A World of Words: Africa - High School

Review this list of words related to Africa and explore the diverse countries of the world's second-largest continent. You'll learn about the climate, biomes, natural resources, and geographical features of Africa. This list also covers African wildlife, including the gazelle, the lemur, the wildebeest, and more.
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  1. Addis Ababa
    the capital of Ethiopia and the country's largest city
  2. African elephant
    an elephant native to Africa having enormous flapping ears and ivory tusks
  3. Afrikaans
    an official language of the Republic of South Africa
  4. agrarian
    relating to rural matters
  5. agriculture
    the practice of cultivating the land or raising stock
  6. Alexandria
    the chief port of Egypt
  7. Algeria
    a republic in northwestern Africa on the Mediterranean Sea with a population that is predominantly Sunni Muslim; colonized by France in the 19th century but gained autonomy in the early 1960s
  8. Amharic
    the dominant and official language of Ethiopia
  9. Angola
    a republic in southwestern Africa on the Atlantic Ocean
  10. animism
    the doctrine that all natural objects have souls
  11. apartheid
    a social policy of racial segregation
  12. aquifer
    underground layer of rock or sand that yields groundwater
  13. arable
    capable of being farmed productively
  14. arid
    lacking sufficient water or rainfall
  15. Aswan High Dam
    one of the world's largest dams on the Nile River in southern Egypt
  16. Atlantic Ocean
    the 2nd largest ocean
  17. Atlas Mountains
    a mountain range in northern Africa between the Mediterranean and the Sahara Desert; extends from southwestern Morocco to northern Tunisia
  18. authoritarian
    characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule
  19. Bantu
    of or relating to the African people who speak one of the Bantoid languages or to their culture
  20. basin
    the geographical area drained by a river and its tributaries
  21. Benin
    a country on western coast of Africa
  22. Berber
    a member of an indigenous people of northern Africa
  23. biodiversity
    the variety of plant and animal life in a habitat
  24. Blue Nile
    a headstream of the Nile
  25. Boer
    a white native of Cape Province who is a descendant of Dutch settlers and who speaks Afrikaans
  26. Botswana
    a landlocked republic in south-central Africa that became independent from British control in the 1960s
  27. Burkina Faso
    a desperately poor landlocked country in western Africa
  28. Burundi
    a landlocked republic in east central Africa on the northeastern shore of Lake Tanganyika
  29. business district
    the central area or commercial center of a town or city
  30. Cairo
    the capital of Egypt and the largest city in Africa
  31. camel
    cud-chewing mammal used as a saddle animal in desert regions
  32. Cameroon
    a republic on the western coast of central Africa
  33. canal
    long and narrow strip of water for boats or for irrigation
  34. Cape of Good Hope
    a point of land in southwestern South Africa
  35. Cape Town
    port city in southwestern South Africa
  36. Cape Verde
    an island country in the Atlantic off the coast of Senegal
  37. caravan
    a procession traveling together in single file
  38. Casablanca
    a port on the Atlantic and the largest city of Morocco
  39. cash crop
    a cultivated plant that is grown to be sold for profit
  40. cataract
    disease that involves the clouding of the lens of the eye
  41. Central African Republic
    a landlocked country in central Africa
  42. Chad
    a landlocked desert republic in north-central Africa
  43. chimpanzee
    intelligent somewhat arboreal ape of equatorial African forests
  44. Christianity
    a monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as savior
  45. civil war
    a war between factions in the same country
  46. clan
    group of people related by blood or marriage
  47. climate
    the weather in some location averaged over a period of time
  48. cocoa bean
    seed of the cacao tree
  49. colonialism
    exploitation by a stronger country of a weaker one
  50. colonization
    the act of settling a group of people in a new place
  51. commerce
    transactions supplying goods and services
  52. community
    a group of people living in a particular local area
  53. Comoros
    a country on the Comoro Islands
  54. Congo River
