Africa is the 2nd largest continent, it is 11,700,000 square miles. Scientists believe that life began in Africa. Africa is very a diverse continent. It is divided into 55 countries which have their own language and their own culture. It contains many interesting things. Even though many things changed when the Europeans came, the culture lives on.
Although Africa does not have many rivers it has the Congo, Niger, and Zambezi. It also has the longest river in the world, The Nile. The Nile stretches over 6,695 kilometers. The interesting thing about it is that it flows north. This river helped the rise of the Egyptian civilization because the people learned to control the flooding. The fertile soil by The Nile River helped great civilization rise. Deserts take up forty percent of Africa. One third of Africa is the Sahara Desert which contains mostly rock and gravel; this does not leave a lot of farm land. Many geographic features prevented contact, trade and unity among African people. Africa has mountains as well such as Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro. Africa has only a few natural harbors, for that reason it's hard to land ships around Africa. It does have natural resources such as: gold, diamonds, copper, cobalt, peanuts, cocoa, coffee, and cotton. .
Africa had many kingdoms that began to develop around 5th century B.C. Kingdoms such as the Ghana, which was first referred to by an Arab scholar in 8th century. Two centuries after Ghana the kingdom of Kanem rose. Mali was another kingdom which was known to the Arab world for its wealth and learning. It fell into decline and became the target of Tuareg raids. Songhay took over the territory. Back then somewhere between 13th and 16th century Timbuktu was the center of learning. Each kingdom had its own king, language and beliefs.
Central African kingdoms had sophisticated metal working techniques. In 13th century a great empire known as Zimbabwe emerged.