Here are 5 unique places on the African continent to visit before they disappear.
1.) Mt. Kilimanjaro Glacier
Towering over the surrounding Savannah, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is topped with an eye-catching glacier. Persisting for more than 10,000 years, the glacier suddenly retreated by over 80% since 1912 thanks to global warming. Analysts predict that, at current rates, the glacier could disappear completely by 2020.
2.) The Congo Basin
Tropical rainforests such as the Congo Basin produce nearly half of the world’s oxygen while serving as an important source of minerals, food and medicine. Measuring more than a million square miles, the Congo Basin has the world’s second largest rainforest after the Amazon’s.
Ten million acres of the rain-forest is depleted annually due to felonious logging, farming, mining, ranching, and warfare. According to research compiled by the UN, up to two-thirds of the rain forest and its unique flora and fauna could be lost by 2040 unless quick measures are put in place to protect it.
More than 80% of Madagascar’s unique plants and wildlife are found nowhere else in the world – due to millions of years of isolation in the Indian Ocean. Madagascar is in danger of disappearing. Forest ecosystems are rapidly being depleted as a result of illegal logging, farming and poaching. Environmentalists predict that the world’s fourth-largest island will be gone in about 30 years if no measures are taken to save it.
4.) Cape Floral Region
Endowed with over 6,000 endemic plant species, the Cape Floral Region in South Africa is one of world’s six floral kingdoms. Due to global warming, mean annual temperatures are predicted to rise by 1.8 ºC which is sad news for the 1,400 critically endangered plant species.
5.) Mt. Kenya Glacier
As in the case of Mount Kilimanjaro, glaciers on Mt. Kenya are receding at a very fast rate and environmentalists warn that they could vanish in a few years time if measures are not taken to save the situation.
Research findings by the U.S. Geological Survey show that seven out of the eighteen glaciers had vanished by 1986 and the remaining eleven had lost 60-92% of their area.