Africa is the home of many large countries. It is easy to forget because many of them are very underpopulated due to dense jungle or desert. However, Africa is the second largest continent in the world and it has 30.3 million square kilometers of land mass. To put this in perspective, India, China, and the United States can all fit into the size of Africa with room to spare. Below are some of the biggest countries in this giant continent.
Largest Countries in Africa
Algeria is at the top of the list with a staggering 2.381 million kilometers squared. It is the 10th largest country in the world. Most of its land is made up of large swaths of the Sahara Desert, and only at the top of the country is there any fertile land. In fact, because of this disparity, 90% of the population is in the north close to the Mediterranean Sea. Driving across Algeria would be very difficult due to the harshness of the sand and a lack of infrastructure. However, if one managed to do so, it would take 23 hours to drive across at its longest distance. Algeria certainly is a place where you can get very lost in.
2. The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Although the Democratic Republic of the Congo is known for unrest, it still stands to be the second-largest country in Africa at 2.344 million kilometers squared. It is the 11th largest country in the world, though it is also lacking in development due to thick rainforests and civil war. Driving across this large country would be next to impossible, and only once done by a man in 15 days. However, if there were modern means, this trip would take just over 42 hours.
Sudan was once the largest country in Africa, but due to a civil war with its southern half, it broke apart. As of 2011, there are now two different countries, Sudan and South Sudan. The country of Sudan is now 1.886 million kilometers squared. It is still large, but not in comparison to the 600,000 kilometers squared it lost in 2011. Similarly to Algeria, Sudan’s land area is also due to the desert. This makes it very difficult to drive through in addition to unrest at the southern border. However, if you were to drive across this country, it would take just over 22 hours.
This fourth largest country in Africa is nestled in between Algeria and Egypt. It currently holds 1.76 million kilometers squared of land and is the 16th largest country in the world. It is mostly made of the Sahara Desert, though it has some fertile lands near the coast. Fun fact, in order to make Libya more fertile they created the largest manmade irrigation system in the world known as the Great Manmade River. Driving across this giant country is long and very difficult. It is not uncommon for people to take extra supplies of gas on the roofs of their car to get in between cities. If an epic road trip were possible in modern means it would take 23 hours to drive across Libya.
Chad is nicknamed the “Dead Heart of Africa” for a reason. It has 1.284 million kilometers of squared land and it is the 20th largest country in the world. Its land is separated between the Sahara Desert in the north and the Jungles in the South. Chad is a very difficult place to travel through due a combination of unrest, thick jungles, and intense deserts. In fact, it is known to get sandstorms at least 100 days out of the year. If you were to travel through this giant country by modern means it would take just under 20 hours.
Niger is the largest country in West Africa and it makes up 1.3 million square kilometers. It is nicknamed the “Frying Pan” of the world because it is one of the hottest places in the world. Sometimes, raindrops evaporate before they even hit the ground. The expanse is large with mostly desert making it very difficult to travel. If one would drive across this country, it would take just over 20 hours to drive between its two farthest points.
This large country has 1.24 million square kilometers of land, and the landscape is very diverse from Jungles to mountains to deserts. The country is very difficult to travel through due to a lack of modern roads and varied landscapes. If it were possible it would take about 15 hours to drive across from north to south.
Mali is a unique country with its name meaning “The Land of the King.” This is no surprise because it was once home to the richest man of all time. This large country currently takes up 1.24 million square kilometers of land, and most of it is the Sahara Desert. The majority of its population is located in the south where there is a fertile land, and the rest is a small percentage from the Sahara. This is another country that is hard to travel through due to similar reasons as the rest. If you were to drive across Mali in modern means it would take about 13 hours.
Africa is a giant continent with lots to offer the world. The fact that the United States, India, and China can all fit in the continent of Africa is very telling of just how big it is. It is easy to forget that these large countries exist because their populations are so small, but they have rich histories that are fascinating to learn about. With time the borders of African Countries may change, but we can not forget about the uniqueness of the people that live there.
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