    a major African river
  55. conservation
    careful management of the environment and natural resources
  56. continent
    one of the large landmasses of the earth
  57. coup
    a sudden and decisive change of government by force
  58. Dakar
    the capital and chief port and largest city of Senegal
  59. Dar es Salaam
    the capital and largest port city of Tanzania on the Indian Ocean
  60. Darfur
    an impoverished region of western Sudan
  61. deforestation
    the removal of trees
  62. deity
    a supernatural being worshipped as controlling the world
  63. democratic
    representing or appealing to the people at large
  64. Democratic Republic of the Congo
    a republic in central Africa
  65. deposit
    matter that has been implanted by some natural process
  66. desert
    arid land with little or no vegetation
  67. desertification
    a gradual transformation into arid, uninhabitable land
  68. destabilize
    make unsturdy, insecure, or less able to function smoothly
  69. development
    making some area of land or water more profitable or useful
  70. dialect
    the usage or vocabulary characteristic of a group of people
  71. diamond
    very hard native crystalline carbon valued as a gem
  72. diaspora
    the dispersion of something that was originally localized
  73. dictator
    a ruler who is unconstrained by law
  74. Djibouti
    a country in northeastern Africa on the Somali peninsula
  75. drought
    a shortage of rainfall
  76. East Africa
    a geographical area in eastern Africa
  77. Egypt
    a republic in northeastern Africa known as the United Arab Republic until 1971; site of an ancient civilization that flourished from 2600 to 30 BC
  78. elevation
    distance of something above a reference point
  79. empire
    the domain ruled by a single authoritative sovereign
  80. endangered
    in imminent threat of extinction
  81. equator
    an imaginary line around the Earth forming a great circle
  82. Equatorial Guinea
    a country of west central Africa
  83. Eritrea
    an African country to the north of Ethiopia on the Red Sea
  84. escarpment
    a long steep slope at the edge of a plateau or ridge
  85. Ethiopia
    Ethiopia is a republic in northeastern Africa on the Red Sea
  86. ethnic group
    people of the same race or nationality who share a distinctive culture
  87. famine
    a severe shortage of food resulting in starvation and death
  88. fellah
    an agricultural laborer in Arab countries
  89. fertile
    marked by great fruitfulness
  90. fishery
    a workplace where fish are caught and processed and sold
  91. foreign aid
    aid provided to one nation by another
  92. forestry
    the science of developing and caring for wooded areas
  93. fossil
    the remains of a plant or animal from a past geological age
  94. free port
    a port open on equal terms to all commercial vessels
  95. Fula
    a member of a pastoral and nomadic people of western Africa
  96. fundamentalism
    the interpretation of sacred texts as literal truth
  97. Gabon
    a republic on the west coast of Africa
  98. Gambia
    a narrow republic surrounded by Senegal in West Africa
  99. gazelle
    small swift graceful antelope of Africa and Asia having lustrous eyes
  100. genocide
    systematic killing of a racial or cultural group
  101. geopolitical
    of or relating to geopolitics
  102. Ghana
    a republic in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea
  103. gold mine
    a mine where gold ore is found
  104. grassland
    land where grass or grasslike vegetation grows and is the dominant form of plant life
  105. Great Rift Valley
    a depression in southwestern Asia and eastern Africa
  106. guerilla
    one who fights a stronger force by sabotage and harassment
  107. Guinea
    a republic in western Africa on the Atlantic
  108. Guinea-Bissau
    a republic on the northwestern coast of Africa
  109. gum arabic
    gum from an acacia tree; used as a thickener
  110. habitat
    the type of environment in which an organism normally lives
  111. Haile Selassie
    emperor of Ethiopia; worshipped by Rastafarians (1892-1975)
  112. Hausa
    a member of a people living chiefly in northern Nigeria
  113. highland
    elevated (e.g., mountainous) land
  114. HIV
    the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  115. Horn of Africa
    a peninsula of northeastern Africa (the easternmost part of Africa) comprising Somalia and Djibouti and Eritrea and parts of Ethiopia
