Africa is the world’s second largest and second-most populous continent. Including adjacent islands the total land mass is approximately 30.2 million km², which represents 6% of the Earth’s surface, and 20.4% of the planet’s total land mass.
A commonly asked question is, “How many countries are there on the African continent?” You’d think it would be an easy enough questions to answer, but unfortunately it is not. Africa is comprised of the mainland, and a number of islands that for all intents and purposes are considered to be African countries. Then the are the overseas possessions and protectorates of other nations. So the answer requires a qualified, rather long answer.
On the continent of Africa there are 47 sovereign countries. Then there is the disputed territory of Western Sahara. There are 6 islands off the coast of Africa that are generally listed as African nations, which brings the total to 54.
The island nations off the coast of Africa, but that are deemed to be African countries are: Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Madagascar, the Comoros, the Seychelles, and Mauritius. Each is an independent nation.
At one time all of the African continent was a possession of one European power or another. Most have become independent, self governing nations, but not all. There are still possessions and protectorates that some people will include as countries, especially the tourist industry. However it would be more politically correct to refer to them as, “African destinations” but in actuality they are European, and indeed part of the European Union and Eurozone. These are…
Mayotte is an overseas department and region of France. Mayotte consists of the main island, Grande-Terre and the smaller island, Petite-Terre, and several islets surrounding the two.
Réunion is also an overseas departments of France, and has the distinction of being the outermost region of the European Union and is part of the Eurozone.
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha is a British Overseas Territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean that consists of the island of Saint Helena, Ascension Island and the Tristan da Cunha island group.
Madeira is an archipelago located almost 400 kilometres north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean. The archipelago is Portuguese, so it is part of the European Union. The archipelago includes the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo, and the Desertas, and is administered together with the separate archipelago of the Savage Islands. Madeira is the second riches region of Portugal, following Lisbon, the capital city.
Melilla is a Spanish city of 12.3 square kilometres, and is an exclave located on the north coast of Africa that shares a border with Morocco. Melilla is one of two permanently inhabited Spanish cities on the African mainland. The other is Ceuta…
Ceuta is an 18.5-square-kilometre autonomous city of Spain and an exclave located on the north coast of Africa. It shares a western border with Morocco.
The Canary Islands, also referred to as the Canaries, are a Spanish archipelago. The archipelago is located just off the northwest coast of the Africa mainland, and is 100 kilometres west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara.
So for the purpose of Vagabond Travel’s world trek, there are 61 countries that make up Africa. They are…
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
São Tomé and Príncipe
Africa is going to be a challenge when it comes to collecting the necessary entry permissions and visas. The hoops that need to be jumped through are partially highlighted in the Vagabond Traveler Blog post “Visa Requirements For Canadian Citizens“.
If you have visited Africa, please share your experience with other travelers by adding a review in the comment section below. Thank you!
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