I have curated a collection of free printable old maps of Africa. All these wonderful maps are in the public domain so you are free to use them how you wish to.
Africa is a continent I would love to explore more of one day. I have only ever visited three African countries Morrocco, South Africa and Kenya. And they were as a child! Morocco and South Africa are both opposite ends of the vast continent.
The trip to Morroco was only a day trip from Spain. Did you know that Africa and Europe less than 9 miles apart separated by the Strait of Gibraltar? We got the ferry from Gibraltar to Tangiers and it only took about 80 mins.
Fun Facts About The African Continent
- After Asia, Africa is the second largest and most populous of the seven continents. It is a huge continent made up of 54 countries and over a billion people.
- The continent spans both hemispheres. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Africa has the youngest population of all the continents the median age in 2012 was 19.7 when the worldwide median age was 30.4.
- The largest country in Africa by area is Algeria. Whereas the largest country by population is Nigeria.
- Another interesting fact about Africa is that it is considered to be the birthplace of humanity. The continent is where the first hominids, human beings and their closest relatives the gorilla and chimpanzees, evolved about 7 million years ago. Fossils found in Africa, show that the modern human beings spread from this continent.
- Africa boasts perhaps the world’s largest and most diverse populations of wild animals.
- The continent is home to most wild populations of large mammals such as lions, elephants, giraffes, hippos and camels. (There are some free printable vintage African animal prints download here).
Top Places To Visit in Africa
Hopefully, you can spot some of these places on the old maps of Africa. They are considered to be the most popular tourist destinations within the continent.
- Cape Town in South Africa
- Masai Mara National Park in Kenya
- Kruger National Park in South Africa
- Victoria Falls in Zambia/Zimbabwe
- Namibia: the Namib Desert and Etosha National Park
- Mauritius and the Indian Ocean Islands
- Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
- Morocco – Markets, Deserts and Mountains
There are a few more important African destinations I would add to this list.
- Omo river region – Ethiopia
- Virunga Mountains (Gorilla trekking) – Democratic Republic of Congo
- The pyramids and Sphinx – Egypt
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The Copyright free Old Maps Of Africa
To download a higher resolution of the historical map of Africa you want just click on the title above the map. A higher resolution image should then open up in a new page in your browser. You can then just save that image to your hard drive as a jpg file.
The .jpg file can be printed directly from your computer or you can upload the file to an online printers/photo lab and order a professional print on the paper of your choice and size.
1.Diego Ribero 1529 Map
Diego Ribero was a Portuguese cartographer and explorer who worked most of his life in Spain. This antique map of Africa was part of the world map.
This is part of his most famous map The Padrón Real which was the official and secret Spanish master map used as a template for the maps present on all Spanish ships during the 16th century.
The illustrations on this map are wonderful, small line drawings of animals and trees. Also, he has drawn some Spanish galleons along the coast. Considering the age of this map it seems surprisingly accurate.
2. 1562 Map by Paolo Forlani
I don’t know much about this antique map of Africa expect that it was published by Paolo Forlani. (This is a very large file)
3. Gerardus Mercator – Old Map Of Africa
Mercator was a Belgian pioneer of cartography he was also known as a maker of globes and scientific instruments.
4. Route de Brest au royaume de Siam 1690
A beautiful antique map featuring Africa in the center which is described as:
“Sea route: From Brest to Siam and from Siam to Brest made in 1865 by Father Coronelli cosmographer of the Republic of Venice.“
5. Historical Map of Africa with 9 City Illustrations
This next, beautifully illustrated (1635) map of Africa by the Dutch cartographer Willem Janszoon Blaeu is bordered by some lovely drawings.
Including illustrations of 9 African cities: Tanger, Ceuta, Alger, Tunis, Alexandria, Alcair, Mozambique, S. Georgius della Mina, Canaria. (This is a large map)
6. Guillaume Delisle 1745 Historical Africa
Guillaume Delisle was a well known French cartographer. Like many cartographers of his day, Delisle did not travel with the explorers. He drew maps in his office, relying on a variety of data.
The quality of his maps depended on his well-connected network of friends and family to provide him first-hand accounts of their travels. This gave him an advantage over his competitors.
Being a member of the Académie, also kept him current with recent discoveries, especially in astronomy and measurement.
7. 1794 Boulton and Anville Wall Map of Africa
This is considered to be one of the most important 18th-century maps of the African continent.
The map is unique in that it attempts to compile all of the accurate scientific knowledge of the African continent available at the time.
In contrast to may other cartographers of the period there almost no attempt to fill the “unknown” regions of the interior with fictitious beasts, kingdoms, and geological features.
8. Johnson’s Africa 1862
This rare map appeared only in the earliest editions of Johnson’s Atlas. The map of the African continent also includes the adjacent parts of Europe and Asia.
The map is colour coded according to African states. It shows Lake Victoria (alternately called Lake Nyanza or Ukerewe Sea) and marks the route of Dr. Livingstone along the Zambezi River.
The map also offers notations regarding several other important explorations such as that of Mahomet Ali, Denham & Clapperton, Barth, Lander, and others.
The surrounding watery areas show the routes taken by numerous sailing expeditions sailing around the Cape, including Cook, Carteret, Wallis, the Resolution, Byron, Vasco de Gama, Vancouver, and others.
An inset details the remote island of St. Helena, famed as Napoleon’s place of exile and death. The lower right-hand quadrant features two attractive vignettes depicting Cape Town and Table Mountain and Port Natal.
9. The “Daily Mail” commercial map of Africa
This old map of Africa was published by the British newspaper The Daily Mail in 1898.
10. Vintage Maps of Africa 1913
This vintage map of Africa is from the book ” The bonds of Africa; impressions of travel and sport from Cape Town to Cairo, 1902-1912” by Owen Letcher.
Don’t forget to check out all the other fabulous continental maps on Pictureboxblue. Such as those vintage maps of Europe and the old maps of Antarctica. I have some wonderful old maps of Asia.
I have split the continent of North America into two sets of maps, those maps of the United Stages and vintage maps of Canada.
However, if you want a more global view then there are the antique world maps.
A Crafty Mix | For the Love of Africa –Mixed Media Night Light - A Crafty Mix
Saturday 27th of November 2021
[…] are so many different ways to embellish the African continent or whatever shape you decide to use. Glue on fabric scraps or buttons, or give it a crazy cracked […]
Wednesday 5th of February 2020
Thanks Claire. You're always my go-to place for beautiful maps and these African ones are extra special.
Wednesday 5th of February 2020
Thank you, Michelle. I plan to dig out some South African ones someday soon.
Thursday 30th of January 2020
love learning geography and helping kids learn as well thanks for sharing come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com
Thursday 30th of January 2020