The Sahara, the largest desert of the world, divides the continent into North Africa mainly inhabited by Arabs and the sub-Saharan Africa (Black Africa). The continent consists of 54 countries. About 2/3 (68%) of its surface lies north the equator, only (32%) south the equator. The northern part includes the Sahara. It has a surface of 9 million km². In their one could accommodate the mainland of the USA or Australia.
Africa is surrounded in the north by the Mediterranean Sea, in the west by the Atlantic Ocean, in the east by the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. In the south, at the Cape of Good Hope, the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean meet each other. Africa largest west east expansion between W 025° 21' 38'' (Cape Verdian Islands) and E 051° 24' 54'' in Somalia amounts to 8,280 km, its largest north south expansion from N 37° 20' 53'' (Tunisia) and S 34° 50' 01'' (South Africa) amounts to 8,052 km. The coastal length of 30.490 km, is relatively small compared to the large surface. About 30% of the countries of Africa do not have an access to the sea.