As many as 54 countries belong to Africa, the extension is very varied and there are several small territories and some islands; the average altitude of the Continent is around 750 meters, with many very high areas, even if we do not find extensive mountain ranges. The coasts are quite regular and with few islands, except in the southeastern part of Africa.
The characterization of the water basins is strongly linked to the climatic zones, so that especially near the equator there are major rivers and lakes. The climate is very varied; we pass from a Mediterranean-type climate in the northern coastal areas, to the huge desert area of the Sahara, then crossing the central equatorial part, to finally arrive at a temperate climate in the South.
Most populous city: Cairo (9,513,000 inhab., 19,787,000 urban aggl.) Highest mountain: Kilimanjaro 5,895 m (19,341 ft) Lowest point: Lake Assal -155 m (-509 ft) Longest river: Nile 6,850 km (4,256 mi) Largest lake: Victoria 68,800 km² (26,564 sq mi) Largest island: Madagascar 586,500 km² (226,449 sq mi)