Countries of Africa

All you need to know about Africa and its countries

How many countries in Africa?

54 countries according to the UN

african countries

Regions of Africa

About Africa

  • Africa is the second-largest continent in the world both in size and population
  • It is the central located continent in the world
  • It is also considered as the hottest continent
  • There are a total of 54 independent countries, 3 dependencies, and one disputed territory in Africa

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Area

Africa covers about 30.37 million km².

Boundaries

Africa is bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, on the east by the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, and on the south by the mingling waters of the Atlantic and Indian oceans.

Facts

  • Both the world’s tallest and largest land animals both come from Africa
  • Around 2,000 different languages are spoken in Africa
  • Africa is home to the world’s longest river, the Nile, and the world’s largest desert, the Sahara
  • Algeria is the biggest country in Africa by land area
  • World’s hottest place, Ethiopia, is in Africa
  • With a population of over 206 million people, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country.
  • Grassland or savannah covers more than half of the African continent

Eastern Africa

Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe make up Eastern Africa, which has a population of around 453 million people living in 18 different countries. Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, is the biggest city in Eastern Africa.

1. Burundi

This episode of Little Explorers talks about one of the smallest nation of Africa, Burundi. It is located in the Great Rift Valley and is a landlocked country. It is bordered on the north by Rwanda, on the east and southeast by Tanzania, and on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with Lake Tanganyika forming part of the southwestern border. Gitega and Bujumbura are the two capitals. The country is unique, as it has two capital cities. Ruled by Germans and Belgians in the past, this country has world’s longest fresh water lake bordering one of its sides, and this lake Tanganyika was or is home to an infamous crocodile.

2. Comoros

Comoros is an island country with four volcanic islands. Because the plants on these islands are fragrant, they have been termed “perfumed islands.” It shares maritime borders with Madagascar and Mayotte to the southeast, Tanzania to the northwest, Mozambique to the west, and the Seychelles to the northeast.  Moroni is the capital of the country. It lies in the Indian ocean and is famous as a producer if essential oils used for perfumes and scents. The country has an active volcano which has erupted about 20 times since 19th century.

3. Djibouti

Djibouti is a country on the cross roads of Africa and Asia. Djibouti is a country in Africa’s Horn. The Danakil Desert accounts for 90% of the country’s surface area. Eritrea, Somalia, and Ethiopia share Djibouti’s borders. Djibouti comprises of two main tribes: the Somali and the Afar.

The country was occupied by French, thus has French influence in its buildings. The low-lying Lake Assal in the Danakil Desert is home to one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water. There are three national parks, and a wonderful animal life available in the country. There something unique about Christmas here

4. Eritrea

Eritrea is a country which is named after the ancient Greek name of the Red sea. It is a country in eastern Africa. Ethiopia, Sudan, and Djibouti share Eritrea’s borders. Asmara, the capital, is known for its Italian colonial architecture. The country has never held presidential elections, there has only been one president snice the country got independent. There are more than 14,000 fish species that live in the waters of this country. The island of Dahala in Eritrea, which is famous for production of pearls.

5. Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a rugged, landlocked country in the Horn of Africa, divided by the Great Rift Valley. It is a place of ancient culture, with archaeological finds dating back over 3 million years. From being the only African country to never have been colonized to being the originator of the longest river in the world, Ethiopia has a lot of interesting facts about it. There is the lowest point on the earth here and the capital city is the highest city in the continent. Among other intriguing things about Ethiopia, listen in to know how people greet each other.

6. Kenya

Kenya is an East African country with an Indian Ocean coastline. Savannah, lakelands, the dramatic Great Rift Valley, and mountain highlands are all part of it. It also has lions, elephants, and rhinos as residents. A former British colony, this country is a place where Masai Tribe lives, which has one of the tallest humans in the world. It is world’s leading Safari destination.

The Capital of Kenya in Nairobi and Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and second highest mountain in Africa (Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the highest mountain in Africa). Listen in to know what is so special about the wildlife migration that happens here.

7. Madagascar

Madagascar, formally the Republic of Madagascar and formerly the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean about 400 kilometres off the coast of East Africa across the Mozambique Channel. The country that has a movie by the same name, has many animals and plants that are endemic to this country. Listen in to know who ruled the country before it became a French Colony.

8. Mozambique

This South Eastern country in the African continent has white clear sand beaches and is one of the top tourist beach destination in the world. Named after an archipelago with the same name Mozambique is a country with a lot of endemic wild life. It was discovered by the same explorer who discovered India, that too in the same year. Listen in to know how this country is special when you play a specific board game. 

