Physical and geographical location of Africa

Africa is the continent of heat, impenetrable thickets of equatorial forests, huge savannas and endless deserts. The uniqueness of nature is determined by the peculiarities of the location of Africa on our planet, that is, its physical and geographical position.

Physico-geographical position – the location of the territory with respect to a variety of natural objects: the equator, the zero meridian, the tropics and polar circles, the seas and oceans, and other continents.

Concerning the equator, Africa is located both in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres of our planet. Since the equator divides Africa approximately in half, the natural conditions of the continent are mirrored to the north and south of it.

Zero meridian crosses Africa in the western part, so most of the continent is located in the Eastern Hemisphere, the smaller – in the Western.

Thus, Africa is the only continent that is simultaneously located in all four hemispheres of the

Earth: the North. South, East and West.

Since most of the continent lies between the North and South Tropics, most of Africa is in a hot heat belt. This determines the hot climate of the whole continent.

Africa is washed by the waters of two oceans: in the west – the Atlantic, in the east – Indian. In the north, the continent has access to the Mediterranean Sea, which is connected by the Strait of Gibraltar with the Atlantic Ocean. In the northeast the continent emerges to the Red Sea, connected by the Bab el Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Aden with the Indian Ocean. The formation of the nature of Africa is significantly influenced by the ocean currents near its shores. Thus, the existence of the severe coastal Namib Desert on the southwestern coast of the continent is caused by the cold Benguela Current. Due to the influence of the cold Canary Current, the arid areas of the Sahara Desert approach the oceanic coastline in northwest Africa. However, the warm currents of Guinea and Mozambique contribute to the formation of wet weather, respectively, on the west and south-east coasts of Africa.


is connected with Eurasia by the Suez Isthmus. In the middle of the XIX century. Through this isthmus the life of the Suez Canal has been dug, thanks to which the sea route from Europe to the Southern and Eastern parts of Eurasia has significantly decreased.

Africa’s proximity to Eurasia has a significant impact on the formation of the nature of the continent. In particular, dry air masses enter the territory of Eurasia to the north of Africa. Therefore, the northern, wide part of the continent is more arid than the southern one.

The extreme points of Africa are the capes: in the north – Ras-Engela, in the south – Agulyas, in the west Almadi, in the east – Ras-Khafun.

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Physical and geographical location of Africa