EXPEDITION
EARTH
EXPEDITION
EARTH
by Cindy Horton

by Cindy Horton
Published by: Bramley Books™, a division of
Knowledge Quest, Inc.
Post Office Box 789
Boring, OR 97009-0789
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Copyright:
2011 Cindy Horton
www.kqpublishing.org
www.kqpublishing.org
Printed in the United States of America
ISBN 978-1-932786-44-6 (hardcover)
Cover design by Cathi Stevenson
Cover images created by Sheriff/ licensed through Fotolia
Page layout and design by Cindy Horton
My Passport to the World
EXPEDITION
EARTH
EXPEDITION
EARTH
C
D
INCLUDES WORKSHEETS, FLA
S
H
C
A
R
D
S
, LESSON PLANS, MAPS AN
D
M
O
R
E
.BONUS CD-ROM

Table of Contents
Introduction............................................................................................................................................... 1
Africa.............................................................................................................................................. 3
Algeria .................................................................................................................................................. 4
Angola .................................................................................................................................................. 5
Benin .................................................................................................................................................... 6
Botswana ............................................................................................................................................. 7
Burkina Faso ........................................................................................................................................ 8
Burundi ................................................................................................................................................ 9
Cameroon .......................................................................................................................................... 10
Cape Verde ........................................................................................................................................ 11
Central African Republic .................................................................................................................... 12
Chad ................................................................................................................................................... 13
Comoros ............................................................................................................................................ 14
Congo ................................................................................................................................................. 15
Congo (Democratic Republic) ............................................................................................................ 16
Djibouti .............................................................................................................................................. 17
Egypt .................................................................................................................................................. 18
Equatorial Guinea .............................................................................................................................. 19
Eritrea ................................................................................................................................................ 19
Ethiopia .............................................................................................................................................. 20
Gabon ................................................................................................................................................ 21
Gambia .............................................................................................................................................. 21
Ghana ................................................................................................................................................ 22
Guinea ............................................................................................................................................... 23
Guinea-Bissau .................................................................................................................................... 23
Ivory Coast ......................................................................................................................................... 24
Kenya ................................................................................................................................................. 25
Lesotho .............................................................................................................................................. 26
Liberia ................................................................................................................................................ 26
Libya................................................................................................................................................... 27
Madagascar ....................................................................................................................................... 28
Malawi ............................................................................................................................................... 29
Mali .................................................................................................................................................... 30
Mauritania ......................................................................................................................................... 31
Mauritius ........................................................................................................................................... 32
Morocco ............................................................................................................................................ 33
Mozambique ...................................................................................................................................... 34
Namibia ............................................................................................................................................. 35
Niger .................................................................................................................................................. 36
Nigeria ............................................................................................................................................... 37

Rwanda .............................................................................................................................................. 38
Senegal .............................................................................................................................................. 39
Seychelles .......................................................................................................................................... 40
Sao Tome & Principe ......................................................................................................................... 40
Sierra Leone ....................................................................................................................................... 41
Somalia .............................................................................................................................................. 42
South Africa ....................................................................................................................................... 43
Sudan ................................................................................................................................................. 44
Swaziland ........................................................................................................................................... 45
Togo ................................................................................................................................................... 45
Tanzania ............................................................................................................................................. 46
Tunisia ............................................................................................................................................... 47
Uganda .............................................................................................................................................. 48
Zambia ............................................................................................................................................... 49
Zimbabwe .......................................................................................................................................... 50
Quiz – Africa...................................................................................................................................... 51
Asia................................................................................................................................................... 57
Afghanistan ........................................................................................................................................ 58
Bahrain .............................................................................................................................................. 59
Brunei ................................................................................................................................................ 59
Bangladesh ........................................................................................................................................ 60
Bhutan ............................................................................................................................................... 61
Cambodia ........................................................................................................................................... 62
China .................................................................................................................................................. 63
India ................................................................................................................................................... 64
Indonesia ........................................................................................................................................... 65
Iran..................................................................................................................................................... 66
Iraq..................................................................................................................................................... 67
Israel .................................................................................................................................................. 68
Japan .................................................................................................................................................. 69
Jordan ................................................................................................................................................ 70
Kazakhstan ......................................................................................................................................... 71
Kuwait ................................................................................................................................................ 72
Kyrgyzstan ......................................................................................................................................... 73
Laos .................................................................................................................................................... 74
Lebanon ............................................................................................................................................. 75
Malaysia ............................................................................................................................................. 76
Maldives ............................................................................................................................................ 77
Mongolia ............................................................................................................................................ 78
Myanmar ........................................................................................................................................... 79
Nepal ................................................................................................................................................. 80
North Korea ....................................................................................................................................... 81
Oman ................................................................................................................................................. 82

