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308. Situation and Limits.-Africa lies between 37° 20′ N. and 34° 50′ S. lat., and 51° 30′ E. and 17° 33′ W. long. Its greatest length, from north to south, is about 4988 miles; its greatest breadth, from east to west, about 4618 miles. Area, estimated at nearly 12 millions of square English miles. It is bounded on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, the Straits of Gibraltar, and the Mediterranean Sea; on the east, by the Isthmus of Suez, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean; on the south, by the Antarctic Ocean.
309. General Description.-Africa is a vast peninsula, joined to Asia by the Isthmus of Suez. Unlike the other great continents, Africa presents a solid mass of land with a very regular coast, unbroken by large peninsulas, islands, bays, or gulphs; except only on the south-western side, where the Gulph of Guinea makes a deep and wide indentation. Throughout Africa, the countries immediately on the coast are, for the most part, low plains, above which the land rises by successive terraces, forming at their
highest level a series of immense table-lands, which seem to occupy the greater part of the unexplored interior.
310. Mountains.-In the north-western portion of Africa, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara, are the Atlas Mountains, which consist of several chains or ranges. The Mountains of Abys
sinia form a chain remarkable for its elevation and extent, whose prolongation towards the south-west joins the celebrated Mountains of the Moon. The Mountains of Kong, which are but little known, separate the low country of Guinea from the basin of the Kawara. In Southern Africa the Mountains of Lupata have long been celebrated.
311. Deserts.-These are eminently characteristic of Africa. The Great Desert, or Sahara, is more than 3000 miles long, and 1000 miles broad. This vast tract is sprinkled here and there with fertile spots, called oases, of various extent, and mostly habitable. By means of camels, which have been appropriately called "the ships of the desert," regular tracts for commerce have been established across the
sandy wastes of the Sahara. The Desert of Angad occupies the western part of the territory of Algiers. Among other deserts we may mention the elevated districts called Karoo, south of the river Gareep, lying between the mountain ranges which constitute the Cape territory.
312. Rivers and Lakes.-The chief rivers are the Nile, in Egypt; the Senegal, the Gambia, the Niger or Quorra, and the Zaire, in Western Africa; the Zambizi, in Eastern Africa; and the Gareep, in Southern Africa. The largest lake yet discovered is
the Tchad, in Central Africa. Lake Maravi is said to exist in the interior, north-west of Mozambique. 313. Islands.-The islands of Madagascar, Comoro, Bourbon, Zanzibar, Mozambique, and others, lie off the south-east coast. Socotra lies east of Cape Guardafui. The Madeira, Canary, and Cape Verd Isles lie off the north-west coast. In the Gulph of Guinea are found Fernando Po, St. Thomas, and other islands. St. Helena, Ascension, and Tristan
da Cunha lie in the Atlantic Ocean.
314. Capes.-These are numerous: the principal are Cape Verde, the most westerly point of the continent; the Cape of Good Hope, its south-western point; and Cape Guardafui, its most easterly point.
315. Divisions.-We know too little of Africa to be able to distribute it into any exact geographical or political divisions. That we here adopt is the most convenient for the young geographer.
316. Situation and Boundaries.—Northern Africa comprehends Barbary; a long narrow tract forming the southern coast of the Mediterranean, west of Egypt. It lies between 28° and 36° N. lat., and 11° 30′ W. and 27° 12′ E. long.; extending about 2000 miles in length, and varying in breadth from a few miles to more than 400.
317. General Description.-The Atlas Mountains form the nucleus of Barbary. The rivers and lakes are few and unimportant. The ancient Syrtis Major and Syrtis Minor, now the Gulphs of Sidra and Khabz, are of great celebrity. The only large island is that of Jerbah, south-east of the latter gulph. Of that portion of Barbary which lies north of the Atlas Mountains, the soil is generally fertile; but to the south, there are only barren rocks and arid plains. The soil of Tunis, which comprises the greater part of the ancient Roman province of Africa Proper, is exceedingly fertile, and was once considered the granary of the world. The climate of Barbary is, on the whole, temperate.
318. Political Divisions.-Barbary is divided into four large independent states: Morocco, Algiers or Algeria, Tunis, and Tripoli (including Barca).
319. Morocco. The kingdom of Morocco occupies the north-west corner of Africa. The government is one of the most despotic in the world. The only important manufacture is that of Morocco leather: in return for this and a few other exports, the country imports the usual articles of European produce; the trade being chiefly carried on at the port of Mogadore. The more important towns are Morocco, Fez, Mekinez, Mogadore, and Faradant.
320. Algiers or Algeria.-Algiers extends along the Mediterranean Sea, eastward from Morocco. Until 1830, this country was governed by independent princes, called Deys; and the Algerines were notorious pirates. But since 1830, the French have taken the city of Algiers, and still maintain a doubtful hold upon a limited circumjacent portion of country, which they designate Algeria: they possess the coast from Bona to Oran. About a mile from Bona are the ruins of Hippo, the ancient bishopric of St. Augustine.
321. Tunis.-Tunis also extends along the coast of the Mediterranean, east of Algiers. It was once a province of the Ottoman Empire, but is now under the despotic rule of an
independent Bey. The city of Tunis is the capital. Carthage, the competitor with Rome for the empire of the ancient world, was situated not far from where Tunis now stands. Kernan is a town in great esteem among the Moslems; it contains a magnificent mosque.
322. Tripoli.-Tripoli is a narrow territory which extends along the coast, from the frontier of Tunis to the frontier of Egypt. It is now a province of the Ottoman Empire. Tripoli is the capital. Barca is a dependent province or beylik.
323. Situation and Boundaries.-North-Eastern Africa comprises the countries bordering on the Red Sea. It is bounded on the north by the Mediterranean Sea; west, by Central Africa; south, by the kingdom of Aden; and east, by the Red Sea. embraces Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia.
324. General Description.-This ancient and celebrated kingdom occupies the north-east corner of Africa; of which about one-tenth only is capable of cultivation, the remainder being salt marshes, sandy plains, or rocky mountains. The habitable land along the valley of the Nile is about 500 miles long, with an average breadth of 8 or 10 miles. Population, 2,000,000. The valley of the Nile is bounded on both sides by ranges of mountains, which follow the course of the river from the cataracts to near Cairo, where they diverge; the