Africa is both the second-largest and second-most-populous continent on Earth, home to much more than just safaris, beaches, and the pyramids,. Its 54 mainland countries and island nations all boast their own unique history, heritage, and culture, and this is, in part, what makes traveling around Africa so fascinating. While beautiful beaches and rugged cliffs line its long coastline, its vast interior encompasses everything from mountains and deserts to tropical rainforests and the Nile river.