Qatar .................................................................................................................................................. 82
Pakistan ............................................................................................................................................. 83
Philippines ......................................................................................................................................... 84
Russia ................................................................................................................................................. 85
Saudi Arabia ....................................................................................................................................... 86
Singapore ........................................................................................................................................... 87
South Korea ....................................................................................................................................... 88
Sri Lanka ............................................................................................................................................ 89
Syria ................................................................................................................................................... 90
Taiwan ............................................................................................................................................... 91
Tajikistan ............................................................................................................................................ 92
Timor-Leste ........................................................................................................................................ 92
Thailand ............................................................................................................................................. 93
Turkey ................................................................................................................................................ 94
Turkmenistan ..................................................................................................................................... 95
United Arab Emirates ........................................................................................................................ 96
Uzbekistan ......................................................................................................................................... 97
Yemen ................................................................................................................................................ 97
Vietnam ............................................................................................................................................. 98
Quiz – Asia......................................................................................................................................... 99
Europe........................................................................................................................................ 103
Albania ............................................................................................................................................. 104
Andorra ............................................................................................................................................ 105
Armenia ........................................................................................................................................... 106
Austria ............................................................................................................................................. 107
Azerbaijan ........................................................................................................................................ 108
Belarus ............................................................................................................................................. 109
Belgium ............................................................................................................................................ 110
Bosnia and Herzegovina .................................................................................................................. 111
Bulgaria ............................................................................................................................................ 112
Croatia ............................................................................................................................................. 113
Cyprus .............................................................................................................................................. 114
Czech Republic ................................................................................................................................. 115
Denmark .......................................................................................................................................... 116
Estonia ............................................................................................................................................. 117
Finland ............................................................................................................................................. 118
France .............................................................................................................................................. 119
Georgia ............................................................................................................................................ 120
Germany .......................................................................................................................................... 121
Greece ............................................................................................................................................. 122
Hungary ........................................................................................................................................... 123
Iceland ............................................................................................................................................. 124
Ireland.............................................................................................................................................. 125

Italy .................................................................................................................................................. 126
Kosovo ............................................................................................................................................. 127
Latvia ............................................................................................................................................... 128
Liechtenstein ................................................................................................................................... 129
Lithuania .......................................................................................................................................... 130
Luxembourg ..................................................................................................................................... 131
Macedonia ....................................................................................................................................... 132
Malta ............................................................................................................................................... 133
Moldova ........................................................................................................................................... 134
Monaco ............................................................................................................................................ 135
Montenegro ..................................................................................................................................... 136
Netherlands, The ............................................................................................................................. 137
Norway ............................................................................................................................................ 138
Poland .............................................................................................................................................. 139
Portugal ........................................................................................................................................... 140
Romania ........................................................................................................................................... 141
San Marino ...................................................................................................................................... 142
Serbia ............................................................................................................................................... 143
Slovakia ............................................................................................................................................ 144
Slovenia ........................................................................................................................................... 145
Spain ................................................................................................................................................ 146
Sweden ............................................................................................................................................ 147
Switzerland ...................................................................................................................................... 148
Ukraine ............................................................................................................................................ 149
United Kingdom ............................................................................................................................... 150
Vatican City ...................................................................................................................................... 151
Quiz – Europe.................................................................................................................................. 153
North America............................................................................................................. 157
Antigua and Barbuda ....................................................................................................................... 158
Barbados .......................................................................................................................................... 158
Bahamas .......................................................................................................................................... 159
Belize ............................................................................................................................................... 160
Canada ............................................................................................................................................. 161
Costa Rica ........................................................................................................................................ 162
Cuba ................................................................................................................................................. 163
Dominica .......................................................................................................................................... 164
Dominican Republic ......................................................................................................................... 165
El Salvador ....................................................................................................................................... 166
Grenada ........................................................................................................................................... 167
Guatemala ....................................................................................................................................... 168
Haiti ................................................................................................................................................. 169
Honduras ......................................................................................................................................... 170
Jamaica ............................................................................................................................................ 171

