It's fair to say that Africa is probably bigger than you think it is, even if you know it covers approximately 30,221,000 sq km (11, 679, 000 sq miles). Did you know that if you combined the USA, China, India, Europe and Japan - that they all fit into the continent of Africa? (Click on the map below to see a larger size). The US can fit comfortably into Africa no less than three times. The UK can fit into Africa over 120 times. Even those of us who were educated in Africa may be surprised at these statistics. That's because the geography books at school tend to originate from Europe or the US, and show a proportionally skewed perspective of the world.
Why Should Size Matter?
The fact that Africa is much bigger than most people realize just goes to show how little people know about the continent. This is not just a giant slab of land that's filled with poverty, disease and war. There are 54 nations in Africa, with cities, towns and villages. This is not a piece of land that can be generalized. A simple reality check by looking at this type of map, will hopefully lead at least some to find out a little more about the continent.
And if you happen to be planning a trip to Africa, best to check out a map. Make sure you understand that combining a trip to Egypt with a safari in Kenya means you'll be covering more than two thousand miles. You probably wouldn't think of combining a visit to San Francisco with a quick side-trip to New Orleans, nor a trip to Paris with a weekend in Tel Aviv.