Africa is an amazing continent with wide and wild deserts, tropical rainforests, vast savannas, deep seas and impressive mountain ranges. The equator is running throug the center of the continent, providing some of the oldest rainforests on earth.
The Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world. It covers almost all of north Africa. It reaches from the Atlantic, north to the Meditterranean, and east to the Red Sea. It spreads actually over 9 million square kilometers. Most of the Sahara consists of sand dunes, stone plateaus, mountain ranges, dry lakes and salt flats. The Nile River is Africa's longest river. It spans a total of 11 countries, including Egypt. It is the main source of water in Egypt, providing for one of the most fertile regions on earth.
Big parts of west Africa are covered with dry savannas. The Sahel is a transition zone between the Sahara in the north and the savannas and rain forests in the south. Most of the year it is dry, only in the summer months of May to September some rain is falling. During winter hot dry winds blow from the north, bringing sand from the Sahara with them. Water is rare. There is only one big river, the Niger, which provides fertile land on its shores. And there is only one big lake, the lake Chad, which provides water and fish in abundance.
In the east and south of Africa the land is covered with vast savannas. The savanna ist the best place to go to safari, because there you find the most fascination wild life of Africa. Savannas are intermediate between a grassland and a forest. Typical for savannas is an open grassland with scattered trees. This grass provides food for the hundreds of species that live in the African savanna. Typical trees are the umbrella acacia and the baobab. Savannas have a long dry season, and are swept by wildfires. There is also a rainy season, during which tall grasses grow, providing food for zebras, wildebeest and antelopes.
Tropical rainforests can be found spread across central, and west Africa. The forests have developed along the equator where constantly rain is falling. Over millions of years the rain has created a rich green realm that is home to an abundance of animal and plant life. Most of the remaining forests are found in the Congo river basin. Some of the tallest trees are growing here like the Kapok tree. Half of the animal species in the world live here. The Congo is the second largest river of Africa. The Congo raises in the Highlands of Zambia and is running in a counterclockwise arc to the northwest, before draining into the Atlantic Ocean.
In southern Africa you will find almost all African landscapes: savannas, mountains, deserts, woods and costal areas. This is why you will find there a great variety of wildlife. The Kalahri Desert is a large sandy savanna. There is something special about this desert: The Swamps of the Okavango Delta. The Okavango River coming from Angola has no outlet to the sea. Instead, it empties into a swamp in the Kalahari Desert. During winter time, the flood of the Okavango turns the dry Kalahari into a huge wetland, providing for one of the richest animal paradises on the planet.