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All About Africa For Kids Homework Clip

Seeing as the 2010 FIFA World Cup happened in South Africa, we thought it’d be cool to learn a bit more about the beautiful country, which has definitely been through its fair share of tough times.

South African Kids

Of all the countries on the continent of Africa, South Africa’s the most diverse in terms of its territory. It ranges from rolling hills to wide open savannah to the Kalahari Desert to the high peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains. Lots of people visit South Africa to go on safari, though, since it’s got two of the world’s most famous wildlife reserves: the Kruger and the Kalahari Gemsbok National Parks.

Map of South Africa

Early History

South Africa is a beautiful country. Cape Town, the oldest port in southern Africa, is considered one of the most gorgeous cities in the world. Unfortunately, the country has an ugly history of racial inequality. If we go waaay back in African history to the 1400s and earlier, South Africa was the territory of ancient African tribes like the Zulu and Xhosa tribes. But when Europeans like the Dutch came to settle in the country in the mid-1600s, things started to change.

A couple hundred years later, when gold was discovered in South Africa by the British, wars broke out between different European settlers who wanted to gain control of the country for themselves. Eventually, the Brits came out on top. Then, in 1910, South Africa regained its independence from Britain. But the problems, it seems, had only just begun.

Apartheid

Apartheid in South Africa

In 1948, Apartheid was introduced to South Africa: a set of laws that legally and physically separated different racial groups from each other. Basically, Apartheid meant that racial discrimination between whites and blacks was officially a part of the country’s laws. White people and black people couldn’t get married. There were certain jobs that only white people could be hired to do. Black people were forced to carry “pass books” with their fingerprints, photo and information if they wanted to enter into areas that were considered “non-black.”

Apartheid in South Africa

Nelson Mandela

In 1918, a boy named Rolihlala Mandela was born in South Africa. He became known as Nelson when one of his teachers gave him that name. Nelson lived during the time of Apartheid, and as he grew up, he became more and more involved in groups and movement that wanted to bring change to the country of South Africa. This made him a very dangerous man in the eyes of the politicians who were working to ensure racial segregation laws remained in place.

Nelson Mandela

Eventually, Nelson Mandela was arrested and given a life sentence in jail when he was accused of trying to overthrow the government by violence. For nearly 30 years he was held in prison, where he became an international symbol of resistance to Apartheid. Finally, in 1990, Nelson was released due to pressure on the government. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and, when South Africa held its first multi-racial election in 1994, he became the country’s first black president.

Nelson Mandela Freed

Nelson Mandela continues to support a variety of causes, particularly the fight against HIV-Aids. In 2004, he announced he would be retiring from public life and his public appearances have become less and less frequent. In 2007, a permanent statue to Nelson was unveiled in Parliament Square, London.

Nelson Mandela Statue

Safari

South Africa is home to hundreds and thousands of species of wildlife, big and small. There are too many to mention at once, so we thought we’d give you an overview of the country’s “Big Five!”

  • Buffalo: They’re extremely dangerous and aggressive animals, but buffalo really like each other! They graze in herds of thousands and fights rarely break out among them!
  • Elephant: Who doesn’t love an elephant?! They’re very smart and very social; they live in herds that are led by a matriarch (the oldest female in the group); and they live for between 5- and 60 years!
  • Leopard: It’s very rare to spot a leopard! They’re highly elusive and usually keep to themselves. Hunting at night and staying in secluded spots during the day, including high up in the branches of trees!
  • Lion: Kings of the jungle! Lions are the most powerful African predators – they’re very strong, very tough and very fast. They’re also the most social type of cat, living in prides of up to 20 lions. Prides are led by the dominant male, but it’s the females that do all the hunting.
  • Rhinoceros: There are two types of rhino: black rhinos and white rhinos. Both are very aggressive and very territorial. When a rhino charges, it snorts air through its nose and kicks and stamps the ground with its feet. They may not be able to see very well, but rhinos can smell and hear an intruder coming from miles away!

