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Top 10 Africa Fun Facts

Ten interesting facts about Africa for your entertainment:

  1. The Nile is the longest river in the world, flowing through Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt - if all the bends in the river were straightened out, it would flow from the Equator right up to the Scottish Highlands.
  2. Many children in Africa don’t get the chance to go to school. If you grew up in Mali in west Africa, for example, you’d only have a one in three chance of being able to go to primary school.
  3. Four of the five fastest land animals live in Africa – the cheetah, which can run at an amazing 70 miles per hour, wildebeest, lion and gazelle.
  4. Lake Malawi in southern Africa is home to around 500 different types of fish. That’s more than anywhere else in the world! 
  5. Africa is almost an island. Its only connection to other land is the tiny Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.
  6. Africa is the home of the Human species, which developed there about 5 million years ago.
  7. More people are killed in Africa by crocodiles than by lions.
  8. The banjo as we know it originated from a single-string, gourd-bodied African lute (sometimes called the "hodu") which the Griots of West Africa played to accompany storytelling. 
  9. Only three countries in the world are bigger than the Sahara Desert – Russia, Canada and China. The Kalahari Desert in southern Africa covers an area larger than France.
  10. The only street in the world to house two Nobel Peace prize winners is in Soweto, South Africa. Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu both have houses in Vilakazi Street.

Unmissable experiences to check out on an African gap year.

There are so many great things to do on a gap trip in Africa, whether it’s joining an amazing overland expedition, taking part in a life changing voluntary programe, working on a game reserve or just experiencing the beauty and diversity of such an amazing continent.

We’ve picked out two of the best.

Experience the sunset on the Serengeti, Tanzania

Let’s face it, think of Africa and you think of big cats, giraffes, wilderbeast and zebras (well, we do!). Africa is THE place for a Safari and no African gap year is complete without going on Safari. Many people say you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a Serengeti sunset so we reckon since you’re going all that way you should stick it on your itinerary. Better yet ... volunteer on a game reserve placement and see the sunset whenever it takes your fancy!

Visit South Africa

South Africa has a fascinating human and cultural history and it has grown from the dark days of Apartheid to become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the continent. Let’s see... you can go shark diving on the Western Cape (we’re pretty sure that Great Whites are harmless!), climb Table Mountain for an amazing view of Cape Town, go on safari in Kruger National Park and even bungee from from one of the world’s highest drops – the bridge over the Blaukrans River on the Western Cape (a mere 216 metres above sea level and a breathtaking view - if you can keep your eyes open!)

If volunteering with children or communities is more your thing, check out our communities section to find some great placements and programs that will really get you involved with the people of South Africa.