25 Fun Facts About Africa | The Continent’s Untold Stories

group of children photography

25 Fun Facts About Africa | The Continent’s Untold Stories

  1. Africa is comprised of 54 recognized countries.
  2. Swahili is the most spoken language in Africa.
  3. Africa covers an area of about 30.37 million square kilometers.
  4. The majority of Africa’s population is under 25 years old.
  5. Africa’s Mozambique has an AK-47 assault rifle on its national flag.
  6. Ghana was the first African country to gain independence in 1957.
  7. South Africa has three capital cities, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, and Cape Town.
  8. The world’s second-largest freshwater lake, Lake Tanganyika, is in Africa.
  1. Africa has a pink lake, Lake Retba, due to its high salt content.
  2. Africa’s Namib Desert has the world’s highest dunes.
  3. Nollywood in Nigeria is Africa’s largest film industry by production.
  4. Africa’s Tuareg people are often called blue men because of their indigo-dyed clothing.
  5. Africa’s Nile crocodile is the largest crocodilian in Africa, and it can grow up to 20 feet.
  6. Over 25% of all languages on Earth are spoken only in Africa.
  7. The San people of Africa have a language that includes click sounds.

Table of Contents

1. Africa is the only continent situated in all four hemispheres.

Ever looked at a world map and spotted Africa? It’s got a little bit of a show-off streak. Believe it or not, it’s the only continent that sprawls across all four hemispheres,  north, south, east, and west. 

Think of it as Africa’s way of giving a friendly wave to every corner of the world.

2. Over 2,000 languages are spoken in Africa.

Here’s a fun fact about Africa it’s practically bursting with languages. Stroll from one region to another, and you might hear a whole new dialect.

With over 2,000 languages spoken, it’s a place where every conversation is a journey into rich traditions and vibrant cultures. It’s like a grand festival of words every day.

3. Africa’s Lake Victoria is the world’s largest tropical lake.

Have you heard about Lake Victoria? Spanning about 68,800 square kilometers, Nestled in Africa, it doesn’t just boast of size but stands as the world’s largest tropical lake. 

With waters that feed three major countries like Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.

4. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain, is a dormant volcano.

Kilimanjaro mountain : fun facts about Africa
Africa’s tallest peak, Kilimanjaro, is a dormant volcano.

READ ALSO: 25 Fun Facts About Philippines: Reveals Hidden Treasures

Let’s scale up to a majestic height of 19,341 feet or 5,895 meters. That’s how tall Kilimanjaro is. Located in Tanzania, Africa’s tallest mountain is not just a natural skyscraper but also a dormant volcano.

It’s a unique blend of mountainous beauty and volcanic might, casting a shadow over the vast Tanzanian plains.

5. Africa is home to the world’s longest river, the Nile.

When you think of the Nile, think of an incredible journey of about 4,135 miles (6,650 km). That’s right. Flowing through the heart of Africa, the Nile isn’t just any river, it’s the world’s longest.

Meandering through multiple countries, it’s the lifeline that has nurtured civilizations for millennia.

6. More people speak French in Africa than in France.

Africa resonates profoundly with the melodies of the French language. France, with its rich history, has around 67 million residents. In contrast, Africa proudly hosts approximately 120 million French speakers.

The keyword vibrancy paints a picture of the continent’s deep-rooted connection and love for the French tongue.

7. Africa has over 85% of the world’s elephants.

When it comes to majestic elephants, Africa stands tall and proud. Boasting over 85% of the world’s elephant population, the continent is its prime habitat.

So, if you’re ever discussing fun facts about Africa, the sheer number of these gentle giants is surely a headline.

8. The world’s largest frog, the Goliath frog, is found in Africa.

green frog in macro shot photography
The Goliath frog, the world’s largest, is native to Africa.

READ ALSO: 26 Fun Facts About Nicaragua: Tropical Fruit Paradise

When discussing fun facts about Africa, the Goliath frog hops into the conversation. This colossal frog, scientifically named Conraua goliath, is not just an ordinary amphibian.

With a striking length of up to 12.5 inches and a weight tipping the scales at 7.2 pounds, it stands as the world’s largest frog.

9. Africa’s Sahara Desert is larger than the USA.

Think of the most expansive space you’ve ever seen and then imagine it even bigger. The Sahara Desert isn’t just large,  it’s an ocean of golden sands. 

With a staggering 3.6 million square miles under its belt, it outmatches even the vastness of the USA. If you’re searching for nature’s epic spectacles in fun facts about Africa, this is it.

10. Africa is the second most populous continent, with over 1.3 billion people.

Africa, with over 1.3 billion folks, comes in as the second most crowded continent. That’s a lot of people. Among its countries, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Egypt top the list with the most inhabitants.

11. Homo sapiens began in Africa 300,000 years ago. 

Modern humans first took their steps in Africa 300,000 years ago. It’s here that our earliest ancestors thrived, nurtured by Africa’s diverse landscapes. 

They journeyed far and wide, encountering other human groups. 

Today, every person carries a bit of this ancient African tale in their DNA, reminding us of our shared, deep-rooted history.

12. Africa produces over 70% of the world’s cocoa.

green shell fruit
Over 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from Africa.

READ ALSO: 26 Fun Facts About Honduras: The Country of Surprises

Africa’s fertile lands are responsible for the rich, chocolaty delight many of us enjoy. Over 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from here. 

Countries like Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria lead in production, making the continent the go-to source for chocolatiers worldwide.

13. The African continent is moving away from South America at 4cm per year.

Fun facts about Africa are never short of surprises. For instance, did you know that the entire African continent is slowly drifting? That’s right, it’s inching away from South America at about 4cm every year.

Over a lifetime, that adds up, showcasing the ever-changing dynamics of our planet’s tectonic movements.