Mexico ............................................................................................................................................. 172
Nicaragua ......................................................................................................................................... 173
Panama ............................................................................................................................................ 174
Saint Kitts Nevis ............................................................................................................................... 175
Saint Vincent .................................................................................................................................... 176
Trinidad ............................................................................................................................................ 176
United States ................................................................................................................................... 177
Quiz – North America ..................................................................................................................... 179
Oceania..................................................................................................................................... 183
Australia ........................................................................................................................................... 184
Federated States of Micronesia ...................................................................................................... 185
Fiji .................................................................................................................................................... 185
Kiribati ............................................................................................................................................. 186
Marshall ........................................................................................................................................... 186
New Zealand .................................................................................................................................... 187
Nauru ............................................................................................................................................... 188
Palau ................................................................................................................................................ 188
Papua New Guinea .......................................................................................................................... 189
Samoa .............................................................................................................................................. 189
Solomon ........................................................................................................................................... 190
Tonga ............................................................................................................................................... 190
Tuvalu .............................................................................................................................................. 191
Vanuatu ........................................................................................................................................... 191
Quiz – Oceania................................................................................................................................ 193
South America............................................................................................................. 195
Argentina ......................................................................................................................................... 196
Bolivia .............................................................................................................................................. 197
Brazil ................................................................................................................................................ 198
Chile ................................................................................................................................................. 199
Colombia .......................................................................................................................................... 200
Ecuador ............................................................................................................................................ 201
Guyana ............................................................................................................................................. 202
Paraguay .......................................................................................................................................... 203
Peru ................................................................................................................................................. 204
Suriname.......................................................................................................................................... 205
Uruguay ........................................................................................................................................... 206
Venezuela ........................................................................................................................................ 207
Quiz – South America ..................................................................................................................... 209
Appendix A ............................................................................................................................................. 211
Appendix B ............................................................................................................................................. 215
Appendix C ............................................................................................................................................. 219
About the Author ................................................................................................................................... 224

Introduction
Traveling the world–who wouldn’t like to do that? Our world has so much to offer. From beautiful
landscapes to ancient ruins, from unique food to unusual music. You may not be able to visit another
country, but this book will help you learn a little bit about the world around you. It might even help you
feel like you’ve left your living room for a little while!
In these pages, you’ll learn about the people, places, and history of the world’s 195 countries. You’ll
learn about the foods enjoyed in different regions, and you can even try the recipes that are included.
Maybe you’d like to add Irish soda bread or Lebanese tabbouleh to your family’s menu.
Of course, one page can’t possibly include everything there is to know about a country. As you read
about the cultures and places in these pages, you may want to check out books from your local library
to learn more about a topic.
What makes a country anyway?
The definition of a country is a tricky thing. In most cases, a country is an area of land that is ruled
by its own people, not by an outside force. All of the countries in this book are sovereign, meaning that
they govern themselves and aren’t accountable to any other nations.
All of these countries are not recognized by every other country in the world, though, and international
recognition goes a long way toward helping a nation gain stability and good relations with its neighbors.
For example, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and was quickly recognized by
the United States, Australia, and many other countries. Serbia, the United Nations, and most of the
world’s nations have not recognized Kosovo, however.
Sometimes, a country’s ability to gain international recognition is influenced by politics. Taiwan has
governed itself for more than 50 years but is not officially recognized by the United States, Canada, or
most other nations. Though it once held a seat in the United Nations, the slot was taken from Taiwan
and given to the People’s Republic of China in 1971. Taiwan is often referred to as Chinese Taipei or
as a province of China, even though it has been independent for decades.
Other areas of the world also govern themselves independently but are considered parts of other
nations. They’re typically called autonomous regions or autonomous provinces. In some countries, they
operate with complete independence, though they receive some oversight from the central government
in others.
Many countries also hold territories, which often govern themselves at least partially. Greenland and
the Faroe Islands belong to Denmark, while the United States holds Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin
Islands, American Samoa, and several other territories. In addition to its provinces, Canada includes
three territories–Yukon, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories.
1