9. Malawi

Malawi, formerly known as Nyasaland, is a landlocked country in Southeast Africa. It is bordered on the west by Zambia, on the north and northeast by Tanzania, and on the east, south, and southwest by Mozambique. This small landlocked country is names after a vast lake of the country. The meaning of its name is fire flames. Malawi is earliest commercial producer of Tea. There are two UNESCO World Heritage sites. Listen in to know more about the country, especially who called the Lake Malawi “Lake of the stars” and why. 

10. Mauritius

Mauritius is a small island nation in the Indian Ocean known for its beaches, lagoons, and reefs. Black River Gorges National Park, with rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails, and wildlife such as the flying fox, is located in the mountainous interior. Mauritius is 2000 kms away from east Africa. A multi ethnic country was ruled by the Dutch, the French and the British. The place has beautiful beaches and the Seven Colored Earths. Listen in to know about this glorious nation.  

11. Rwanda

Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country in Central Africa’s Great Rift Valley, near the confluence of the African Great Lakes region and Southeast Africa. This is the land of Thousand hills. Rwanda, the smallest nation in East Africa. A country where they produce electricity from Methane, and where the President does national service along with his countrymen once a month. 

12. Seychelles

The Seychelles is a 115-island archipelago in the Indian Ocean. Numerous beaches, coral reefs, and nature reserves can be found here, as well as rare animals like giant Aldabra tortoises. Seychelles is an island nation made of volcanic remnants. A place with no indigenous people this country has a lot of endemic plants and animals. With beautiful beaches, it is one of the top tourist destination in the world.

13. Somalia

Somalia is a country in the Horn of Africa that is officially known as the Federal Republic of Somalia. Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Kenya to the southwest form the country’s borders. This country is famous for the infamous pirates. Somalia is the eastern most African country with a dramatic terrain. 

14. Sudan

In Arabic the name of this country means “The Land of the Blacks”. Sudan stretches across the Red Sea at the crossroads of Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. This country has more pyramids than Egypt, and Africa’s longest river, The Nile starts from here. There are also two tributaries of The Nile, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which meet at the capital city of Sudan. 

15. Tanzania

Tanzania is a country in East Africa known for its vast wilderness areas. The Serengeti plains, a safari mecca populated by the “big five” game (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, and rhino), and Kilimanjaro National Park, home to Africa’s highest mountain, are two of them. The  country with famous Mammal Migration, wild and wonderful Tanzania. Country which has 120 tribes and 120 languages. Listen in to know some food items that they have common with India.

16. Uganda

Uganda is a landlocked East African country with a varied landscape that includes the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and the massive Lake Victoria. Chimpanzees and rare birds are among the abundant wildlife. Uganda is a place with amazing wildlife, a rare rhino breed and very small churches. Lying in the Nile river basin, the country has many national parks which protect the wildlife of the country.

17. Zambia

Zambia is a landlocked country in southern Africa with rugged terrain and diverse wildlife, as well as numerous parks and safari areas. The famous Victoria Falls, also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya or “Smoke That Thunders,” are located on Zimbabwe’s border, plunging 108 metres into the narrow Batoka Gorge. The country has anthills as large as the size of a house.

18. Zimbabwe

Rhodesia was the previous name for Zimbabwe. It is a landlocked country in southern Africa with a dramatic landscape and diverse wildlife, much of which is contained within parks, reserves, and safari areas. Zimbabwe is a country where people still believe in mermaids. It lies in south eastern part of the African continent. Listen in to know more about this place.

Western Africa

Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo make up Western Africa, which has a population of around 409 million people living in 16 different countries. Lagos is most populous city in Western Africa.

19. Benin

Benin is a small country in Western Africa. In southern Nigeria, Benin City is the capital and largest city of Edo State. The country has a city which is built on a lake, and is also called Venice of Africa. The country was ruled by French. In 1885, the last ship of slaves left for Brazil from what the locals call as the gate of no return. Apart from other interesting things about Benin, listen in to know why The Gate of no return is called so.

20. Burkina Faso

The name of this land locked country means “Land of the honest man”. Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa bordered by Mali to the northwest, Niger to the northeast, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and the Ivory Coast to the southwest. This country is the leading producer of gold and cotton. It contains three major rivers which join together to make the Volta river. There are three UNESCO World Heritage sites, what are they? And what does the name of Burkina Faso’s capital mean, listen in to know.

21. Cape Verde

Cape Verde or Cabo Verde, officially the Republic of Cabo Verde, is a central Atlantic Ocean archipelago and island country made up of ten volcanic islands. Cape Verde is a country with some famous beaches in the world. A Portuguese colony in the past, this country is home to some rare animal species, listen in to know which they are, and other interesting things about them.  

