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The Coastlines of Africa’s 38 Countries Ranked

If Africa’s 38 countries and island states were a single country, its total coastline length would rank as the 5th longest in the world, ahead of Russia and just under the combined coastal lengths of Australia and the United States.

Even though Africa is ranked as the second-largest continent on Earth at 30,37 million square kilometres, its coastline at an estimated at 30,500 km is considered to be shorter than that of Europe, because there are few inlets and large bays or gulfs. However, this estimate excludes the continents ocean islands, which, when added comes to just over 40,000 km (refer 38 Country Coastlines in Africa table).

To settle this contentious anomaly, as one of its objectives, Walk4Africa.org, the world’s largest and longest public-participation walkathon, aims to accurately measure the coastlines of all 38 African countries and ocean islands over a period of 10 years beginning in September 2020.

Longest Coastlines in the World

RankCountry CoastlineKilometresMiles
1Canada202,080125,567
2Norway58,13336,122
3Indonesia54,72033,939
4Greenland44,08727,394
5Africa*40,01024,861
6Russia37,65323396
7Philippines36,28022,549
8Japan29,75118,486
9Australia25,76016,007
10United States19,92412,380
11Antarctica17,96911,165
12New Zealand15,1249,404
13China14,5009,009
14Greece13,6768,498
15United Kingdom12,4297,723
16Mexico9,3305,797
17Italy7,6004,722
18India7,5004,660
19Brazil7,4914,655
20Croatia7,3684,578

Source: Worldatlas.com *Own estimate (refer Africa Country Coastlines table)

When considering the above, the lengths/distances indicated need to be treated as rough estimates as the totals would vary depending on the approach used. This is because the measure of a country’s coastline varies with the scale at which it is measured, so small-scale maps yield lower values of coastline measurement than do larger-scale maps. By “scale”, we mean the point-to-point connections made along a given country’s coastline, so the larger the scale, the more points of reference become visible and hence measurable.

38 Country Coastlines in Africa

Based on current coastline data available from various online sources, Madagascar has the longest coastline, followed by Somalia, South Africa, and Mozambique, while the Democratic Republic of Congo has the shortest coastline in Africa. In the table below, we’ve ranked the 38 Africa country coastlines from longest to shortest.

RankCountry CoastlineKilometresMiles
1Madagascar4,8283,000
2Somalia 3,3332,071
3South Africa2,7981,739
4Mozambique2,4701,535
5Egypt2,4501,522
6Eritrea 2,2341,388
7Morocco 1,8351,140
8Libya 1,7701,100
9Angola 1,600994
10Namibia 1,572977
11Tanzania1,424885
12Tunisia 1,148713
13Western Sahara 1,110690
14Algeria 998620
15Cape Verde965600
16Gabon885550
17Nigeria 853530
18Mauritania754 469
19Sudan 716445
20Liberia 565 351
21Ghana539335
22Kenya 536 333
23Senegal531330
24Cote d’Ivoire515320
25Seychelles 491305
26Cameroon 402250
27Sierra Leone402250
28Guinea-Bissau350217
29Mauritius330205
30Guinea 320199
31Djibouti 314195
32Equatorial Guinea296184
33São Tomé and Príncipe209130
34Congo-Brazzaville170106
35Benin 12175
36The Gambia 8050
37Togo 5635
38DR Congo 4025

Africa’s Ocean Islands

Excluding European dependencies and territories off the coasts of the African continent i.e St Helena, Comores, Mayotte, Réunion, Canary Islands, Madeira Islands, and Selvagens, Africa has a total of 293 islands. By country, these islands and atolls are as follows:

Cape Verde Islands

  1. Boa Vista
  2. Brava
  3. Fogo
  4. Maio
  5. Sal
  6. Santa Luzia
  7. Santo Antão
  8. São Nicolau
  9. Santiago
  10. São Vicente

Djibouti Islands

  1. Maskali Island
  2. Moucha Island
  3. Sept Freres, Djibouti

Eritrea Islands

  1. Dahlak Archipelago
  2. Dahlak Kebir (formerly Dehalak Deset)
  3. Harmil
  4. Howakil
  5. Nahaleg
  6. Nora
  7. Fatuma
  8. Halib
  9. Howakil Islands
  10. Massawa Island