Africa
The Dark Continent
Nubians
Z
ulu
Ancient Egypt
Talking Drums
Great Rift Valley
W
orld
’s
Longest
R
ive
r
-
T
he
N
ile
Sahara Desert
Skeleton Coast
Swahili
Arabic

Oasis in the Desert
An oasis is a place where plants grow in the desert, usually around a natural spring or a well.
Throughout history, oases have provided the water that people need for drinking, cooking, watering
crops, and tending livestock. Villages and farms develop around an oasis even though the surrounding
desert is barren.
Caravans of traders frequently stopped at oases to water their camels, replenish their own water,
and rest, In Algeria, the town of Adrar grew up near a group of oases called the Touat. The town was
an important link in trade between North and West Africa. A huge gateway provides the only entrance
into Adrar.
Algerian History
The earliest known people of Algeria were called Numidians. Their lands were considered very fertile
then, unlike the desert lands of today, and the Numidians were well respected as cavalrymen.
This region of Africa has been ruled by a succession of outside powers including the Roman and
Byzantine Empires, Berber and Arabic dynasties, Spain, and the Ottoman Empire. The northern
boundaries of Algeria were set up by the Ottomans.
Ottoman corsairs, better known as Barbary pirates, attacked ships in the Mediterranean Sea, which
led to the Barbary Wars with America in the early 1800s.
Did you know...?
➢ Algeria is primarily plateau and desert. Just
three percent of the country’s land can be
used for farming.
➢ Algeria is the second largest country in Africa.
➢ Berber-speaking people have lived in Algeria
throughout history. The language gave its
name to the Barbary Pirates, who are known
for attacking ships in the Mediterranean and
Atlantic.
➢ On the Algerian flag, the green represents
Islam, the white represents purity and peace,
and the red represents liberty. Both the
crescent and star are traditional Islamic
symbols, and Algerians believe that the
crescent will bring happiness.
My Algerian Fact Book
Full Name:
People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
Population: 34,586,184
Land Area: 919,595 square miles
Currency: Algerian dinar
Major Religion: Muslim (99%)
Highest Point: Mount Tahat (9,852 feet)
Lowest Point: Chott Melrhir (-131 feet)
Algeria is divided into 48 provinces.
Algeria
Capital City: Algiers
Language: Arabic
4

Angola Before Portuguese Colonization
When the Portuguese first came to Angola in the
late 1400s, they met King Nzinga Nkuwu of the
Kingdom of Kongo. The kingdom stretched across
what is now northern Angola and other modern
countries. Its army was made up of archers and
infantrymen who carried swords and shields.
People of the kingdom spoke Kikongo and lived in
villages called vata where they grew crops on shared
land. No one owned private land, and the yearly
harvests were divided among each family depending
on number of members. The village chief, called
nkuluntu, received an extra portion of the harvest.
The Kingdom of the Kongo traded goods with many
of their neighbors and distant nations. They were
known for providing ivory, copper, pottery, and cloth.
Did you know...?
➢ Angola’s natural resources include
diamonds and petroleum, which is used to
make gasoline and other fuels.
➢ The land that is now Angola was colonized
and ruled by Portugal for 400 years. It was
once part of a larger area called Portuguese
West Africa.
➢ Angola was once an important producer of
food for its own people and for other African
nations. The country’s civil war, which lasted
for almost 30 years, left most of the farmland
full of land mines and completely unsuitable
for farming.
➢ Angola has just two seasons: dry and rainy.
The rainy season lasts from November to
April and is hotter than the dry season.
My Angolan Fact Book
Full Name:
Republic of Angola
Population: 13,068,161
Land Area: 481,354 square miles
Currency: Kwanza
Major Religion: Christian (53%)
Highest Point: Morro de Moco (8,596 feet)
Lowest Point: Atlantic Ocean (0 feet)
Angola is divided into 18 provinces.
Angola
Capital City: Luanda
Language: Portuguese
5

