A World of Words: Africa - Middle 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. geopolitical
    of or relating to geopolitics
  101. Ghana
    a republic in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea
  102. gold mine
    a mine where gold ore is found
  103. grassland
    land where grass or grasslike vegetation grows and is the dominant form of plant life
  104. Great Rift Valley
    a depression in southwestern Asia and eastern Africa
  105. guerilla
    one who fights a stronger force by sabotage and harassment
  106. Guinea
    a republic in western Africa on the Atlantic
  107. Guinea-Bissau
    a republic on the northwestern coast of Africa
  108. gum arabic
    gum from an acacia tree; used as a thickener
  109. habitat
    the type of environment in which an organism normally lives
  110. Haile Selassie
    emperor of Ethiopia; worshipped by Rastafarians (1892-1975)
  111. Hausa
    a member of a people living chiefly in northern Nigeria
  112. highland
    elevated (e.g., mountainous) land
  113. Horn of Africa
    a peninsula of northeastern Africa (the easternmost part of Africa) comprising Somalia and Djibouti and Eritrea and parts of Ethiopia
  114. Hutu
    a member of a Bantu people living in Rwanda and Burundi
  115. Igbo
    a member of the largest ethnic group in southeastern Nigeria
  116. immigrant
    a person who comes to a country in order to settle there
  117. impala
    African antelope with ridged curved horns
  118. Indian Ocean
    the 3rd largest ocean
  119. indigenous
    originating where it is found
  120. industry
    the action of making of goods and services for sale
  121. infrastructure
    basic facilities needed for the functioning of a country
  122. iron ore
    an ore from which iron can be extracted
  123. irrigation
    the act of supplying dry land with water by artificial means
  124. Islam
    the monotheistic religious system of Muslims
  125. ivory
    a hard smooth dentine of the tusks of elephants and walruses
  126. Ivory Coast
    a republic in western Africa on the Gulf of Guinea
  127. Johannesburg
    city in the northeastern part of South Africa near Pretoria
  128. Kalahari Desert
    a desert in southwestern Africa - largely Botswana
  129. Kenya
    a republic in eastern Africa
  130. Khartoum
    the capital of Sudan located at the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile
  131. kingdom
    the domain ruled by a monarch
  132. Kinshasa
    the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the Congo river opposite Brazzaville
  133. Lagos
    chief port and economic center of Nigeria
  134. Lake Albert
    a shallow lake on the border between Uganda and Congo in the Great Rift Valley
  135. Lake Chad
    a lake in north central Africa; fed by the Shari river
  136. Lake Malawi
    a long lake in southeastern Africa between Tanzania, Mozambique, and Malawi
  137. Lake Nasser
    lake in Egypt formed by dams built on the Nile River at Aswan
  138. Lake Nyasa
    a long lake in southeastern Africa between Tanzania, Mozambique, and Malawi
  139. Lake Tana
    a lake in northern Ethiopia
  140. Lake Tanganyika
    the longest lake in the world in central Africa between Tanzania and Congo in the Great Rift Valley
  141. Lake Victoria
    the largest lake in Africa and the 2nd largest fresh water lake in the world; a headwaters reservoir for the Nile River
  142. Lake Volta
    the Volta river in southeastern has been dammed to create one of the world's largest man-made lakes
  143. leach
    cause a liquid to slowly seep or be drawn out
  144. lemur
    a small, large-eyed primate native to Madagascar
  145. Lesotho
    a landlocked constitutional monarchy in southern Africa
  146. Liberia
    a republic in West Africa
  147. Libya
    a military dictatorship in northern Africa on the Mediterranean; consists almost entirely of desert; a major exporter of petroleum
  148. Libyan Desert
    the northeastern part of the Sahara Desert in Libya and Egypt and Sudan
  149. livestock
    any animals kept for use or profit
  150. lowland
    low level country
  151. Madagascar
    a republic on the island of Madagascar
  152. Maghreb
    the region of northwest Africa comprising the Atlas Mountains and the coastlands of Morocco and Algeria and Tunisia
  153. mahogany
    a reddish-brown wood commonly used to make furniture
  154. malaria
    a disease caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite
  155. Malawi
    a landlocked republic in southern central Africa
  156. Mali
    a landlocked republic in northwestern Africa
  157. Mauritania