Quick Facts

  • South Africa is almost twice as big as Texas and three times the size of California.
  • The country has 11 official languages. Nine are native African, one is English and the last is Afrikaans, a language developed by the region's early Dutch settlers.
  • There is one TV set for every eight people in South Africa. In the U.S. there are four TV sets for every five people.
  • Almost 40 percent of the gold mined on Earth has come from South Africa. Scientists estimate that gold deposits there are 3 billion years old.
  • South Africa has one of the world's great wildlife sanctuaries. It's called Kruger National Park and roaming free through the park are more than 500 different types of birds and 147 different mammals, including lions, leopards, elephants, water buffaloes and rhinos.
  • Because it's below the equator, South Africa's summers begin in September and last until April. Daytime temperatures during the summer range from the 60's to the 90's. The nicest weather is usually in April and May.
  • South Africa has an official national holiday called Youth Day. It's celebrated on June 16.
  • African culture emphasizes the philosophy of “ubuntu”. This means that all people should be treated with respect and dignity, because a person becomes a person through other people.
  • He's most famous as the nonviolent leader of India's fight for independence, but Mahatma Gandhi first made his reputation as protest leader for the rights of Indians living in South Africa.
  • From 1948 until 1994 the South African government enforced an official policy of apartheid. This not only made it a law for the races to stay separate, but it also allowed the white minority, although outnumbered 4 to 1 to control the country.
Related Stories:

Welcome to Africa – the second largest continent in the world. Africa is also second in the number of people – the population – who live here. Africa is a vast, beautiful land with dry, hot deserts in the north and grasslands and tropical jungles in the south. Anthropologists believe that the first human beings lived in Africa 7 million years ago. These early people didn’t live in villages or cities. They roamed as nomads, hunting animals and gathering plants and berries.

Easy Science for Kids on Africa – Image of a Grassland in Africa

Slavery has been a part of Africa’s history for hundreds of years. The Arab slave trade lasted from the 7th to the 20th century. During that time over 18 million slaves were shipped from Africa to the Middle East. The European slave trade, which includes slaves sold in the United States, operated from the 15th to the 19th century. During this time, between seven and 12 million slaves were taken to the New World to work on plantations in America, as well as South America and the Caribbean Islands. Unfortunately, many governments in Africa benefited from selling slaves. In the mid-1850s, the British government worked to outlaw slavery. Some of Africa’s leaders refused to cooperate.

Fun Kids Science Facts on Africa – Photo of an African Woman

Africa was colonized by European countries in the late 1800s. This led to several wars for independence. Today, all countries in Africa are independent, yet the continent continues to endure wars and conflicts. Africa is the poorest continent in the world. Many people do not have enough food. They do not have clean water, electricity or access to medical care.

All about Africa Easy Science for Kids – Image of an African Port

Fun Facts about Africa for Kids

  • 50% of the African population is 19 years old or younger
  • Ancient Greeks and Romans were the first Europeans to explore Africa
  • Egypt, in northern Africa, was ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty for almost 300 years. All the males who ruled in Egypt during this time took the name “Ptolemy” while the females preferred Cleopatra, Arsinoe and Berenice
  • Africans follow a wide variety of religions including Islam, Christianity, African Traditional Religion and even Hindu, Buddhist, Confucianist, Baha’I and Judaism
  • Africa covers about 30.2 million square kilometers of land. This is 6% of the total surface of the Earth and 20.4% of total land area on the planet
  • The Nile River in northeastern Africa is the longest river in the world

Africa Vocabulary

  1. Slavery: Owning and/or selling of human beings as property
  2. Cooperate: Work together; function in harmony
  3. Plantation: Large farm
  4. Independence: Not controlled by others
  5. Continent: Large, continuous land-mass on the earth’s surface

All About Africa Video for Kids

Here’s a great video for kids on Africa:

A video of a children’s song all about Africa and the countries that belong in the continent.

Africa Q&A

Question: Does everyone in Africa go to school?

Answer: All children are allowed to go to school, but lack of funding, lack of facilities and the needs of the family usually mean kids don’t get to go. All of the military conflict common throughout African countries also can make it not just difficult, but dangerous for kids to go to school.

 

Question: Where do lions really live?

Answer: Though called “King of the Jungle” lions do not live in a jungle at all. They typically live in the wide open spaces of grassland and savanna areas. Sometimes they may live in the bush or forest depending on where they can find their prey.

Map of Africa

Here’s a map of the continent of Africa and all its countries. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around the continent of Africa! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of the countries of Africa, as though you are actually there!

 

Enjoyed the Earth Science for Kids all about Africa info? Take the FREE & fun all about Africa quiz and download FREE all about Africa worksheet for kids. For lengthy info click here.

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