Did you know...?
➢ On the Beninese flag, green stands
for hope, yellow for wealth, and red
for courage.
➢ The nation has just 75 miles of coastline on the
Atlantic Ocean. Large sandbanks make getting
to the coast difficult, and Benin has no harbors
for ships or even small boats.
➢ Benin is a little smaller than Pennsylvania.
➢ Benin has four seasons each year–two rainy,
two dry.
➢ The country depends on agriculture for its
livelihood. The Beninese people grow cotton,
peanuts, cashews, corn, beans, and other
crops.
My Beninese Fact Book
Full Name:
Republic of Benin
Population: 9,056,010
Land Area: 43,484 square miles
Currency: West African franc
Major Religions:
Christian (43%), Muslim (24%)
Highest Point: Mont Sokbaro (2,159 feet)
Lowest Point: Atlantic Ocean (0 feet)
Benin is divided into 12 departments.
Benin
Capital City: Porto-Novo
Language: French
Kingdom of Dahomey
The Kingdom of Dahomey stretched over the area that is now southern Benin from the early 1600s
until 1902 when it became a French colony. It was the last African kingdom to be colonized by Europeans.
The kingdom maintained a strong army and warred almost continually with its neighbors. After
contact with Europeans from France and Spain, the army was able to use modern weapons like rifles.
Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Dahomey kings would capture enemies in
battle and sell them into slavery.
People of Benin
Forty-two different ethnic groups live in Benin. The three largest are the Fon, Adja, and Yoruba.
The Fon people live primarily in southern Benin and southwest Nigeria where they often dwell in
houses made of mud with iron roofs. Many Fon were taken to North America as slaves prior to the end
of the Atlantic slave trade in the early nineteenth century. Their descendents still live in North America
today.
The Aja are believed to have settled in southern Benin in the 1100s where they established a
kingdom. In the 1600s, the kingdom was divided between three brothers who set up their capitals in
different cities. Today, Aja live in Benin and Togo.
An estimated 40 million Yoruba live in West Africa, most of them in Nigeria. The Yoruba have the
highest rate of twin births among any people of the world.
6

Botswana
Capital City: Gaborone
Languages:
English, Tswana
Did you know...?
➢ Botswana’s natural resources include
diamonds, gold, coal, and copper.
➢ The Kalahari Desert covers almost three-
quarters of Botswana.
➢ Unlike the drum music that is often
associated with Africa, traditional Tswana
music is primarily vocal or accompanied by
stringed instruments.
➢ The blue color on the Batswana flag
represents rain. The black and white
represent racial harmony.
➢ Botswana is just a little smaller than Texas.
➢ Watermelons are thought to have originated
in Botswana and are still grown there.
Sorghum, beans, peanuts, and several
vegetables are also grown in the country.
Cereal grains, like wheat and rice, have to
be imported from other countries.
My Batswana Fact Book
Full Name:
Republic of Botswana
Population: 2,029,307
Land Area: 224,610 square miles
Currency: Pula
Major Religion: Christian (70%)
Highest Point: Tsodilo Hills (4,885 feet)
Lowest Point: Limpopo and Shashe
River Junction (1,683 feet)
Botswana is divided into 16 districts.
Chobe National Park
In northern Botswana, land has been set aside as a wildlife refuge called Chobe National Park.
Chobe is home to elephants, hippopotamus, leopards, lions, giraffes, cape buffalo, and many others.
During certain times of year, as elephants migrate in search of vegetation and water, there are more
elephants here than in any other part of Africa.
Visitors to Chobe National Park can take boat rides down the Chobe River to see the wild animals
that come to drink there. Birds like ibis, spoonbills, and stork can also be seen.
Makgadikgadi Salt Pan
In the Kalahari Desert lies the Makgadikgadi Pan, one of the world’s largest salt pans. This salty
crust of earth was once Lake Makgadikgadi, which is believed to have been larger than Switzerland.
Parts of the Makgadikgadi Pan are used for commercial salt production, and much of the area becomes
a haven for wildlife during the rainy season.
Flamingos, ostriches, pelicans, ducks, and geese can all be seen around the Makgadikgadi.
Antelopes, zebra, and wildebeest also migrate through the area when the rains bring fresh water.
7