    a country in northwestern Africa with a provisional military government; achieved independence from France in 1960; largely western Sahara Desert
  158. Mauritius
    a parliamentary state on the island of Mauritius
  159. Mediterranean Sea
    the largest inland sea; between Europe and Africa and Asia
  160. migrate
    move from one country or region to another and settle there
  161. migration
    the movement of persons from one locality to another
  162. militia
    civilians trained as soldiers, not part of the regular army
  163. millet
    small seed of any of various annual cereal grasses especially Setaria italica
  164. mine
    excavation from which ores and minerals are extracted
  165. mineral
    a solid inorganic substance occurring in nature
  166. mining
    the act of extracting ores or coal from the earth
  167. missionary
    someone sent to a foreign country to spread a religion
  168. Mogadishu
    the capital and largest city of Somalia
  169. Mombasa
    a port city in southern Kenya on a coral island in a bay of the Indian Ocean
  170. Morocco
    a kingdom (constitutional monarchy) in northwestern Africa with a largely Muslim population; achieved independence from France in 1956
  171. mountain gorilla
    gorilla of Kivu highlands
  172. Mount Kilimanjaro
    the highest peak in Africa
  173. Mozambique
    a republic on the southeastern coast of Africa on the Mozambique Channel; became independent from Portugal in 1975
  174. 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)
  175. Muslim
    a believer in or follower of Islam
  176. Nairobi
    the capital and largest city of Kenya
  177. Namib Desert
    a desert in Namibia extending along the coast between the high plateau and the Atlantic Ocean
  178. 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
  179. national debt
    the debt of the national government
  180. natural gas
    a fossil fuel in the gaseous state
  181. natural resource
    material in the environment that can be used by people
  182. Nelson Mandela
    South African statesman who was released from prison to become the nation's first democratically elected president in 1994 (born in 1918)
  183. Niger
    a landlocked republic in West Africa
  184. Nigeria
    a republic in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea
  185. Niger River
    an African river; flows into the South Atlantic
  186. Nile River
    the world's longest river
  187. nomad
    a member of a people who have no permanent home
  188. Nubian Desert
    an arid sandstone plateau in northeastern Sudan between the Nile and the Red Sea
  189. oasis
    a fertile tract in a desert
  190. 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
  191. OPEC
    an organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the production and sale of petroleum
  192. Orange River
    a river in South Africa that flows generally westward to the Atlantic Ocean
  193. palm oil
    oil from nuts of oil palms especially the African oil palm
  194. petroleum
    a dark oil consisting mainly of hydrocarbons
  195. Pharaoh
    the title of the ancient Egyptian kings
  196. pineapple
    large sweet fleshy tropical fruit with a terminal tuft of stiff leaves; widely cultivated
  197. plateau
    a relatively flat raised area of land
  198. poach
    hunt illegally
  199. pollution
    contamination of the natural environment
  200. population growth
    increase in the number of people who inhabit a territory or state
  201. poverty
    the state of having little or no money and possessions
  202. precipitation
    the falling to earth of any form of water
  203. rainforest
    a densely wooded tropical area with heavy precipitation
  204. rain shadow
    an area that has little precipitation because some barrier causes the winds to lose their moisture before reaching it
  205. raw material
    material suitable for manufacture or use or finishing
  206. rebel
    a person who takes part in an armed insurrection
  207. 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
  208. regime
    the governing authority of a political unit
  209. Republic of the Congo
    a republic in west-central Africa
  210. reservoir
    lake used to store water for community use
  211. rhinoceros
    massive powerful herbivorous odd-toed ungulate of southeast Asia and Africa having very thick skin and one or two horns on the snout
  212. rift
    a narrow fissure in rock
  213. Rwanda
    a landlocked republic in central Africa
  214. Sahara Desert
    the world's largest desert in northern Africa
  215. sanitation