14. Africa has the world’s largest land migration, the wildebeest migration.

Africa offers one of nature’s grandest shows, the wildebeest migration. Dubbed the world’s largest land migration, it sees over a million wildebeests trek across the Serengeti and Maasai Mara.

Their journey, driven by the search for fresh grazing, is a dance of life, danger, and awe-inspiring determination that leaves many spellbound.

15. One of the fun facts about Africa is that over 90% of malaria cases occur in Africa.

Malaria is a significant health concern globally, but did you know that Africa bears the brunt of it? A staggering 90% of all malaria cases are found here.

From the urban sprawls to the remote villages, efforts are continually being made to combat this disease, emphasizing the resilience and spirit of the continent’s communities.

16. Africa’s Danakil Depression is one of the hottest places on Earth.

Africa’s Danakil Depression is Earth’s hot spot.

READ ALSO: 27 Fun Facts About Dominican Republic: Gateway to Paradise

Think of scorching hot places, and Africa’s Danakil Depression might top your list. Located in the northeastern part of Ethiopia, it’s one of the planet’s hottest spots. 

Temperatures often soar, reminding us of Earth’s intense and varied climates.

17. The world’s oldest university is in Fez, Morocco.

The world’s oldest university is nestled in the heart of Fez, Morocco. Known as the University of al-Qarawiyyin, it was founded in AD 859 and has served as a beacon of knowledge for over a millennium.

Throughout its storied history, this prestigious institution has been a center for science and technology.

18. The African catfish can walk on dry land.

Fun facts about Africa never cease to amaze, like the African catfish, it’s no ordinary fish. This incredible creature can actually move on dry land. 

Yes, you read that right it walks So, while you might expect to see it in water, don’t be too surprised if you spot one taking a little terrestrial tour.

19. About 30% of the Earth’s remaining mineral resources are found in Africa.

Africa is not just rich in culture and landscapes but also in mineral wealth. Indeed, a whopping 30% of the Earth’s remaining untapped mineral resources call this continent home. 

Gold in Ghana, platinum and chromium in South Africa, diamonds in Botswana, and cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are just a few highlights. 

The list is vast, including bauxite, uranium, and tantalum, underscoring Africa’s immense geological significance.

20. Coffee originated from Africa’s Ethiopia.

brown coffee beans on brown wooden table
Coffee began in Ethiopia, Africa.

READ ALSO: 26 Fun Facts About Zimbabwe: Marvel at Natural Splendors

Coffee lovers, here’s something to perk you up. The aromatic coffee bean that powers many of our mornings has its roots in Africa. Specifically, it originated from the ancient forests of Ethiopia. 

Today, Ethiopia exports over 220,000 tonnes of coffee annually, serving cups around the world.

21. The world’s largest diamond was found in Pretoria, South Africa.

Diamonds have a sparkle that’s hard to resist, and the world’s largest one has an African address.

Found in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1905, the Cullinan Diamond weighed an astounding 3,106 carats. To put that in perspective, that’s about 621 grams of pure, crystallized carbon brilliance.

22. The majority of the world’s coltan, used in electronics, is mined in Africa.

Ever wondered where the materials for our everyday electronics come from? Africa plays a vital role. A large chunk of the world’s coltan, essential for many electronic devices, is extracted from African mines.

In fact, the Democratic Republic of Congo alone produces over 60% of the global coltan supply.

23. Hippos kill more humans in Africa than lions or crocodiles.

Think of Africa’s most dangerous animals, and lions or crocodiles might come to mind. But here’s a twist, Hippos, those massive semi-aquatic mammals, are responsible for more human fatalities on the continent than either of the ferocious predators. 

Every year, they account for approximately 500 human deaths, highlighting their unpredictable nature.

24. Africa’s Sahara was once a lush oasis with rivers.

withered tree in middle of field with mountain in background
The Sahara in Africa was once a verdant oasis.

READ ALSO: 27 Fun Facts About North Korea That You Didn’t Know

Can you picture the vast Sahara desert, known for its golden dunes, as a green oasis? It’s true, thousands of years ago, the Sahara was teeming with life, filled with rivers and lush vegetation. 

Ancient rock art in the region even depicts scenes of animals and people, showcasing a greener past.

25. The world’s first heart transplant took place in Cape Town, South Africa.

A groundbreaking moment in medical history was marked in Africa. Cape Town, South Africa, to be precise, was the stage for the world’s first heart transplant in 1967. 

Led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard, this pioneering procedure set the pace for future medical advancements, saving countless lives since.


Yes, Africa and Europe are connected by land through the Isthmus of Suez in Egypt. However, the Suez Canal, constructed in the 19th century, now bisects this connection, allowing marine passage between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

Africa is located south of Europe and west of Asia. It’s bounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It’s the second-largest continent, covering about 20.4% of the world’s land area.

Nigeria has the highest population among African countries. With an estimated population of over 200 million people, Nigeria is not only the most populous country in Africa but also ranks among the top ten most populous countries in the world. It’s worth checking the most recent population data to get the latest figures, as populations change over time.

In 2023, Tunisia boasts the highest-valued currency in Africa with the Tunisian Dinar (TND) trading at a rate of 3.07 Dinars per dollar. Introduced in 1958, post Tunisia’s independence from France, it replaced the Tunisian franc. Initially, the TND was set at a rate of 0.42 dinars to the dollar, a peg that lasted until 1971. A consistently low inflation rate has played a key role in bolstering the TND’s value.

Uganda stands out in Africa for its English proficiency. Nestled within the heart of the continent, this nation of 45 million people has made English a cornerstone of its education. Remarkably, nearly 29 million Ugandans are adept in the language, a testament to its importance in Ugandan society.

Scroll to Top