Burkina Faso
Capital City: Ouagadougou
Language: French
Did you know...?
➢ Burkina Faso was once called Upper Volta
because the upper part of the Volta River
passes through it in three sections–Black Volta,
White Volta, and Red Volta.
➢ The star on Burkina Faso’s flag represents the
guiding light of their fight for independence.
➢ Burkina is a Mòoré word, and Faso is from the
Dioula language. Together they mean, “land of
honest people.”
➢ Burkina Faso has two seasons: rainy and dry.
During the dry season, which lasts from
October to April, a hot wind called the
harmattan blows in from the Sahara Desert. It
sometimes brings dust storms with it.
My Burkinabé Fact Book
Full Name:
Burkina Faso
Population: 16,241,811
Land Area: 105,869 square miles
Currency: West African franc
Major Religions:
Muslim (61%), Christian (23%)
Highest Point: Tena Kourou (2,457 feet)
Lowest Point: Mouhoun River (656 feet)
Burkina Faso is divided into 13 regions.
Mossi Kingdom
About 40 percent of the people living in Burkina Faso are part of the Mossi ethnic group. Historians
believe, based on the oral tradition of the people, that the Mossi Kingdom began during the 1400s.
Because their army rode on horseback, the Mossi were able to conquer much of the land that is now
Burkina Faso.
The kingdom kept expanding until the French conquered the city of Ouagadougou and made the
area a French protectorate in 1896. The Mossi emperor, called the Mogho Naaba, was able to maintain
limited authority while the French were in power. Today, the modern government of Burkina Faso still
consults with the current Mogho Naaba on very important decisions.
The Mossi people value family above personal identity. Everything a person does is considered a
reflection–good or bad–on his family.
Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou
The Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) is held every other year
in Burkina Faso’s capital city. It’s the largest event in all of Africa.
Filmmakers from all over Africa gather to showcase their work and to learn from one another. Several
awards are given away each time the FESPACO is held. The highest award is called Stallion of
Yennenga and is given to the film that judges feel best represents the realities of Africa.
8

Burundi
Capital City: Bujumbura
Languages: Kirundi, French
My Burundian Fact Book
Full Name:
Republic of Burundi
Population: 9,863,117
Land Area: 10,745 square miles
Currency: Burundi franc
Major Religions: Christian (67%),
Traditional (23%), Muslim (10%)
Highest Point: Heha (8,760 feet)
Lowest Point: Lake Tanganyika (2,533 feet)
Burundi is divided into 17 provinces.
Did you know...?
➢ Burundi was part of the Belgian colony
called Ruanda-Urundi from 1916 to 1924.
It became an independent nation in 1962.
➢ Burundi exports both coffee and sugar to
other nations, and its natural resources
include copper, platinum, and nickel.
Even so, the country remains very poor.
➢ Most Burundians work in some sort of
agriculture, and many families grow the
majority of the food that they eat. Sweet
potatoes, bananas, tea, and cotton are
some of the crops that are grown
commercially.
Drums of Burundi
Music is an important part of Burundian traditional culture, and drums
are actually considered sacred instruments by most Burundians. The
karyenda drum has been used for hundreds of years in ceremonies,
especially those in which the king was involved. Drummers played the
karyenda to send important announcements and messages across long
distances.
A karyenda is made from a hollowed-out log that is covered on one
side with a stretched animal skin. Both the sides and the top of the drum
are played with sticks. The drums are sometimes decorated with the
Burundian flag, and some people dance or carry decorated shields and spears during drumming
demonstrations. A group called the Royal Drummers of Burundi have visited countries around the world
to share the sound of these traditional Burundian drums with others.
9