    making something sanitary (free of germs) as by sterilizing
  216. 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
  217. savanna
    a flat grassland in tropical or subtropical regions
  218. Senegal
    a republic in northwestern Africa on the coast of the Atlantic; formerly a French colony but achieved independence in 1960
  219. Serengeti
    a vast plain in Tanzania to the west of the Great Rift Valley known for its wildlife
  220. Seychelles
    a group of about 90 islands in the western Indian Ocean to the north of Madagascar
  221. sharia
    the code of religious law derived from the Quran
  222. Sierra Leone
    a republic in West Africa
  223. silt
    mud or clay or small rocks deposited by a river or lake
  224. sisal
    a plant fiber used for making rope
  225. slavery
    the practice or system of owning people as property
  226. slave trade
    traffic in people who are forced into unpaid labor
  227. Somalia
    a republic in extreme eastern Africa on the Somali peninsula
  228. sorghum
    economically important Old World tropical cereal grass
  229. South Africa
    a republic at the southernmost part of Africa
  230. stable
    resistant to change of position or condition
  231. staple
    a necessary commodity for which demand is constant
  232. starvation
    the act of depriving of food or subjecting to famine
  233. state
    a politically organized body under a single government
  234. Strait of Gibraltar
    the strait between Spain and Africa
  235. sub-Saharan
    of or relating to or situated in the region south of the Sahara Desert
  236. subsistence farming
    farming that provides for the basic needs of the farmer without surpluses for marketing
  237. Sudan
    a republic in northeastern Africa on the Red Sea
  238. Sunni
    a member of one of the two main branches of orthodox Islam
  239. Swahili
    the most widely spoken Bantu languages
  240. Swaziland
    a landlocked monarchy in southeastern Africa
  241. Tanzania
    a republic in eastern Africa
  242. Timbuktu
    a city in central Mali near the Niger river
  243. Togo
    a republic on the western coast of Africa on the Gulf of Guinea; formerly under French control
  244. trade
    the commercial exchange of goods and services
  245. transportation
    a facility for the movement of passengers or goods
  246. tributary
    a branch that flows into the main stream
  247. tribute
    payment by one nation for protection by another
  248. Tripoli
    the capital and chief port and largest city of Libya
  249. tropical
    relating to part of the Earth's surface with hot climate
  250. tsetse fly
    bloodsucking African fly; transmits sleeping sickness etc.
  251. Tuareg
    a member of a nomadic Berber people of the Sahara
  252. Tunisia
    a republic in northwestern Africa on the Mediterranean coast
  253. Tutsi
    a member of a Bantu speaking people living in Rwanda and Burundi
  254. Uganda
    a landlocked republic in eastern Africa
  255. uranium
    a heavy toxic silvery-white radioactive metallic element
  256. urbanization
    the social process whereby cities grow
  257. veld
    elevated open grassland in southern Africa
  258. Victoria Falls
    a waterfall in the Zambezi River on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia; diminishes seasonally
  259. village
    a settlement smaller than a town
  260. volcano
    a fissure in the earth's crust through which gases erupt
  261. Volta
    a river in Ghana that flows south to the Bight of Benin
  262. wadi
    a gully that remains dry except during the rainy season
  263. warlord
    a military leader who controls a region or territory
  264. West Africa
    an area of western Africa between the Sahara Desert and the Gulf of Guinea
  265. Western Sahara
    an area in northwestern Africa with rich phosphate deposits
  266. White Nile
    a headstream of the Nile
  267. wildebeest
    large African antelope having a head with horns like an ox and a long tufted tail
  268. Xhosa
    a Bantu language closely related to Zulu
  269. yellow fever
    caused by a flavivirus transmitted by a mosquito
  270. Yoruba
    a member of a West African people living chiefly in southwestern Nigeria
  271. Zambezi River
    an African river; flows into the Indian Ocean
  272. Zambia
    a republic in central Africa
  273. Zanzibar
    an island in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa
  274. zebra
    a black-and-white striped animal related to a horse
  275. 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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