By Deborah Thomas

Africa is one of the last great adventures, rich in nature, vast amount of natural resources, deserts, tropical rainforests, fertile grasslands, heaps of rugged mountains, vast beaches, open savannah and scenic natural beauty. One of the very few places left in the world where a herds of animals still roam free.

Considered by scientists as the cradle of civilisation and the beginning of mankind, this continent of 54 states has a population of 1,308,064,195. With a mix of the most diverse people on earth, there is a fusion of culture and a uniques blend of history.

Here are 5 interesting facts about Africa:

1. River Nile – The worlds longest river

River Nile runs through Cairo in Egypt

The River Nile known as the Father of African rivers spans over 4258 miles and flows through the following 11 countries: Egypt, Kenya, Ethiopia Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, South Sudan and Sudan. Historically the Nile River was a vital waterway especially during the times of no other feasible transport before the 20th century. Known for never short of water all year round, it makes intense cultivation along the banks very successful.

2. The world’s largest animal – African Bush Elephant

African Bush Elepahnts

Distributed among 37 African countries, the African bush elephant is the largest living terrestrial animal. With a height close to 13.0 ft tall at the shoulder and weighing up to 11.5 tons.

3. Writing was invented in Africa

Ancient Egyptian Writing – The book of the dead

Starting around 3500 BC, Writing was invented at least 4 times in history with the first time being in Egypt and consequently followed by the Mesopotamia, China and finally in Mesoamerica. In Egypt, hieroglyphs was fully developed and from this prototype led to the development of the oldest known alphabet developed in central Egypt. This writing development led to the origins of education.

4. The world’s oldest university – The University of Karueein, (Athens of Africa)

The University of Karueein was founded in 859 AD by Fatima al-Fihri in Fez, Morocco and was originally a madrassa. According to UNESCO and World Guinness Records, it is the oldest existing continually operating  higher education institution in the world. The University of Bologna, Italy, was founded in 1088 and is the oldest one in Europe  North Africa.

5. The Great Pyramid of Giza – Egypt

The Great Pyramid of Giza – source bbc.co.uk

Famously known as one and the only surviving of the Seven ancient wonders of the world, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and the largest of the three pyramids in Giza. Built At a time when Egypt was the most wealthiest and powerful civilisations in the world. More than 4000 years later, it still retains the majestic look and architecture remains unrivalled to date.

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