Alright, so I realized writing the posts for this blog in the past 4 months that I have a serious problem…with keeping thing concise. (what? you thought I was going to say Konyagi?)

The fact that my next and still unpublished post is still sitting in the Draft mode after about two months is a testament to that fact. As such, in an effort to make more more regular and brief posts – here is a shiny NEW post under 453 words!


How BIG is your Africa?

I was lucky enough to have my parents and sister come to Tanzania to visit me in the month of January (and they were lucky to have a son/brother who ended up working near the beautiful beaches and tropical weather of Tanzania to escape the Canadian winter). We toured a good portion of the countries world-famous sights that roll off the tongue…Zanzibar, Serengeti Plains, Ngorogoro Crater, Kilimanjaro (from a distance) and had a great time.

Near the end of the trip, my sister (sorry if I make you look dumb, but that’s what big brothers do best) made a comment to the effect that Tanzania wasn’t really that big, it was probably comparable to Southern Ontario.. as it took only a few hours to fly between our destinations.

Eager to prove her wrong, I hit up my trusty Wikipedia for the facts and will report them here for all to see;

Southern Ontario: 139,931 km2

Ontario:     1,076,395 km2

Tanzania: 945,203 km2

Turns out, Tanzania is pretty close to the size of the whole province of Ontario and it’s endless expanses of lakes, woods and granite up north.

Part of the problem is that many of us in the West grew up using Mercator and other seriously flawed map projections that distort the North and South poles to make them fit nicely into aesthetically pleasing globe form. It shrunk Africa and other continents/countries along the equator to fit the projection and our minds have always just made the automatic connection since.

I’ve seen this trick done now a few times so I though I would share. It’s  where the African continent’s true size is put in perspective by putting all other countries inside it  (not literally, I don’t think China would agree to that. Just through new-age techno-graphic wizardry).

Check it out!

It's a party inside the African continent and your invited

Interesting stuff. This place is huge! I just calculated it and at the end of May I have a 2,500 km journey (“as the crow flies”) from Dar es Salaam down to Johannesburg for the opening of the FIFA World Cup. I guess I had best find some good walking shoes.

Well, I hope you enjoyed your geography lesson today kids. And remember, being blonde just doesn’t pay, respectability is just a hair-dye box away :)

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