How Many African Countries Can You Name in 3 Minutes?

By: Erica Sklar
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Africa is home to giant animals, a huge range of ecosystems, and hundreds of languages. The people of Africa have shown the world a thing or two about resilience, equity, and freedom. From Nelson Mandela's fight for the end to apartheid rule in South Africa to the liberation of formerly colonized countries, Africa is a continent rich in the history of taking a stand for what we believe in. 

The majority of the African continent was split into countries by colonizers from European nations who went on to rule those nations. Today, many historically European languages are still spoken there along with languages indigenous to those who inhabited the land before it was colonized. Do you know what languages are spoken in Somalia? What about Swaziland?

How well do you know your African countries? Can you identify Malawi by its shape? Do you know where the Nile ends? How about where Lagos is located? To test your knowledge of Africa, can you try guessing which country is which? C'mon, it's easy! Take the test and travel away!

Rwanda is a land-locked country that is bordered by Burundi and Uganda, among others. There are more women in legislative power in Rwanda than anywhere else on the globe!

Madagascar is an island off the east coast of Africa's mainland. It is well-known for its diverse fauna, especially a wide variety of lemurs.

Egypt borders the Middle east, and is home to the Pyramids of Giza as well as the Sphinx. Egypt was also home to many famous rulers, including Cleopatra and King Tut.

Libya is on the North African coast, and has many Arabic speakers. It was formerly run by Arab nationalist Muammar Gaddafi, and home to the Bhengazi scandal.

Morocco is home to some of the best markets in the world. You can find a lot of middle-eastern influence here, especially in the food and architecture.

South Africa's largest city is called Johannesburg. But don't ask for the capital, because that has three answers: Cape Town, Pretoria, and Bloemfontein. Each is a different center of political operations -- legislative, executive, and judicial, respectively.

In Zimbabwe, you can go on safari and view one of the largest and most majestic waterfalls in the world: Victoria Falls. The falls are on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Mozambique is home to nearly 30 million people, half of whom speak the colonial language of Portuguese. Many others speak indigenous languages including Swahili, Makonde, and Nyanja.

Sierra Leone is indeed Spanish for "lioness mountains." It should have been "sierra leona," but the misspelled Leone stuck!

Mali is a Western African country that lies predominantly in the Sahara Desert. This is the largest desert in the world, which means that Mali has very little rainfall and is prone to drought.

Cote d'Ivoire is a major producer of both coffee and cocoa, and tourism to the country is growing rapidly. Formerly under French rule, cocoa farmers demanded an end to colonial rule in 1960. Upon liberation that year, Cote d'Ivoire was the most prosperous country in Africa.

Ghana is home to some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, from the beautiful beaches on the Atlantic coast to rainforests at higher elevations. Because of its proximity to both the Prime Meridian and the Equator, it is geographically closer to the "center" of the earth than any other country.

Inside the country of Senegal, you can find the Gambia. Both countries are named after rivers, and due to their stability and location, are home to burgeoning tourist industries.

Nigeria is known for its growing literature and film industry, and is one of the most prosperous countries in Africa today. The famous book "Things Fall Apart" was written by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, and MacArthur "Genius" Chimamanda Adichie is also Nigerian.

Cameroon is home to savanna plains, rain forests, and desert-like conditions. The Waza National Park, in the northern region of Cameroon, is home to elephants, giraffes, and over 350 species of birds!

This island nation is part of a larger archipelago known today as "Macronesia." Formerly, these islands were known as, "Islands of the Blessed" or the "Fortunate Isles"

Burkina Faso is about the same size as the United Kingdom, but there are about 45 million fewer people in Burkina Faso! Recent population estimates of Burkina Faso are about 20 million, while the UK is home to 66 million people.

Although Angola has one of the fastest growing economies in the world due to its petroleum reserves, it also has among the lowest life expectancy and highest infant mortality rates. This is due to the history of colonial rule followed by a prolonged civil war and one of the largest droughts in recent history.

In 2005, an ancient cemetery was found in Niger containing bodies that were 5,000 years old. Archaeological remains like these and of animals not typically found in desert suggests that there was a time when Niger wasn't predominantly covered by desert.

A now-classic 1966 film immortalized Algeria in world cinema history. "The Battle of Algiers" was directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, with music by Ennio Morricone.

Did you know that one leg of the UN-led World Summit on the Information Society or WSIS took place in Tunisia back in 2005? They made very important internet-related global rules there.

Every year, a major weather system called an intertropical front is responsible for a rainy season in Chad that moves from south to north. The rainy season is great for all the animals and birds that find their home in the southern part of the country.

Namibia is the driest country in Sub-Saharan Africa even though it has one of the longest coastlines on the continent. Maybe the scarcity of water is the reason they are one of just a few countries who address the need for ecological conservation in their constitution.

Lake Victoria is the world's largest tropical lake. The capital of Uganda, Kampala, is located on the lake, and most of the country's cultural and political hubs are along its beaches.

The horn of Africa is a peninsula on the eastern side of the continent that reaches into the Arabian Sea. Somalia has the longest coastline in all of Africa, even though it isn't the largest country by area.

Seychelles has a large Creole population that speak Seychellois Creole. The incredible beaches make these islands a tourist destination, which has made Seychelles among the most prosperous countries in Africa.

Although Sudan's history includes ancient pharaohs, it was more recently the site of a brutal civil war. There are many parts of the country that continue to be hotbeds of instability, and many aid organizations are working to keep civilians safe.

Kenya has been populated with humans and our genetically related pre-ancestors for millions of years. Some of the historic "missing link" homonids have been discovered here.

Djibouti is one of the ten smallest nations in Africa. Besides the island nations, only the Gambia and Swaziland are smaller.

Mauritius was colonized at different times by the Dutch, French, and British. Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has established itself as among the most stable countries in Africa on the metrics of economy and democracy.

Mount Kilimanjaro has contributed to Tanzania's tourism industry. It is also home to more than a dozen national parks and a variety of wildlife refuge areas including Gombe Stream National Park, where Jane Goodall famously studied chimpanzees.

Lesotho was under British rule for nearly a hundred years before gaining independence in 1966. Because of its location within the border of South Africa, Lesotho was a haven for South African refugees during apartheid.

Lake Malawi is home to diverse wildlife, from hippos to monkeys to birds of prey. The country's nickname is "the warm heart of Africa."

Zambia is one of the best places in the world to see giraffes, but it is also home to thousands of varieties of flowering plants. Zambia also places a very high value on education for all, and educates pupils in English.

Liberia was a settlement created by white abolitionists who believed that free blacks in the U.S. would be safer and more successful living in Africa. Thousands migrated there before and during the American Civil War, during which the U.S. recognized the country's independence.

Benin was one of the countries decimated by the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Hundreds of thousands of people were enslaved under Portuguese rule and sent on slave ships to the U.S., the Caribbean, or the United Kingdom.

The Gambia is one of only two countries that officially includes the word "the" - the other is the Bahamas. Can you think of any others that use "the" informally?

Togo's motto is "Travail, liberte, patrie," which translates from French to "Work, liberty, homeland." French isn't the only language spoken in Togo - you can also hear Ewe, Kabiye, and about 30 other dialects!

Did you know that there are two Congo nations in Africa? One is the Republic of Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville. The other one is called Democratic Republic of the Congo, or Congo-Kinshasa.

Sao Tome and Principe is the second smallest nation in Africa. The only country smaller is Seychelles.

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