Do You Know? The 7 Natural Wonders Of Africa

The Seven Natural Wonders of Africa were officially declared in Arusha, Tanzania. They were determined by insights and knowledge from experts around the world, with a key focus on conservationists such as members of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Victoria Falls, known as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, served as ambassador to these deservedly-named natural wonders.

7. The Red Sea

The Red Sea is a fantastically rich and diverse ecosystem, home to more than 1,200 species of fish, 10% of which are found nowhere else. The rich diversity is in part due to the 2,000 km (1,240 miles) of coral reef extending along its coastline, which are 5,000 – 7,000 years old and considered one of the diving spots in the world. The sea is known for its spectacular recreational diving sites, such as Ras Mohammed, SS Thistlegorm (shipwreck), Elphinstone Reef and Daedalus Reef in Egypt. It became a sought-after diving destination after the expeditions of Hans Hass in the 1950s, and later by Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

6. The Okakango Delta

This is located in Botswana is a very large inland delta formed where the Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the central part of the Kalahari Basin. All the water that reaches the Delta ultimately evaporates and does not flow into any sea or ocean. The source of the Okavango River is in the Angolan highlands and takes one month to travel the 1,200 km (745 miles) to the delta. The waters then spread over the 250 km by 150 km area (155 miles by 93 miles) of the delta over the next four months (March–June). The flood peaks between June and August, during Botswana’s dry winter months, when the delta swells to three times its permanent size, attracting animals from kilometers around and creating one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of wildlife.

5. Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater, in Tanzania, is the world’s largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera. The crater, which formed when a large volcano exploded and collapsed on itself two to three million years ago, is 610 metres (2,000 feet) deep and its floor covers 260 square kilometers (100 square miles). The name of the crater has an onomatopoeic origin; it was named by the Maasai pastoralists after the sound produced by the cowbell (ngorongoro). The area is part of the Serengeti ecosystem and, to the northwest, adjoins the Serengeti National Park.

4. Mount Kllimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, reaching 5,895 m (19,340 feet). It’s the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. Kilimanjaro is a large stratovolcano and is composed of three distinct volcanic cones: Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. Mawenzi and Shira are extinct, while Kibo is dormant and could erupt again. The mountain is part of the Kilimanjaro National Park and is a major climbing destination. The mountain has been the subject of many scientific studies because of its shrinking glaciers and disappearing ice fields. There are seven official trekking routes by which to ascend and descend Mount Kilimanjaro. The route can be done in six or seven days.

3. Sahara Desert

The Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world, and the third largest desert after Antarctica and the Arctic. Its area of 9,200,000 square kilometres (3,600,000 sq. mi) is comparable to the area of China or the United States. It covers 11 countries, stretching from the Red Sea in the east and the Mediterranean in the north to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, where the landscape gradually changes from desert to coastal plains. The arid desert is not completely lifeless. Several species of fox, dama gazelle, Saharan cheetah, monitor lizard, sand vipers, red-necked ostrich, dromedary camels, and goats call the Sahara Desert their home.

2. River Nile

The Nile is the longest river in the world stretching 6,650 km (4,132 miles).The Nile is an “international” river as its drainage basin covers eleven countries – Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt. The Nile has two major tributaries, the White Nile and Blue Nile. The White Nile is considered to be the headwaters and primary stream of the Nile itself. The Blue Nile, however, is the source of most of the water and silt. Formerly Lake Tanganyika drained northwards along the African Rift Valley into the White Nile, making the Nile about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) longer, until it was blocked in Miocene times by the bulk of the Virunga Volcanoes.

1. Serengeti Migration

The Serengeti Migration is the longest and largest overland migration in the world. The migration crosses Tanzania and Kenya, and spans 30,000 sq. km (18,650 sq. miles). Each year around the same time, the circular migration begins in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area of the southern Serengeti in Tanzania and loops in a clockwise direction through the Serengeti National Park and north towards the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya. This migration is a natural phenomenon determined by the availability of grazing, and includes 1.7 million wildebeest, 260,000 zebra and 470,000 gazelles. About 250,000 wildebeest die during the journey from Tanzania to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in southwestern Kenya, a total of 800 kilometres (500 miles). Death is usually from thirst, hunger, exhaustion, or predation.

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