Fascinating facts about West Africa….

Is Africa a country? No, it is a continent with rich diverse cultures, beautiful scenes and amazing languages from the West, East, North and South.

This piece will be on West Africa and the amazing facts about the sub-region.

Image ref: The Guardian

West Africa is a large region, covering over 5,000,000km2 of land. As of 2018 an estimated 381 million people live in this area, composed of 18 countries – Cape Verde, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, Benin, Mauritania, Liberia, Niger, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, and Saint Helena.

Its history:

Image ref: The Guardian

The history of West Africa can be divided into five major periods: first, its prehistory, in which the first human settlers arrived, developed agriculture, and made contact with peoples to the north; the second, the Iron Age empires that consolidated both intra-Africa, and extra-Africa trade, and developed centralized states; third, major polities flourished, which would undergo an extensive history of contact with non-Africans; fourth, the colonial period, in which Great Britain and France controlled nearly the entire region; and fifth, the post-independence era, in which the current nations were formed.

The border:

Image ref: Afrik21

The region may be divided into several broad physiographic regions. The northern portion of western Africa is composed of broadband of semiarid terrain, called western Sudan, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean on the west to the area of Lake Chad on the east, a distance of about 2,500 miles (4,000 km). It is largely a plateau of modest elevation and borders the Sahara (desert) on the north and the Guinea Coast forests on the south. Rainfall in this region ranges from less than 10 inches (250 mm) in its arid northern reaches to about 50 inches (1,250 mm) in the south. The flora of western Sudan consists of the scrub vegetation of the transitional zone known as the Sahel in the north and a mix of tall trees and high savanna grasslands in the south. Lying south of western Sudan are the Guinea Coast equatorial forests, which flourish along the Atlantic coast and extend inland for about 100 to 150 miles (160 to 240 km).

The people are amazing:

Image: One Campaign

For a lot of people who have never been to West Africa, names of countries like Sierra Leone, Liberia or Nigeria can wrongly associate the region with danger and political instability. As in every other part of the world, this region experiences a share of their problems too, but most visitors are pleasantly surprised by how relaxed the atmosphere is when they visit. West Africa is, in reality, a very safe place for travellers as the people are very welcoming. Talk to the local people in all parts of the region and you will immediately realize how exceptionally warm, open and friendly they are.

Nature so amazing:

Image ref: The Fisayo

The region is blessed with natural beauty and diversity. Within a short distance of one another, you can find breathtaking coastline, epic waterways, wild jungles, dessert, endless savannahs and towering mountains. Apart from the beauty, these vastly different provide the right conditions for an incredible variety of animal and plant life. From exotic birds and mammals such as giraffes, zebra, lions, rhinos, and others can be found in reserves from Ghana to Nigeria to Ouagadougou.

Fascinating history and culture:

Image ref: Atlantic RideIma

With its deep culture and history either pre-colonial, during or post-colonial, any visit to West Africa should show stark proof of its past to learn about. The beautiful thing is that the people are willing to share.

Here’s more;

West Africa is actually more culturally diverse than the whole of Asia. Nigeria alone has more than 500+ languages.

Image ref: The Facts Institute

Nigeria has the highest number of twins born in the world.

Liberia is Africa’s first independent nation founded by freed US slaves when they began to settle around 1820, the nation gained independence in 1847.

Any tourist who makes a trip to this amazing part of the world is likely to be fascinated with its richness and will want to return again. Do you have any question or comment? Do share with us in the comment section.

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