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Cameleon colours | © Teza Harinaivo Ramiandrisoa/Flickr
Cameleon colours | © Teza Harinaivo Ramiandrisoa/Flickr

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About These African Countries

Picture of Alex Jordan
Travel Editor
Updated: 7 February 2018

One of the most common misconceptions about Africa is that the world’s second largest and second most populous continent is a country. Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden even referred to Africa as ‘nation’ at the 2014 United States-Africa Summit, of all places. If it happened to Biden, it could happen to anyone. Africa is in fact made up of 54 countries, each with their own incredible stories to tell. Here are just some of them.

South Africa

South Africa was the fifth country in the world and the first country in Africa to legalise same-sex marriage. The 2006 Civil Union Act ‘guarantees equal protection before the law to all citizens regardless of sexual orientation’.

Botswana

This beautiful country is home to some of the best safari options in Africa. The Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to some stunning wildlife, including the ‘big five’.

Tanzania

The Maasai tribe has maintained its proud culture since they moved into Kenya, from Egypt and Ethiopia in the 17th and 18th centuries. Their red-checked shukas and elaborate jewellery are a picture of beauty and age-old traditions.

Ghana

Ghana is famous for its coconuts, which are grown across the country and sold by talented machete wielders, who can slice and dice the fruit in any way in the blink of an eye. Their theatrics are a common sight on most roadsides.

Nigeria

Yabacon Valley in Lagos is Nigeria’s technology hub. Hundreds of businesses have sprung up in recent years, attracting tech talent from across Africa and garnering the attention of the world’s media as they look for solutions to today’s problems.

© Julia Wytrazek / Culture Trip

Morocco

Chefchaouen is considered one of the most beautiful towns in Morocco because of the blue homes that give the place its fairytale-like atmosphere. It is also home to an incredible medina and a Grand Mosque with an octagonal minaret.

Zimbabwe

This beautiful country in south eastern Africa is home to the Victoria Falls, one of the ‘Seven Natural Wonders of the World’ and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 1.7km (1 mi.) wide, they truly are a sight to behold and have captured imaginations for millennia.

Mauritania

This musical country, which divides North and West Africa geographically, is known for producing some of the continent’s most amazing musicians, mixing sounds from the Tidinit (a traditional stringed instrument), with North African influences.

Madagascar

One of the world’s largest islands Madagascar – nicknamed the ‘eighth continent’ – was cut off from mainland Africa, making it home to a dizzying number of species that cannot be found anywhere else.

Ethiopia

The Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa is home to some culinary treats. Not only is Ethiopian food some of the best in the world, it also reflects the amazing diversity of a city that’s home to 80 distinctive languages.