Cameroon
Capital City: Yaoundé
Languages: French, English
My Cameroonian Fact Book
Full Name:
Republic of Cameroon
Population: 19,294,149
Land Area: 183,568 square miles
Currency: Central African franc
Major Religions: Christian (40%),
Traditional (40%), Muslim (20%)
Highest Point:
Mount Cameroon (13,435 feet)
Lowest Point: Atlantic Ocean (0 feet)
Cameroon is divided into ten regions.
Did you know...?
➢ The word Cameroon comes from the
Portuguese name given to the area in the
late 1400s, Rio dos Camarões, which
means “River of Shrimp.”
➢ Many Cameroonian families are involved
in agriculture to grow coffee, rice, sugar,
and numerous other crops. It’s common
for women to stay at home to raise the
foods that their families will eat while the
men work at growing crops that can be
sold.
➢ Cameroonian music uses numerous
instruments including drums, bells, flutes,
and xylophones.
Lake Nyos
In the northern part of Cameroon sits Lake Nyos, which has the unusual distinction of being saturated
with carbon dioxide. The lake is believed to have formed around the sixteenth century when a violent
volcanic eruption left a crater almost 6,000 feet across and 680 feet deep. The crater filled with
groundwater, which is kept in place by a natural dam made of hard volcanic rock.
A large amount of magma remains beneath the lake. Though it doesn’t erupt in the traditional sense,
the magma releases gases like carbon dioxide, sulphur, and hydrogen through the soil and into the
water. The cold water at the bottom of the lake, therefore, becomes saturated with these poisonous
gases.
In 1986, for reasons that scientists don’t fully understand, a huge volume of the poison gas was
released from the lake along with a fountain of water 300 feet high. This cloud of primarily carbon dioxide
moved away from the lake through a valley, displacing all of the oxygen in its path. As it passed over
several villages, almost 2,000 people were killed and another 4,000 fled despite respiratory problems
and burns on their skin.
The sudden eruption of carbon dioxide may have been caused by a nearby landslide, an earthquake,
or a small volcanic eruption on the lake bed. Since the disaster, scientists have worked to find ways to
prevent another eruption of carbon dioxide. Two other lakes in Africa, one in Cameroon and one in
Rwanda, are also saturated with poison gas and vulnerable to similar eruptions.
10

Cape Verde
Capital City: Praia
Language: Portuguese
Did you know...?
➢ Because of emigration, more Cape Verdeans
now live overseas than actually live in Cape
Verde.
➢ Hurricanes sometimes form near Cape Verde
and travel across the Atlantic Ocean toward
North America.
➢ Cape Verde consists of ten islands. Three of
them are sandy, while the rest are rocky.
➢ The Cape Verde islands were not inhabited
by people before the Portuguese set up
colonies on them in the 1400s.
➢ The Cape Verdean flag was adopted in 1992.
Its ten yellow stars represent the ten islands,
and the red and white stripes symbolize the
road taken to construct the nation. The white
color symbolizes peace, and the red
symbolizes effort. The blue color represents
the surrounding ocean and sky.
My Cape Verdean Fact Book
Full Name:
Republic of Cape Verde
Population: 508,659
Land Area: 1,557 square miles
Currency: Cape Verdean escudo
Major Religion: Christian (95%)
Highest Point: Mount Fogo (9,282 feet)
Lowest Point: Atlantic Ocean (0 feet)
Cape Verde is divided into 22 municipalities.
Pico do Fogo
Pico do Fogo is the highest point in Cape Verde and an active volcano. It last erupted in 1995 when
a side vent covered the entire island with ash. An eruption in 1847 caused earthquakes across the
island, but the last time that the main opening of Pico do Fogo erupted was more than 400 years ago
in 1675.
A caldera is a round depression on a volcano that is formed when magma beneath the surface has
been completely expelled. Without the magma beneath, the ground falls and creates the depression.
Pico do Fogo has a caldera near its top, and the village of Chã das Caldeiras is actually inside it.
The people here grow grapes, apples, corn, peppers, and other crops.
Antonio de Noli
Italian Antonio de Noli discovered the Cape Verde islands in 1462 when he sailed in expeditions
organized by Henry the Navigator, a Portuguese prince. King Alfonso V of Portugal named him the first
governor of the new Cape Verdean colonies.
Information about de Noli’s time as governor wasn’t well documented, and no one knows how long
he stayed in Cape Verde or even where and when he died.
11

