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What is the Largest Country in Africa? Comprehensive List by Land Area

Africa also called the Mother Continent, is the second largest continent. The shores of this large continent are washed by the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. According to Brittanica.com, Africa’s total land surface is approximately 11,724,000 square miles or 30.3 kilometers square.

Another great read: Popular African Clothing Brands

On the continent of Africa, there are 54 countries and notable geographical features. The world’s largest hot desert, the Sahara, and the world’s longest river, the Nile, can be found on the continent of Africa.

Top 10 Largest African Countries

Now, let us examine the 10 biggest nations in Africa by land area.

#10 – Ethiopia (1,127,127 km2)

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a country that is located in the easternmost part of Africa known as the Horn of Africa. Covering 435,186 square miles, Ethiopia is the 27th largest country in the world and the 10th largest on the African continent

In Ethiopia, if you travel too far to the north, you might step over into Eritrea, too far to the east, Djibouti and Somalia; too far to the west, Sudan and South Sudan and too far to the south, you might cross the border into Kenya. Its largest and most populated city is its capital, Addis Abba.

#9 – South Africa (1,219,912 km2)

South-Africa

Take out a map of Africa and trail your finger to the tip of the continent, right there is South Africa. Yes, the country of South Africa is the southernmost country of Africa. It takes up 471,011 square miles ranking it as the 25th largest country in the world and the 9th largest in Africa.

As it is located at the tip, the coastline is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. The land surface is covered in plateaus, plains, mountains and beaches.

#8 – Mali (1,240,000 km2 )

Mali

I do not know about you but I think I could use some gold right now. Mali is a landlocked country located in West Africa. Occupying 478,767 square miles. Mali is the 24th largest country in the world and the 8th largest country in Africa.

Mali, unfortunately, suffers from a dry and hot climate as most of the country lies in the southern Saharan desert. I mentioned gold earlier right? Well, Mali is a country in which large deposits of gold, phosphates, uranium, salt, limestone and kaoline can be found.

#7 – Angola (1,246,700km2)

Angola

Located in Southern Africa, Angola is the 7th largest country on the African continent. It covers 481,354 square miles making it the 23rd largest country in the world. Angola shares borders with Namibia to the south, Zambia to the east, South Atlantic Ocean to the east and the DR of Congo to the north-east.

According to Cia.gov, Angola is rich in diamonds, phosphates, gold, iron ore, bauxite, uranium, feldspar and petroleum reserves.

#6 – Niger (1,267,000 km2)

Niger

Did you know Niger is named after the Niger River? If you did not well now you know. Niger is another landlocked country located in Western Africa. It occupies 489,191 square miles and is the largest country in West Africa and the 22nd largest country in the world.

Despite being named after the Niger river, Niger experiences very a very hot and dry climate as most of its land area is covered by the Sahara desert. The southern parts are covered in savannah land which is home to a variety of wildlife.

#5 – Chad (1,284,000 km2)

Chad

Hey there, here is another landlocked country. Located in Central Africa, Chad shares borders with Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south and Libya to the north, Niger to the west and Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest. Chad covers 495,755 square miles making it the 5th largest country in Africa and the 21st largest country in the world.

Chad got its name from Lake Chad, the second largest wetland in Africa. Chad, however, suffers from a hot and dry climate.

#4 – Libya (1,759,540 km2)

Lybia

Located in North Africa, Libya is fortunate to have its northern borders washed by the Mediterranean Sea. The country of Libya has an area of 469,432 square miles making it the 4th largest country in Africa and the 16th largest in the world.

Most of Libya’s land area is covered in the Libyan Desert which contributes to Libya’s dry and hot climate. Libya may have it harder than the rest as it is said to be one of the driest places on the earth.

#3 – Sudan (1,861,484 km2)

Sudan

Today Sudan sits occupies the position of the third largest country in Africa. Before 2011, it was the largest country but South Sudan independence has reduced its size. The country of Sudan is located in Northern Africa and occupies 718,723 square miles of the total land area on the African continent. It is also the 16th largest country in the world.

The land area of Sudan is characterized by plains and mountain ranges. The Rive Nile is formed in its capital Khartoum where the Blue and River Nile meet. Several mineral resources such as gold, iron, petroleum and silver can be found in Sudan, (www.cia.gov).

#2 – Democratic Republic of Congo (2,345,410 km2)

Democratic-Republic-of-Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo occupies 905,568 square mile making it the 2nd largest county in Africa and the 11th largest in the world. The DRC has more thunderstorms than any other country in the world as a result of its location near the equator.

Another interesting fact about the DRC is that the second largest rainforest in the world. The rainforest is surrounded by plateaus, savannahs in the south, mountains and grasslands in the north.

#1 – Algeria (2,381,740 km2)

Algeria
Occupying 919, 595 square miles in North Africa, the country of Algeria is the largest in African and the tenth largest in the world. The landscape of Algeria consists of the Tell Atlas and the Sahara desert in the south, and even more mountains in the north with vast plains in between. Algeria experiences a hot climate all year round.

Comprehensive Ranking of African Countries by Land Area

RankCountryArea (sq mi)Area (sq km)
1.Algeria919,5952,381,740
2.Democratic Republic of the Congo905,5682,345,410
3.Sudan718,7231,861,484
4.Libya679,3621,759,540
5.Chad495,7551,284,000
6.Niger489,1911,267,000
7.Angola481,3541,246,700
8.Mali478,7671,240,000
9.South Africa471,0111,219,912
10.Ethiopia435,1861,127,127
11.Mauritania397,9551,030,700
12.Egypt386,6621,001,450
13.Tanzania364,900945,087
14.Nigeria356,669923,768
15.Namibia318,696825,418
16.Mozambique309,496801,590
17.Zambia290,586752,614
18.South Sudan248,777644,329
19.Somalia246,201637,657
20.Central African Republic240,535622,984
21.Botswana231,804600,370
22.Madagascar226,657587,040
23.Kenya224,962582,650
24.Cameroon183,568475,440
25.Morocco172,414446,550
26.Zimbabwe150,804390,580
27.Republic of Congo132,047342,000
28.Ivory Coast124,503322,460
29.Burkina Faso105,869274,200
30.Gabon103,347267,667
31.Western Sahara102,703266,000
32.Guinea94,926245,857
33.Ghana92,456239,460
34.Uganda91,136236,040
35.Senegal75,749196,190
36.Tunisia63,170163,610
37.Eritrea46,842121,320
38.Malawi45,745118,480
39.Benin43,483112,620
40.Liberia43,000111,370
41.Sierra Leone27,69971,740
42.Togo21,92556,785
43.Guinea-Bissau13,94636,120
44.Lesotho11,72030,355
45.Equatorial Guinea10,83128,051
46.Burundi10,74527,830
47.Rwanda10,16926,338
48.Djibouti8,88023,000
49.Swaziland6,70417,363
50.Gambia4,36311,300
51.Cape Verde1,5574,033
52.Reunion9722,517
53.Comoros8382,170
54.Mauritius7882,040
55.São Tomé and Príncipe3861,001
56.Seychelles176455
57.Saint Helena158410
58.Mayotte144374

Conclusion

These are the largest countries on the continent of Africa, ranked by land mass area. We hope you’ve learned a lot from this list and please do share your comments with us below; should you have any further questions on any of the above.

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Written by Toni-Ann

Toni-Ann is currently a university student who dabbles in Economics during
the day and unleashes her creative writing skills during the night. Her
dream is to see the seven wonders of the world. But due to the
unavailability of several resources, she travels through the pages of the
books she consumes on a daily basis.

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