22. Gambia

The Gambia is a small West African country with a narrow Atlantic coastline that is bordered by Senegal. Named after the Gambia river, this country is completely surrounded by Senegal on all the sides, exceot where it has a coastline on Atlantic ocean. Nine distinct tribes lives in the country. Listen in to know more about this famous beach destination. Around the central Gambia River, it is known for its diverse ecosystems. Monkeys, leopards, hippos, hyenas, and rare birds are among the abundant wildlife in its Kiang West National Park and Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve.

23. Ghana

Ghana is a country in West Africa, officially known as the Republic of Ghana. It shares borders with the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, and Togo in the east, and spans the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. A place where people love wearing colorful clothes, enjoy their music and have distinct practices. Do you know historically this place was known as The Gold Coast? Listen in to know the reason.

24. Guinea

Guinea is a West African country with the Atlantic Ocean to its west. Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, in the southeast, is well-known. Previously known as French Guinea, Guinea is a country in West Africa. The country is the place where 22 major rivers originate from, including three rivers after which three countries are named.  The reserve protects a forested mountain range home to chimpanzees and the viviparous toad, among other native plants and animals. Listen in to know which rivers they are.

25. Guinea Bissau

Guinea-Bissau is a tropical country with national parks and wildlife on West Africa’s Atlantic coast. A small country in Western Africa, which was previously called Portuguese Guinea, is now called Guinea Bissau. A place which has a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve, which has over 1000 bats living there. Listen in to know why  the flag of this country reminds us of the flag of Ghana. The Bijagós archipelago, which is forested and sparsely populated, is a protected biosphere reserve. Bubaque, the main island, is part of the Orango Islands National Park, which is home to saltwater hippos.

26. Ivory Coast

Officially callled Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Ivory Coast famous as Paris of West Africa. There is the largest church in the world, and also has four UNESCO sites. Its modern landmarks include zigguratlike, concrete La Pyramide and St. Paul’s Cathedral, a swooping structure tethered to a massive cross. Chocolates are loved by everyone and what is used in making chocolates, cocoa beans are produced in this country more than in any other.

27. Liberia

Liberia is a West African country bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Côte d’Ivoire. Liberia is a country which was never colonized, in fact true to its name, this was the country where slaves from the Americas were set free and sent to form this country. The Liberia National Museum, with exhibits on national culture and history, is located on the Atlantic coast in Monrovia, the capital city. Listen in to know interesting things about this country. 

28. Mali

Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a West African landlocked country. Mali is Africa’s eighth-largest country. It not only has the prime meridian but also has the Thermal Equator. There is also world’s largest man made clay structure. The salt mines of Mali are well-known. Mali was once one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with great emperors whose wealth stemmed primarily from the region’s strategic location on the cross-Sahara trade routes connecting West Africa and the north.

29. Mauritania

Famous for its “Eye of the Africa”, Mauritania is a country in North Western Africa. Mauritania is the eleventh largest country in Africa, and 90 percent of its territory is situated in the Sahara.  A country rich in natural resources, this has Sahara Desert as major part of it. The country hosted one of the most adventurous transcontinental automobile racing. Listen in to know what is famous about one of the trains that runs here among other things.

30. Niger

The Republic of the Niger, also known as Niger, is a landlocked country in West Africa named after the Niger River. Niger is one of the hottest countries, with seven countries ordering it. The official language is French and has also some exceptional wildlife. Listen in to know which dinosaur is named after this country.

31. Nigeria

Nigeria, a country in Africa on the Gulf of Guinea, is home to numerous natural wonders and wildlife reserves. Waterfalls, dense rainforest, savanna, and rare primate habitats can be found in protected areas like Cross River National Park and Yankari National Park. Zuma Rock is one of the most well-known locations. The most industrialized country of Africa, Nigeria, boasts to have continent’s first Nobel laureate, the richest man of Africa and world’s second largest film industry called Nollywood. Having some unique  UNESCO sites, the place is also famous for a lot of butterflies. Listen in to know more about Nigeria.

32. Senegal

Senegal is a country in West Africa that is officially known as the Republic of Senegal. Senegal is bordered on the north by Mauritania, on the east by Mali, on the southeast by Guinea, and on the southwest by Guinea-Bissau. It gets to see the sunrise and sunset later than rest of the continent. It also has the tallest African Statue. It surrounds a whole country. Listen in to know how did this country get its name.

33. Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a West African country on the Atlantic Ocean. The Freetown Peninsula is known for its white-sand beaches. Sierra Leone literally translates to “Roaring Mountains.” Sierra Leone’s capital city is Freetown. It has a diverse wildlife with many species of plants, birds and animals. The film Black Diamond was shot there. Listen in to know what the landmark of the capital city is.

34. Togo

Togo is a West African country with palm-lined beaches and hilltop villages on the Gulf of Guinea. The Togolese Republic is the country’s official name. Mont Agou, at 986 metres (3,235 feet) above sea level, is the country’s highest peak. Togo is known for its beautiful beaches, such as Aneho Beach and Lome Beach. Togo means “On the other side of the river”. Lome the capital city means pearl on the earth. A country with diverse terrain, the main lake is lake Togo. The country has culturally inclined people who do a lot of ceremonial practices. Listen in to know more.

Middle Africa

Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe make up Middle Africa, which has a population of around 183 million people living in 9 different countries. Sao Tome and Principe, the least populous country in the sub region.

35. Angola

Angola is a country in Southern Africa with a diverse landscape that includes tropical Atlantic beaches, a maze of rivers, and a Sub-Saharan desert that stretches into Namibia. The Portuguese-influenced cuisine and landmarks reflect the country’s colonial history. Located on the south western coast of Africa, Angola boasts a mixed culture of Portuguese, Africana and Brazilian. The country is inhabited since Paleolithic times. Since 2004 a beautiful species of Antelope is found there, listen in to know its specialty and other things about Angola.

36. Cameroon

This episode of Little Explorers talks about one of the wettest place in the world. Wettest place calls for the huge frog species Goliath Frog. It is Cameroon, which is also the name for the highest peak of the country. The country was ruled by several European countries in different times Cameroon is a Central African country with a diverse landscape and wildlife, located on the Gulf of Guinea. Yaoundé, the country’s inland capital, and Douala, the seaport, serve as gateways to ecotourism sites and beach resorts like Kribi.

37. Central African Republic

Central Africa’s Central African Republic is a landlocked country. It is bordered on the north by Chad, on the northeast by Sudan, on the southeast by South Sudan, on the south by the Democratic Republic of Congo, on the southwest by the Republic of Congo, and on the west by Cameroon. A place with many endemic animal species, and world’s second largest rainforest has the perfect night sky full of stars. Listen in to know about this beautiful country.

38. Chad

Chad is a landlocked country at the crossroads of North and Central Africa, officially known as the Republic of Chad. Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon to the south-west, Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west form the country’s borders. It is Africa’s largest landlocked country. The soil here is rich in Gold and Uranium, and it is an exporter of oil. Listen in to know more about the country.

39. Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, is informally called Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo. Republic of the Congo, named after the Congo river, this is a western African countries. 70% of the area in this country is rainforests. There is a huge area in this country which are protected areas. This country shares its independence day with our glorious country, but they did in 1960. Listen in to know about some animals present in this country.

40. DR Congo

Democratic Republic of the Congo is named after the Congo river. This huge country is the largest in Sub Saharan Africa. The country is rich in resources and is also rich in biodiversity. There is also an active volcano which has largest lava lake in the world. With over 21,000 soldiers from over 50 countries, the Democratic Republic of the Congo hosts the United Nations’ largest peacekeeping mission in the world.

41. Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea consists of the Rio Muni mainland and five volcanic offshore islands in Central Africa. Malabo, the country’s capital and a hub for the country’s thriving oil industry, is located on Bioko Island. Named because of its proximity to the Equator and Gulf of Guinea. This West African country has its capital on an island rather than on the mainland. The country has a varied terrain. There is also interesting wildlife which is found here. Listen in to know more.

42. Gabon

Gabon, a country on Central Africa’s Atlantic coast, has large areas of protected parkland. Loango National Park’s forested coastal terrain is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including gorillas, hippos, and whales. A country that lies on the Equator. Gabon was a French colony to have gained its independence in1960. Because of the Loango National Park, the country has variety of wildlife. This place is called Land of the surfing Hippos, listen in to know why. 

43. Sao Tome and Principe

So Tomé and Prncipe is an African island nation near the equator that is home to a volcano chain with stunning rock and coral formations, rainforests, and beaches. Sao Tome and Principe is an archipelago of two island which make the second smallest country of Africa. This country id close to equator. The island has a volcanic terrain. Discovered by the Portuguese in the past, the place has a lot of Portuguese influence.

Northern Africa

Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia make up Northern Africa, which has a population of around 249 million people living in 6 different countries. The least populous county in the subregion is Libya.

