Africa has 54 sovereign countries?the most on any continent?and is the second largest continent in terms of both land area and population. Africa is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, by the Red Sea to the northeast, and by the Indian Ocean to the southeast. Africa is a vast continent spanning over 5,000 miles north-south and 4,800 miles east-west (not including islands) and contains a wide array of peoples, skin colors, religions, and cultures. Africa contains the world's longest river?the 6,650km-long Nile River running from Burundi to Egypt?while the Congo River in the DRC is the second largest in terms of discharge as well as the deepest with a depth of over 230m (750ft) in some spots. Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro is the world's tallest free-standing mountain at 5,890m (19,340ft). Djibouti's Lake Assal is the second lowest point on Earth, the saltiest lake outside Antarctica, and one of the hottest places on Earth. While the first activity most people associate with Africa is safaris, there are endless possibilities for adventure. You can purchase crafts in markets, venture into the Sahara with a Tuareg caravan, visit pygmy villages, hike through jungle to watch gorillas, relax on tropical islands in the Indian Ocean, snack on monkey or python "bushmeat", travel down a river in a dugout "pirogue", travel across savanna on a colonial-era railway, and much more.
Africa is a very diverse continent, with each country, or even each part of a country having its own unique culture. While it is common for people in the West to refer to Africa as if it was a single country, one should remember the sheer size of the continent, and that Africa is not one country but 55 different countries, meaning that it is impossible to make generalisations of Africa as a whole.
Tragically misunderstood by many people as a land of poverty, corruption, war and famine, and simply as a land of suffering?a misconception only bolstered by the media and the numerous NGOs on the continent?Africa today is a vast continent with many bustling metropolises, friendly people, and amazingly diverse and beautiful landscapes. While there are plenty of places resembling the stereotypical Africa of war, famine, and poverty, much of the continent is peaceful, well-fed, and of working class.