Equatorial Guinea Islands

  1. Annobón
  2. Bioko (formerly Fernando Po)
  3. Corisco
  4. Elobey Grande
  5. Elobey Chico

Guinea Islands

  1. Los Islands
  2. Tombo Island

Guinea-Bissau Islands

  1. Bijagós Archipelago

Kenya Islands

  1. Lamu Island
  2. Manda Island
  3. Samuli Island

Liberia Islands

  1. Bushrod Island
  2. Providence Island (Liberia)

Madagascar Islands

  1. Île Sainte-Marie (Nosy Boraha)
  2. Nossi-Bé

Mauritius Islands

  1. Rodrigues island
  2. Agaléga Islands
  3. Saint Brandon

Mozambique Islands

  1. Angoche Island
  2. Bazaruto Archipelago
  3. Chiloane Island
  4. Inhaca Island
  5. Island of Mozambique
  6. Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago
  7. Quirimbas Islands
  8. Vamizi Island

Namibia Islands

  1. Albatross Island
  2. Bird Island
  3. Black Rock Island
  4. False Plum Pudding Island
  5. Flamingo Island
  6. Halifax Island
  7. Mercury Island
  8. Impalila
  9. North Long Island
  10. Penguin Islands
  11. Plumpudding Island
  12. Pomona Island
  13. Possession Island
  14. Roastbeef Island
  15. Seal Island
  16. Shark Island
  17. Sinclair’s Island
  18. South Long Island

São Tomé and Príncipe Islands

  1. Príncipe
  2. São Tomé Island
  3. Rolas

Senegal Islands

  1. Gorée
  2. Îles des Madeleines
  3. Morfil

Sierra Leone Islands

  1. Banana Islands
  2. Bunce Island
  3. Sherbro Island (now Bonthe Island)
  4. Turtle Islands

Somalia Islands

  1. Bajuni Islands (10)
    • Addilo Island
    • Ambuu Island
    • Bandarka Island
    • Bangadini Island
    • Bantaabsi Island
    • Bavadi Island
    • Bawaadi Island
    • Bengadiiene island
    • Biramlide Island
    • Koyama (island)
  2. Saad ad-Din Islands (1)
    • Aibat Island

