Holidays - Africa

Once upon a time Morocco and Spain were one country, and Europe extended to the Atlas mountains, which stood upon the shores of a great salt sea. Beyond that ocean, to the south, lay the Dark Continent, surrounded on all sides by water except on the north-east, where it was joined to Asia near Aden by an isthmus. A geological revolution converted the African ocean into a sandy plain, and the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb and Gibraltar were torn open by the retreating waves. But the Sahara, though no longer under water, is still in reality a sea; the true Africa begins on its southern coast, and is entirely distinct from the European-like countries between the Mediterranean and the Atlas, and from the strip of garden land which is cast down every year in the desert by the Nile. The Black Africa or Sudan is a gigantic tableland; its sides are built of granite mountains which surround it with a parapet or brim, and which send down rivers on the outside towards the sea, on the inside into the plateau. The outside rivers are brief and swift: the inside rivers are long and sluggish in their course, winding in all directions, collecting into enormous lakes, and sometimes flowing forth through gaps in the parapet to the Sahara or the sea.