  116. Hutu
    a member of a Bantu people living in Rwanda and Burundi
  117. Igbo
    a member of the largest ethnic group in southeastern Nigeria
  118. immigrant
    a person who comes to a country in order to settle there
  119. impala
    African antelope with ridged curved horns
  120. Indian Ocean
    the 3rd largest ocean
  121. indigenous
    originating where it is found
  122. industry
    the action of making of goods and services for sale
  123. infrastructure
    basic facilities needed for the functioning of a country
  124. iron ore
    an ore from which iron can be extracted
  125. irrigation
    the act of supplying dry land with water by artificial means
  126. Islam
    the monotheistic religious system of Muslims
  127. ivory
    a hard smooth dentine of the tusks of elephants and walruses
  128. Ivory Coast
    a republic in western Africa on the Gulf of Guinea
  129. Johannesburg
    city in the northeastern part of South Africa near Pretoria
  130. Kalahari Desert
    a desert in southwestern Africa - largely Botswana
  131. Kenya
    a republic in eastern Africa
  132. Khartoum
    the capital of Sudan located at the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile
  133. kingdom
    the domain ruled by a monarch
  134. Kinshasa
    the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the Congo river opposite Brazzaville
  135. Lagos
    chief port and economic center of Nigeria
  136. Lake Albert
    a shallow lake on the border between Uganda and Congo in the Great Rift Valley
  137. Lake Chad
    a lake in north central Africa; fed by the Shari river
  138. Lake Malawi
    a long lake in southeastern Africa between Tanzania, Mozambique, and Malawi
  139. Lake Nasser
    lake in Egypt formed by dams built on the Nile River at Aswan
  140. Lake Nyasa
    a long lake in southeastern Africa between Tanzania, Mozambique, and Malawi
  141. Lake Tana
    a lake in northern Ethiopia
  142. Lake Tanganyika
    the longest lake in the world in central Africa between Tanzania and Congo in the Great Rift Valley
  143. Lake Victoria
    the largest lake in Africa and the 2nd largest fresh water lake in the world; a headwaters reservoir for the Nile River
  144. Lake Volta
    the Volta river in southeastern has been dammed to create one of the world's largest man-made lakes
  145. leach
    cause a liquid to slowly seep or be drawn out
  146. lemur
    a small, large-eyed primate native to Madagascar
  147. Lesotho
    a landlocked constitutional monarchy in southern Africa
  148. Liberia
    a republic in West Africa
  149. Libya
    a military dictatorship in northern Africa on the Mediterranean; consists almost entirely of desert; a major exporter of petroleum
  150. Libyan Desert
    the northeastern part of the Sahara Desert in Libya and Egypt and Sudan
  151. livestock
    any animals kept for use or profit
  152. lowland
    low level country
  153. Madagascar
    a republic on the island of Madagascar
  154. Maghreb
    the region of northwest Africa comprising the Atlas Mountains and the coastlands of Morocco and Algeria and Tunisia
  155. mahogany
    a reddish-brown wood commonly used to make furniture
  156. malaria
    a disease caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite
  157. Malawi
    a landlocked republic in southern central Africa
  158. Mali
    a landlocked republic in northwestern Africa
  159. Mauritania
    a country in northwestern Africa with a provisional military government; achieved independence from France in 1960; largely western Sahara Desert
  160. Mauritius
    a parliamentary state on the island of Mauritius
  161. Mediterranean Sea
    the largest inland sea; between Europe and Africa and Asia
  162. migrate
    move from one country or region to another and settle there
  163. migration
    the movement of persons from one locality to another
  164. militia
    civilians trained as soldiers, not part of the regular army
  165. millet
    small seed of any of various annual cereal grasses especially Setaria italica
  166. mine
    excavation from which ores and minerals are extracted
  167. mineral
    a solid inorganic substance occurring in nature
  168. mining
    the act of extracting ores or coal from the earth
  169. missionary
    someone sent to a foreign country to spread a religion
  170. Mogadishu
    the capital and largest city of Somalia
  171. Mombasa
    a port city in southern Kenya on a coral island in a bay of the Indian Ocean