South Africa Islands

  1. Dassen Island
  2. Robben Island
  3. Seal Island
  4. Marion Island (Prince Edward Islands)

Sudan Islands

  1. Mukawwar Managed Nature Reserve
  2. Suakin Archipelago National Park

Seychelles Islands

  1. Inner Islands: (84)
    • La Digue
    • Félicité
    • Marianne
    • Grande Soeur
    • Petite Soeur
    • Ile aux Cocos
    • Ile la Fouche
    • Silhouette Island
    • Ile du Nord
    • Les Mamelles
    • Ile aux Récifs
    • Frégate
    • L’Ilot
    • Ile aux Vaches
    • Vache Marine
    • Chauve Souris
    • Roche Canon
    • Les Trois Dames
    • Cocos Dans Trou
    • Bird Island
    • Ile Denis (Denis Island)
    • Mahé
    • Praslin
    • Sainte Anne
    • Ile Ronde
    • Moyenne Island
    • Therese
    • Roche Tortue
    • Ile Du Suete
    • Conception
    • Ile Hodoul
    • Coco Dans Milieu
    • Ile Longue
    • Ile Malice
    • L’Islette
    • Roche Bouquet
    • Baleise Island
    • Beacon Island
    • Roche Grande Maman
    • Cousin
    • Cousine
    • Zave
    • Aride
    • Ile Seche
    • Ile Cachee
    • Cerf Island
    • Ile Aux Rats
    • Souris
    • Capucins
    • Ile De La Police
    • Ilot Lascar
    • Grosse Roche
    • Reclaimed Island
    • Grande Rocher
    • Anonyme Island
    • Curieuse
    • Saint Pierre
    • Faon
    • Bastille Island
    • Bonhomme Island
    • Bonnefemme Island
    • Lazare Islet
    • Grosse Roche
    • L’Amour Island
    • Ile Consolation
    • Matelot Island
    • Maquereau Island
    • Roche Du Sud
    • Takamaka Island
    • Ile Madge
    • Pointe Cocos
    • Ile Zanguille
    • Kittery Island
    • Parasole Island
    • Ile De La Farine
    • Ilot Capitaine
    • Severe Island
    • Cabris Island
    • Roche Babri
    • Cipaille Island
    • Caimant Island
    • Bonne Carre Island
    • Brizare Rock
    • Brule
  2. Outer Islands: (02)
    • Ile Plate
    • Coëtivy
  3. Amirantes Group: (08)
    • Rémire
    • D’Arros
    • Desroches
    • Sand
    • Etoile
    • Boudeuse
    • Marie-Louise
    • Desnoeufs
  4. African Banks: (02)
    • Bancs Africains
    • Ile du Sud
  5. St. Joseph’s Atoll: (15)
    • St. Joseph
    • Ile aux Fouquets
    • Resource
    • Petit Carcassaye
    • Grand Carcassaye
    • Benjamin
    • Bancs Ferrari
    • Chiens
    • Pélicans
    • Vars
    • Residence Island
    • Ile Paul
    • Banc de Sable
    • Bancs aux Cocos
    • Ile aux Poules
  6. Poivre Atoll: (03)
    • Poivre
    • Florentin
    • Ile du Sud
  7. Alphonse and St. François Atolls: (03)
    • Alphonse Island
    • Bijoutier
    • St François
  8. Farquhar Group: (83)
    • Farquhar Atoll: (10)
      • Ile du Nord
      • Ile du Sud
      • Manahas Nord
      • Manahas Milieu
      • Manahas Sud
      • Ile aux Goëlettes
      • Lapins
      • Ile du Milieu
      • Déposés
      • Bancs de Sable
    • Providence Atoll: (04)
      • Providence
      • Bancs Providence
      • St. Pierre
      • Cerf Island
    • Aldabra Atoll: (48)
      • Grande Terre
      • Picard
      • Polymnie
      • Malabar
      • Ile Michel
      • Ile Esprit
      • Ile aux Moustiques
      • Ilot Parc
      • Ilot Emile
      • Ilot Yangue
      • Ilot Magnan
      • Ile Lanier
      • Champignon des Os
      • Euphrates Islet
      • Grand Mentor
      • Grand Ilot
      • Green Rock
      • Gros Ilot Gionnet
      • Gros Ilot Sésame
      • Heron Rock
      • Hide Island
      • Ile aux Aigrettes
      • Ile aux Cèdres
      • Iles Chalands
      • Ile Fangame
      • Ile Héron
      • le Michel
      • Ile Suacco
      • Ile Sylvestre
      • Ile Verte
      • Ilot Déder
      • Ilot du Sud
      • Ilot du Milieu
      • Ilot du Nord
      • Ilot Dubois
      • Ilot Macoa
      • Ilot Marquoix
      • Ilots Niçois
      • Ilot Salade
      • Middle Row Island
      • Noddy Rock
      • North Row Island
      • Petit Mentor
      • Petit Mentor Endans
      • Petits Ilots
      • Pink Rock
      • South Row Island
      • Table Ronde
    • Cosmoledo Atoll: (21)
      • Menai
      • Ile du Nord
      • Ile Nord-Est
      • Ile du Trou
      • Goëlettes
      • Grand Polyte
      • Petit Polyte
      • Grand Ile (Wizard)
      • Pagode
      • Ile du Sud-Ouest
      • Ile aux Moustiques
      • Ile Baleine
      • Ile aux Chauve-Souris
      • Ile aux Macaques
      • Ile aux Rats
      • Ile du Nord-Ouest
      • Ile Observation
      • Ile Sud-Est
      • Ilot la Croix
      • Astove Island
      • Assumption Island

Tanzania Islands

  1. Mafia Island
  2. Nabuyongo Island
  3. Pemba Island
  4. Ukerewe Island
  5. Zanzibar

Tunisia Islands

  1. Djerba (Jerba)
  2. Galite Islands
  3. Kerkennah Islands
    • Chergui Island
    • Gharbi, Tunisia
  4. Zembra Island

Uganda Island

  1. Ssese Islands

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