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Is Africa, West of Australia? [A Geographical Analysis]

australia

Africa is a continent located in the Southern hemisphere covering about 30 million km2 of land or 20% of the total land area of the earth’s surface. With a population of about 1.3 billion people according to the United Nations estimation, Africa is the second-largest continent by both population and land size, just after Asia.

Africa also has a significant number of off-coast islands which include Madagascar (the largest island in the world), Seychelles, Socotra, Comoros, Mauritius, Reunion, Ascension, and tens of others.

Is Africa west of Australia

Geographically Africa is located West of Australia separated by the Indian Ocean which is the 3rd largest ocean among the global oceanic division. African countries sharing an oceanic border with Australia include; South Africa, Madagascar, and Mozambique.

location of africa relative to australia
Africa (red) is located West of Australia (Green)

Countries that lie west of Australia

african countries that lies west of australia
All countries below the black line are African Countries that lies West of Australia

Australia shares an oceanic border with three African countries. The following African countries FULLY lie West of Australia:

  1. South Africa
  2. Madagascar
  3. Mozambique
  4. Botswana
  5. Namibia
  6. Zambia
  7. Zimbabwe

The following African countries partially lies West of Australia:

  1. Tanzania
  2. Angola
  3. DRC

Is South Africa east or west of Australia?

South Africa is located at the Western end of Australia. South Africa and Australia are separated by the Indian Ocean (the third largest ocean).

Is Africa near Australia

Distance between Australia and South Africa Countries
Distance between Australia and South Africa Countries

Although both Australia and South Africa share a significant oceanic border, they are not near in any sense.

The shortest distance from Australia to South Africa is about 10,389km, which is a very long distance. Australia is one of the farthest places to Africa.

Which ocean is east of Africa and west of Australia?

The Indian Ocean is located east of Africa and West of Australia. The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean of the five major oceanic divisions, covering a surface area of 70,560,000 km2. The Indian Ocean shares borders with Asia by the North, Northern Africa at its western end, and Australia to the east.

The Indian Ocean is saltwater that constitutes about 1/5 of the earth’s total ocean area, it is the most complex, and youngest among the global oceanic divisions.

Is Australia in the West?

‘West’ is a term used to describe social norms, customs, traditions, beliefs, and technological advancements that have some European origin or relations. Although, Australia is not in geographical Europe, it is considered a Western country just as the United States of America.

To get an insight into how Australia became a Western country, we need to go back in time.

Australian Aborigines at an event commonly called a corroboree.
Australian Aborigines at an event commonly called a corroboree.

Australian Aboriginal people and the Torres Strait Islander people were the indigenous inhabitants of the territory known as Australia today. However, the story began to change with the landing of the Portuguese in 1528. The quest for power, wealth, and natural resources motivated the Portuguese to explore this new found land.

Not long after the Portuguese, came the Spanish explorers. Alvaro de Mendana led a trip that discovered the Solomon Islands, thereby opening up the window for Spanish colonization and settlements.

In the late 1610s, the Dutch came, Willem Janz, sailed from Bantam to the Torres Strait discovering the Cape Yor Peninsula.

The Duyfken off Australia, 1606 The Duyfken off Australia, 1606
The Duyfken off Australia, 1606 The Duyfken off Australia, 1606.
Image: Robert Ingpen, National Library of Australia, nla.obj-138210565

However, Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch exploration did not cause a significant impact on Australian society until the coming of the British explorers in 1688. An English Buccaneer Williams D led the expedition to discover the Australian territory of New Holland.

After returning from his voyage, Williams published a book about his adventure, igniting curiosity in much of Britain about this unknown land. Years later the British people began migrating massively into this newfound land.

The British settlements and migration will later alter the entire history and culture of this newfound land. By early 1900, the native Australian population has been significantly diminished paving way for an overwhelming British majority.

For these reasons, Australia today is considered a Western country.

Author Profile

John Aina has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. John is happiest when he is on a bike and is also interested in Solar technology.
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    Is Africa, West of Australia? [A Geographical Analysis]

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