  172. Morocco
    a kingdom (constitutional monarchy) in northwestern Africa with a largely Muslim population; achieved independence from France in 1956
  173. mountain gorilla
    gorilla of Kivu highlands
  174. Mount Kilimanjaro
    the highest peak in Africa
  175. Mozambique
    a republic on the southeastern coast of Africa on the Mozambique Channel; became independent from Portugal in 1975
  176. Muammar al-Qaddafi
    Libyan leader who seized power in a military coup d'etat in 1969; deposed the Libyan monarchy and imposed socialism and Islamic orthodoxy on the country (born in 1942)
  177. Muslim
    a believer in or follower of Islam
  178. Nairobi
    the capital and largest city of Kenya
  179. Namib Desert
    a desert in Namibia extending along the coast between the high plateau and the Atlantic Ocean
  180. Namibia
    a republic in southwestern Africa on the south Atlantic coast (formerly called South West Africa); achieved independence from South Africa in 1990; the greater part of Namibia forms part of the high Namibian plateau of South Africa
  181. national debt
    the debt of the national government
  182. natural gas
    a fossil fuel in the gaseous state
  183. natural resource
    material in the environment that can be used by people
  184. Nelson Mandela
    South African statesman who was released from prison to become the nation's first democratically elected president in 1994 (born in 1918)
  185. Niger
    a landlocked republic in West Africa
  186. Nigeria
    a republic in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea
  187. Niger River
    an African river; flows into the South Atlantic
  188. Nile River
    the world's longest river
  189. nomad
    a member of a people who have no permanent home
  190. Nubian Desert
    an arid sandstone plateau in northeastern Sudan between the Nile and the Red Sea
  191. oasis
    a fertile tract in a desert
  192. oil palm
    pinnate-leaved palms of the genus Elaeis having dense clusters of crowded flowers and bright red fruit and yielding high quality palm oils
  193. OPEC
    an organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the production and sale of petroleum
  194. Orange River
    a river in South Africa that flows generally westward to the Atlantic Ocean
  195. palm oil
    oil from nuts of oil palms especially the African oil palm
  196. petroleum
    a dark oil consisting mainly of hydrocarbons
  197. Pharaoh
    the title of the ancient Egyptian kings
  198. pineapple
    large sweet fleshy tropical fruit with a terminal tuft of stiff leaves; widely cultivated
  199. plateau
    a relatively flat raised area of land
  200. poach
    hunt illegally
  201. pollution
    contamination of the natural environment
  202. polygamy
    having more than one spouse at a time
  203. population growth
    increase in the number of people who inhabit a territory or state
  204. poverty
    the state of having little or no money and possessions
  205. precipitation
    the falling to earth of any form of water
  206. rainforest
    a densely wooded tropical area with heavy precipitation
  207. rain shadow
    an area that has little precipitation because some barrier causes the winds to lose their moisture before reaching it
  208. raw material
    material suitable for manufacture or use or finishing
  209. rebel
    a person who takes part in an armed insurrection
  210. Red Sea
    a long arm of the Indian Ocean between northeast Africa and Arabia; linked to the Mediterranean at the north end by the Suez Canal
  211. regime
    the governing authority of a political unit
  212. Republic of the Congo
    a republic in west-central Africa
  213. reservoir
    lake used to store water for community use
  214. rhinoceros
    massive powerful herbivorous odd-toed ungulate of southeast Asia and Africa having very thick skin and one or two horns on the snout
  215. rift
    a narrow fissure in rock
  216. Rwanda
    a landlocked republic in central Africa
  217. Sahara Desert
    the world's largest desert in northern Africa
  218. sanitation
    making something sanitary (free of germs) as by sterilizing
  219. Sao Tome and Principe
    island nation in the South Atlantic off the west coast of Africa; achieved independence from Portugal in 1975; has enormous offshore oil reserves
  220. savanna
    a flat grassland in tropical or subtropical regions
  221. Senegal
