The world's second-most populous and largest continent, Africa, is revered for many things, but you'd never expect having countries with long, beautiful names to be one of them. Be that as it may, Africa is home to countries with some of the most uniquely long names you'd find anywhere in the world, each of which has a rich history leading to its coinage.
But having a long name is one thing; these countries are also great tourist attractions, with interesting facts tied to their people, land, and culture. We will discuss all of that in this article, so read below to find out.
The African country with the longest official name is the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, with the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria being a close second. But before we delve into the details, it is worth pointing out that countries have official and common names, the latter of which many prefer because they are more memorable.
Generally, official names can be unnecessarily long for most people, which is why they resort to shorter and more memorable common names. Speaking of common names, the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe (DRSP) ceases to be the longest name for an African country as its common name is a simpler Sao Tome and Principe.
The African country with the longest common name is the Central African Republic, followed by the Republic of the Congo.
If the name Seychelles rings a bell, you'd remember it being an African country with the smallest population. Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe follows on the same trail with a population of 200,000 people, making it the second smallest on the continent. The country is a twin-island nation, hence the name.
The two islands of Sao Tome and Principe gained independence in 1975 and 1995, respectively, with the former named after Saint Thomas' day by the Portuguese explorers who discovered the island.
The islands of Sao Tome and Principe are home to beautiful tourist sites, some of which are Bom-Bom Island, Praia Banama, Obo National Park, and Cascata Sao Nicolau. The latter is a particularly perfect destination for lovers of nature.
Regarding the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, we can trace its simpler name, Algeria, to the City of Algier, which translates to The Islands. Algier has four Islands that lay off the city's coast until they became part of the mainland.
That being said, Algeria can get really, really hot, with almost 90% of the country covered by the Sahara desert and only about 12% inhabited by her people. Temperature aside, one aspect in which Algeria blows other Islamic nations out of the water is its practice of true gender equality.
Here, women have equal opportunities as men, with 60% of them making up the total population of students across the country. Even more impressive is that 70% of the country's legal practitioners are women. Pure bonkers!
Lastly, the nation of 44 million people has some amazing tourist donations, especially El Oued, which translates to the city of a thousand domes". This is where you find traditional carpets, clothes, and slippers.
The African country with the longest common name, the Central African Republic, has had it rough since it gained independence in 1958, largely due to a select few fighting to control its wealth. It's no surprise the nation has been ravaged by religion-spurred war for decades.
However, the country is home to many endemic animal species and prominent African wildlife. And its hot climate gives way to the growth of crops such as millet, maize, tobacco, sesame, and cotton.
The country's name is derived from its republican form of government and geographical location in the central region of Africa. Despite bad living conditions, poverty, and lack of education, you can still find great tourist sites, especially for wildlife lovers.
There are national parks such as Dzanga-Sangha and Manovo-Gounda, which you can harness to go on a safari and catch loads of fun.
The African country with the second-longest common name is the Republic of the Congo. This country should not be confused with the Democratic Republic of Congo, also known as Dr. Congo. Besides similar names, the Republic of the Congo is bordered to the Southeast by Dr Congo.
French is the country's official language, and there are well over five million people living in it. It's difficult to say if the Republic of the Congo packs a punch as any of the countries mentioned thus far, but there are still quite a few things that make it a considerable tourist destination.
The country is named after the Congo River, the deepest and second-largest river in the world. Brazzaville, the capital, is always bustling with vibrant arts, colorful markets, and scenes of rich culture. You can get a fantastic view of the Congo River if you go for a stroll on La Corniche. It's all beauty to behold from here!
As there are African countries with long names, so are others with considerably short names. The African country with the shortest official name is Burkina Faso, while the ones with the shortest common names are Mali, Chad, and Togo.
Burkina Faso, formerly Upper Volta until 1984, is a landlocked country with no route to the open sea. Burkina Faso adopted its name, which translates to Land of Incorruptible People, in 1984.
The country makes Metro News' list of 17 countries that are unsafe for tourist visits. Frequent military coups, famine, and drought due to its geographical location in the Sahel Savana region are some of the plagues of the country.
When it comes to the African countries with the shortest common names, Mali and Togo are situated in the West African region, while Chad sits in the heart of Central Africa. Each of these nations is considered a third-world country, with the latter having one of the highest levels of hunger in the world.
Be that as it may, if there is one thing they all have in common, it definitely is the fact that they are filled with energetic, hardworking people who are receptive to foreigners. You'll find these people selling local wares and arts on tourist sites, taking every cent and dollar with the utmost gratitude and only hoping that things turn for the better in their country someday.
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