Africa is a continent comprising 62 political territories, representing the largest of the great southward projections from the main mass of Earth’s surface. It includes, within its remarkably regular outline, an area of 30,368,609 km2 (11,725,385 sq mi), including adjacent islands.
Separated from Europe by the Mediterranean Sea and from much of Asia by the Red Sea, Africa is joined to Asia at its northeast extremity by the Isthmus of Suez (which is transected by the Suez Canal), 130 km (81 mi) wide. For geopolitical purposes, the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt – east of the Suez Canal – is often considered part of Africa. From the most northerly point, Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia, in 37°21′ N, to the most southerly point, Cape Agulhas in South Africa, 34°51′15″ S, is a distance approximately of 8,000 km (5,000 mi); from Cape Verde, 17°33′22″ W, the westernmost point, to Ras Hafun in Somalia, 51°27′52″ E, the most easterly projection, is a distance (also approximately) of 7,400 km (4,600 mi). The length of coast-line is 26,000 km (16,000 mi) and the absence of deep indentations of the shore is shown by the fact that Europe, which covers only 10,400,000 km2 (4,000,000 sq mi), has a coastline of 32,000 km (20,000 mi).