    a republic in northwestern Africa on the coast of the Atlantic; formerly a French colony but achieved independence in 1960
  222. Serengeti
    a vast plain in Tanzania to the west of the Great Rift Valley known for its wildlife
  223. Seychelles
    a group of about 90 islands in the western Indian Ocean to the north of Madagascar
  224. sharia
    the code of religious law derived from the Quran
  225. Sierra Leone
    a republic in West Africa
  226. silt
    mud or clay or small rocks deposited by a river or lake
  227. sisal
    a plant fiber used for making rope
  228. slavery
    the practice or system of owning people as property
  229. slave trade
    traffic in people who are forced into unpaid labor
  230. Somalia
    a republic in extreme eastern Africa on the Somali peninsula
  231. sorghum
    economically important Old World tropical cereal grass
  232. South Africa
    a republic at the southernmost part of Africa
  233. stable
    resistant to change of position or condition
  234. staple
    a necessary commodity for which demand is constant
  235. starvation
    the act of depriving of food or subjecting to famine
  236. state
    a politically organized body under a single government
  237. Strait of Gibraltar
    the strait between Spain and Africa
  238. sub-Saharan
    of or relating to or situated in the region south of the Sahara Desert
  239. subsistence farming
    farming that provides for the basic needs of the farmer without surpluses for marketing
  240. Sudan
    a republic in northeastern Africa on the Red Sea
  241. Sunni
    a member of one of the two main branches of orthodox Islam
  242. Swahili
    the most widely spoken Bantu languages
  243. Swaziland
    a landlocked monarchy in southeastern Africa
  244. Tanzania
    a republic in eastern Africa
  245. Timbuktu
    a city in central Mali near the Niger river
  246. Togo
    a republic on the western coast of Africa on the Gulf of Guinea; formerly under French control
  247. trade
    the commercial exchange of goods and services
  248. transportation
    a facility for the movement of passengers or goods
  249. tributary
    a branch that flows into the main stream
  250. tribute
    payment by one nation for protection by another
  251. Tripoli
    the capital and chief port and largest city of Libya
  252. tropical
    relating to part of the Earth's surface with hot climate
  253. tsetse fly
    bloodsucking African fly; transmits sleeping sickness etc.
  254. Tuareg
    a member of a nomadic Berber people of the Sahara
  255. Tunisia
    a republic in northwestern Africa on the Mediterranean coast
  256. Tutsi
    a member of a Bantu speaking people living in Rwanda and Burundi
  257. Uganda
    a landlocked republic in eastern Africa
  258. uranium
    a heavy toxic silvery-white radioactive metallic element
  259. urbanization
    the social process whereby cities grow
  260. veld
    elevated open grassland in southern Africa
  261. Victoria Falls
    a waterfall in the Zambezi River on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia; diminishes seasonally
  262. village
    a settlement smaller than a town
  263. volcano
    a fissure in the earth's crust through which gases erupt
  264. Volta
    a river in Ghana that flows south to the Bight of Benin
  265. wadi
    a gully that remains dry except during the rainy season
  266. warlord
    a military leader who controls a region or territory
  267. West Africa
    an area of western Africa between the Sahara Desert and the Gulf of Guinea
  268. Western Sahara
    an area in northwestern Africa with rich phosphate deposits
  269. White Nile
    a headstream of the Nile
  270. wildebeest
    large African antelope having a head with horns like an ox and a long tufted tail
  271. Xhosa
    a Bantu language closely related to Zulu
  272. yellow fever
    caused by a flavivirus transmitted by a mosquito
  273. Yoruba
    a member of a West African people living chiefly in southwestern Nigeria
  274. Zambezi River
    an African river; flows into the Indian Ocean
  275. Zambia
    a republic in central Africa
  276. Zanzibar
    an island in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa
  277. zebra
    a black-and-white striped animal related to a horse
  278. Zimbabwe
    a landlocked republic in south central Africa formerly called Rhodesia; achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1980
Created on February 17, 2017 (updated March 31, 2017)

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