The African continent

The huge southern triangle of the Ancient World still is deeply tied in the collective imagination to century-old myths, only part of them completely true: the "black continent", the "hic sunt leones" of the early geographers - certainly it is the hottest continent, though some areas enjoy a temperate climate with year-long spring temperatures. All the stereotypes in which Europeans believed in the colonization period actually hide another face of the medal.
Primitive? But here the magnificent Egyptian civilization rose, when in Europe man still lived in caves.

Arid? And what about the huge rain forests at the equator, or the 10-mt yearly rainfall in Cameroon?

Poor? But Africa abounds of resources: valuable woods, coffee, tobacco, gold, copper and diamonds.

The truth is that Africa is a continent of contrasts, a continent of terrible wounds opened in the African heart by ruthless exploitation and organized kidnapping; but it is also a fascinating land, able to engender a great love in those who come close enough to the continent's true self. Once only a destination for adventurers, explorers and romantic writers, nowadays Africa is within reach of every visitor.

African continent

Stati dell'Africa

Discover the different nations of Africa, the most interesting destinations, with information on hotels and maps. You can start your visit by selecting a country from the map or list below.
  • 53 independent countries (for their position find the number on the map): Algeria (2) | Angola (41) | Benin (24) | Botswana (46) | Burkina Faso (21) | Burundi (39) | Cameroon (27) | Cape Verde (13) | Central African Republic (29) | Chad (10) | Comoros (54) | Côte d'Ivoire (20) | Democratic Republic of the Congo (35) | Djibouti (31) | Egypt (5) | Equatorial Guinea (28) | Eritrea (12) | Ethiopia (30) | Gabon (33) | Gambia (15) | Ghana (22) | Guinea (17) | Guinea-Bissau (16) | Kenya (37) | Lesotho (50) | Liberia (19) | Libya (4) | Madagascar (52) | Malawi (43) | Mali (8) | Mauritania (7) | Mauritius (53) | Morocco (1) | Mozambique (44) | Namibia (45) | Niger (9) | Nigeria (25) | Republic of the Congo (34) | Rwanda (38) | São Tomè and Príncipe (26) | Senegal (14) | Seychelles (51) | Sierra Leone (18) | Somalia (32) | South Africa (48) | Sudan (11) | Swaziland (49) | Tanzania (40) | Togo (23) | Tunisia (3) | Uganda (36) | Zambia (42) | Zimbabwe (47)
  • 2 Spanish enclaves : Ceuta | Melilla;
  • a territory whose legal state is still undefined: Western Sahara (6)

    Tourist Destinations

    On the African territory is the last extant of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, the Gizah Pyramids. But also south of the Sahara are other extraordinary sights: the Victoria Waterfalls, on the Zambesi river, bigger than the Niagara Falls, and not far the huge Kariba dam, the biggest in Africa. In south Rhodesia, the archeological site of ancient Zimbabwe, silent, mysterious witness of an advanced civilization of the 11th century AD. In eastern Africa the snowy top of Kilimanjaro, always hidden by clouds, a symbol of the beauty and mystery of Africa.

    Among the greatest attractions surely are the huge national parks and reservoirs, as the Kruger in South Africa, the Tsavo in Kenya, the Serengety and the Ngorongoro in Tanzania, where innumerable typical species of the continent, many of them endangered now with extinction, live freely roaming, protected against indiscriminate hunting.


    In Roman times Emperor Nero sent a huge expedition to the discovery of the springs of the Nile, but they stopped at Bahr-el-Gazal sending back the famous message "hic sunt leones" which meant they could not proceed. In following centuries the Islam invasion widened the knowledge of the African continent, and geographer Al-Idrisi captured by the Christians and brought to Rome donated to Pope Leo X his seminal volume Geographia Nubiensis.

    In the early Middle Ages, Italian navigators explored the Atlantic coasts of Africa, discovering the Canaries and Azores. Marco Polo described Madagascar and Zanzibar. In 1487 Bartolomeo Diaz reached the present cape of Good Hope, and ten years later Vasco de Gama circumnavigated the continent reaching the Indian coasts - but all the territories inside of Africa were still largely unknown until the massive colonization began in the course of the 19th century.