44. Algeria

Algeria is a country in North Africa with a Mediterranean coast and a Saharan desert interior. Many empires have left legacies in Tipaza, such as the ancient Roman ruins. Algeria is the largest country in Africa. Lying in northern part of Africa, it is also called Land of Cherries and Dates. The country also has 7 UNESCO world heritage sites. The national animal of Algeria is Fennec Fox. Listen in to know more about the country.

45. Egypt

Egypt, which connects northeast Africa and the Middle East, dates back to the pharaohs. The colossal Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx, as well as Luxor’s hieroglyph-lined Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings tombs, are among the millennia-old monuments that line the fertile Nile River Valley. Egypt is a transcontinental country, located at at a very strategic location. It is connected to Asia by Sanai Peninsula. The country has 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites. This land of Cleopatra has the longest river in the world, The Nile. Listen in to know more.

46. Libya

Libya is the country in North Africa which has the longest coastline along the Mediterranean Sea.  It is an ancient country which dates back to 8000 BC. It is bordered on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, on the east by Egypt, on the southeast by Sudan, on the south by Chad, on the south by Niger, on the southwest by Algeria, and on the northwest by Tunisia. Its desert is quite hot, and may pass without any rain for decades. It has some great UNESCO World Heritage sites. Listen in to know more about this oil rich country.

47. Morocco

Morocco, a country in North Africa bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, is known for its Berber, Arabian, and European cultural influences. The Kasbah of the Udayas in Rabat, Morocco’s capital, is a 12th-century royal fort overlooking the water. Famous for its culture which is a mixture of African and European, this country is bordered by two water bodies. A hige exporter of dates, this country has a very rich music. Listen in to know more about it.

48. Sudan

Sudan, officially is the Republic of the Sudan, and is a country in Northeast Africa. In Arabic the name of this country means “The Land of the Blacks” This country has more pyramids than Egypt, and Africa’s longest river, The Nile starts from here. There are also two tributaries of The Nile, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which meet at the capital city of Sudan. Listen in to know more.

49. Tunisia

Tunisia is the northernmost country of Africa. It is  officially the Republic of Tunisia. Tunisia is a major halt for shipping route because of this location. The country existed in stone age. Though colonized by many powers, last country to rule it was France. Tunisia has 8 UNESCO world heritage sites. Listen in to know what is the role of Robocops in the country  since 2020.

Southern Africa

Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa make up Northern Africa, which has a population of around 68 million people living in 5 different countries. The least populous county in the Southern Africa is Eswatini..

50. Botswana

Botswana is a land locked country in southern African continent. More than 70% desert, Botswana is a land with quite a rich wildlife. Animals like elephants, rhinos, leopards, zebras are found in abundance here. Giraffes, cheetahs, hyenas, and wild dogs live in the vast Central Kalahari Game Reserve, which features fossilized river valleys and undulating grasslands. Botswana shares world’s smallest border with Zambia, and listen in to know what is the unique thing about it.

51. Eswatini

Eswatini is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, officially known as the Kingdom of Eswatini and formerly known as Swaziland. It is bordered to the northeast by Mozambique and to the north, west, south, and southeast by South Africa. It is one of the smallest countries of Africa. 

52. Lesotho

Lesotho is a high-altitude, landlocked kingdom encircled by South Africa, with a network of rivers and mountain ranges crisscrossing it. Lesotho owes its long history of political autonomy to the mountains, which are a scenic land of tall mountains and narrow valleys. A country within a country, Lesotho is enclaved by South Africa. It was a former British Colony. The country is small but it has a number of wonders. The country has a dinosaur named after this country. Listen in to know why this nation is called Kingdom of the Sky.

53. Namibia

Namibia is a country in southwest Africa known for its Namib Desert, which runs along its Atlantic Ocean coast. The country is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including a large population of cheetahs. Country, which is home to the oldest desert on the planet, The Namib desert. Namibia is a country with half of its area coming under protected zone as they are quite concerned about its wildlife. From highest sand dunes to  an underwater lake. Listen in to know more about this country.

54. South Africa

South Africa is a country on the African continent’s southernmost tip, with several distinct ecosystems. Gold, diamonds and platinum are the natural resources that this country mines, no wonder powers like British and Dutch fought with each other after this. Some grand wildlife is a part of this country, including the famous fish migration that visible from space. Names of some legends associated with South Africa, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Listen in to know more glorious things about this exotic nation.

FAQ's about African countries

There are 54 countries in Africa today, according to the United Nations. 

Africa is famous for the largest desert in the world, the Sahara Desert.

Africa is the second-largest continent in the world both in size and population.

The smallest country in Africa is Seychelles.

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