah (11 years old) was timed over a 100 m course at 5.95 seconds. Usain Bolt (the fastest man alive) holds the world record for the same distance at 9.58 seconds.

   How fast can cheetahs run?

 Cheetahs run at 60 mph over short distances.

  1. The Longest Big Ship Canal in the World is in Africa.

Beautiful view of the Suez Canal

 Many people think the Suez Canal was the original canal that linked the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. The very first one was built by Pharaoh Senusret III in 1850 would have connected the Red Sea and the Nile River from where it would have been possible to reach the sea. A roundabout route, but it worked.

 Planning for the modern canal began in 1854. It was supported by the French government by vehemently opposed by the British. However, when the Egyptian government was short of money and sold its stake in the canal, the British bought up a 44% share.


 It is a little known fact that the Statue of Liberty was initially intended to be placed by the canal as a lighthouse.

   How long is the Suez Canal?

 The distance between the northern terminus and the southern one is 120.11 miles.

  1. The Tallest Animal in the World Lives in Africa.

Image of tall giraffe in African National Park

 The tallest animal in the world is the Giraffe, and it is not just because of their long necks. They also have incredibly long legs too. The legs of a full-grown giraffe are taller than a man (over six feet). These legs allow giraffes to run at over 35 miles an hour when sprinting and 10 miles per hour over long distances.


   Exactly how tall are giraffes?

 A full-grown giraffe stands between 14 and 19 feet. It will weigh between 1,750 to 2,800 pounds.

  1. The Largest Desert in the World is in Africa.

Image of the largest desert in the world - Sahara Desert, Africa

 The Sahara Desert covers most of North Africa and is probably the most famous desert in the world. Technically the Arctic and Antarctica are both cold deserts and are larger than the Sahara, but few people consider them as Deserts. To be 100% accurate, we should say the Sahara is the largest Hot Desert in the world.

 The Sahara is so big that it touches 11 African countries. Only 25% of the desert is actually sand, the desert also contains salt flats, gravel plains, and even mountains.

   How Big is the Sahara?

 The Sahara is said to be 8,600,000 square kilometers, but it actually expands and contracts according to the season, so it is hard to accurately measure. However, scientists believe that it is 10% larger than it was a century ago.


  1. World’s Largest Church Building is in Africa.

Image of human arms crossed

 If we restrict this category to fully enclosed buildings, the largest church auditorium in the world is “The Hand of God Cathedral” in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

 The cathedral will also have the largest steel structure church roof as well.

 The top five largest churches in the world are all located in Nigeria. They have a total capacity between them of 385,000 worshipers.

 The capacity is calculated based on attendees in one service. Some of these churches hold multiple services on the same day. For example, the Faith Tabernacle in Lagos is counted as a capacity of 50,000 but actually holds four services on Sunday with a combined audience of 200,000.


   How many worshipers does The Hand of God Cathedral Hold?

 “The Hand of God Cathedral” in Port Harcourt has a capacity of 120,000 for a single service. The controversial founder of the church, David Ibiyeomie, started this church in 1997.

  1. One African Tribe Produces Most of the Fastest Runners.

Image of an African runner

 A single African Tribe for Kenya has produced most of the world’s fastest runners. The “Kalenjin” Tribe has developed a reputation for running.

 Take, for example, in 2013 at the Berlin Marathon. Kenyan Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich made what was by far the fastest ever marathon time. What made it even more surprising was that other Kenyan runners took the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th places as well.

 Two weeks later, in the Chicago Marathon, Dennis Kipruto Kimetto took 1st place with other Kenyans taking 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places.

   Who are the best runners in the world?

 African Men.

  1. Longest River in the World is in Africa.

Panoramic view of the longest river in the world - River Nile, Africa

 The River Nile is the longest river in the world. It begins in Burundi, just south of the equator, and runs into Lake Victoria. It then runs northwards until it drains into the Mediterranean Sea. Some people regard Lake Victoria as the source of the Nile.

 The River Nile discharges around 3.1 million liters (681,904 imperial gallons) per second into the Mediterranean.

   How long is the River Nile?

 The River Nile is 6,695 kilometers (4,160 miles) long.

  1. The World’s Biggest Diamond Was Found in Africa.

View of famous landmark - Cullinan Diamond Mine in Cullinan

 The Cullinan Diamond was the biggest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered. It was found at the Premier No. 2 Mine in Cullinan, South Africa, in 1905. It was named after Thomas Cullinan, the man who owned the mine.

 It was initially put on sale in London and attracted a great deal of interest but was not sold. In 1907, the government of the Transvaal Colony purchased the diamond and presented it as a gift to the British King, Edward VII.

 The diamond ended up in the British Crown Jewels.

   What Was The World’s Biggest Diamond?

 It was the Cullinan Diamond, which, before it was cut, weighed 3,106.75 carats.

  1. The Only One of the Original Seven Wonders of the World That Still Exists is in Africa.

Image of the Great Pyramid of Giza

 The only remaining Seven Wonders of the World is the Great Pyramid of Giza, near Cairo, Egypt.

 Completed in 2560 BC, having taken twenty years to build, it was the tallest building in the world for over 3,800 years. It was finally overtaken in the 1300s by Lincoln Cathedral in the UK.

 Building the pyramid took 2.5 million stone blocks with some stone coming from Aswan, which is nearly 500 miles away.

 Together with the nearby pyramids of Menkaure and Khafre, the three pyramids are perfectly aligned with the Constellation of Orion.

   How tall is the Great Pyramid of Giza?

 The overall height of the pyramid is 147 meters.

  1. The Original Home of Man Was Africa.

Image of a gorilla monkey in Africa

 Africa was where man first evolved. There was a false start with Homo Erectus, which was the first man-like species to leave Africa and spread throughout Europe and Asia.

 One branch of the species stayed in Africa and evolved into Homo Sapiens, our ancestors, who also then spread globally, and replaced the earlier Homo Erectus.

 The first literate civilization in the world was in Africa. The Pharaonic civilization of Ancient Egypt dating back to 3300 BC.

   Where did the first person appear?

 Great Africa.

     Final Thought.

 From the above facts, you can see that Africa is a diverse and fantastic continent. There is so much to see and do in Africa. We hope one day you get the opportunity.

   Also read the article: What Is The Culture In Africa?

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