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10 Smallest Countries in Africa by Area

Africa is the second largest continent and contains some of the largest countries in the world, however, it still features some of the smallest nations on the planet.

This is a list of the top 10 smallest countries on the continent, of which five of them are islands. These islands which include Mauritius, Comoro Islands etc are also major tourist destinations.

See the full list below.

1. Seychelles

The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean and a major tourist destination. It’s home to numerous beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves, as well as rare animals such as giant Aldabra tortoises. Victoria, the country’s capital is located about 1,500 km away from mainland Africa. Comoros, Madagascar, and Mauritius are some of the island nations of Africa located in the Indian Ocean near Seychelles. The nation occupies an area of 451 square km and as of 2017, has a population of 95,843.

2. São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe, is the smallest country in Africa with an area of 964 square km and a population of 204,327. São Tomé and Príncipe are the two main islands of the archipelago, located in the Gulf of Guinea located at a distance of about 250 and 225 km off the coast of Gabon in mainland Central Africa.

3. Mauritius

Mauritius, is Indian Ocean island nation, known for its beaches, lagoons and reefs. The island which is a major tourist destination occupies a total area of 2,040 square km. Its mountainous interior includes Black River Gorges National Park, with rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and wildlife like the flying fox. The capital of Mauritius is Port Louis has sites such as the Champs de Mars horse track and Eureka plantation house.


The Comoros is a volcanic archipelago off Africa’s east coast, in the warm Indian Ocean waters of the Mozambique Channel. Its islands Grande Comore, Mohéli, Anjouan are located between Madagascar and Mozambique. Comoros occupies an area of 2,235 square km and its capital is Moroni.

5. Cape Verde

Aerial view of Santa Maria beach in Sal Island Cape Verde – Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde, officially the Republic of Cabo Verde, is an island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean. It forms part of the Macaronesia ecoregion, along with the Azores, Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Savage Isles. In ancient times these islands were referred to as “the Islands of the Blessed” or the “Fortunate Isles”. Located 570 kilometres (350 mi) west of the Cape Verde Peninsula off the coast of Northwest Africa, the island nation covers an area of 4,033 square km, making it the fifth smallest nation in Africa.

6. Gambia

The Gambia is a small West African country, bounded by Senegal, with a narrow Atlantic coastline covering an area of 10,689 square km. It’s known for its diverse ecosystems around the central Gambia River. The Gambia also has an abundance of wildlife in its Kiang West National Park and Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve which include monkeys, leopards, hippos, hyenas and rare birds. The capital of the Gambia Banjul.

7. Swaziland

Swaziland is a landlocked monarchy in southern Africa with an area of 17,364 square km. The small country shares its northeastern border with Mozambique and stretching down to South Africa.Swaziland is known for its wilderness reserves and festivals showcasing traditional Swazi culture. The Lebombo Mountains are a backdrop for Mlawula Nature Reserve’s many hiking trails. Nearby Hlane Royal National Park is home to diverse wildlife including lions, hippos and elephants.

8. Djibouti

Djibouti is a country of dry shrublands, volcanic formations and Gulf of Aden beaches. It’s home to one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, the low-lying Lake Assal, in the Danakil Desert. Djibouti is strategically located near some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, controlling access to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. It serves as a key refueling and transshipment center, and is the principal maritime port for imports from and exports to neighboring Ethiopia. The country covers a total are of 23,200 square km and has an estimated population of 884,017, the smallest in mainland Africa.

9. Rwanda

The Republic of Rwanda, is a country in Central and East Africa and one of the smallest countries on the African mainland with an area covering 26,338 square km. Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its geography is dominated by mountains in the west and savanna to the east, with numerous lakes throughout the country.

10. Burundi

Burundi is a landlocked country surrounded by the African Great Lakes region where East and Central Africa connect. It is bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and southeast, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west whileLake Tanganyika lies along its southwestern border. Burundi’s capital was moved to Gitega from Bujumbura in February 2019. Its total area is 27,834 square km.

Written by Emeka Nweze

Content writer and contributor.

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