Central African
Republic
Capital City: Bangui
Languages: Sango, French
Did you know...?
➢ During its time as a French colony, the Central
African Republic was called Ubangi-Chari after
two of the country’s rivers.
➢ The Central African Republic is just a little
smaller than Texas.
➢ Most of the nation is covered by grassy
savannas with a few hills and a plateau.
➢ Central African farmers grow peanuts, sesame,
cassava, and a variety of other tropical crops.
➢ The country produces a large amount of
diamonds every year.
My Central African Fact Book
Full Name:
Central African Republic
Population: 4,844,927
Land Area: 240,534 square miles
Currency: Central African franc
Major Religions: Christian (50%),
Traditional (35%), Muslim (15%)
Highest Point: Mont Ngaoui (4,659 feet)
Lowest Point: Oubangui River (1,099 feet)
Central African Republic is divided into 14
administrative prefectures.
Etienne Goyemide & The Eastern Slave Trade
One of the Central African Republic’s most famous writers, Etienne Goyemide is known around the
world for his novels The Silence of the Forest and The Last Survivor of the Caravan. Both were written
in the French language in 1984 and 1985 respectively. The Last Survivor explores the sad and
distressing story of the eastern African slave trade during the nineteenth century.
Perhaps not as well known as the Atlantic slave trade, people from central Africa were kidnapped
by rival tribes and Arabic raiders and then taken north and east to Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula. It
is estimated that more than a million people were taken away from the region of present-day Central
African Republic in just a little more than 200 years.
Unlike the slaves taken to the Americas, those taken into the Muslim regions of Arabia were not
often pressed into agriculture-related labor. Instead, they were made to act as household servants like
porters, guards, and cooks.
Goyemide’s novel is told from the perspective of a griot storyteller who recalls the early peaceful
days of his village, the arrival of the Muslim Tuareg raiders, and the fighting and kidnapping that ensues.
Though the novel is fiction, stories like it were played out across Central Africa in the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries.
12

Chad
Capital City: N’Djamena
Languages: French, Arabic
My Chadian Fact Book
Full Name:
Republic of Chad
Population: 10,543,464
Land Area: 495,753 square miles
Currency: Central African franc
Major Religions:
Muslim (54%), Christian (34%)
Highest Point: Emi Koussi (11,204 feet)
Lowest Point: Djourab (525 feet)
Chad is divided into 22 regions.
Did you know...?
➢ The people of Chad enjoy
playing soccer, basketball, and
a form of wrestling in which the participants wear
animal hides and are covered in dust.
➢ Chad’s landscape ranges from savannah in the
south, the Sahelian belt in the central region, and
the Sahara desert in the north.
➢ On the Chadian flag, blue stands for the sky and
hope, yellow for the sun and desert, and red for
unity and sacrifice. It combines colors from both
the French and Pan-African flags.
➢ Chadians eat mostly millet and dried or smoked
fish. They enjoy a beverage called carcaje that
is made from the extract of hibiscus leaves.
Lake Chad
The country gets its name from Lake Chad in the western region. The word Chad means “a large
expanse of water” in the native dialect, but less than half of Lake Chad stays covered in water
throughout the year.
When Europeans first explored the area in the early nineteenth century, they thought Lake Chad
was probably one of the largest in the entire world. A growing population has put a greater demand
on water from the lake, however, and it has shrunk about 95 percent since 1960. Changes in rainfall
from year to year affect the size of Lake Chad at any given time.
Today, Lake Chad is the second largest wetland on the African continent. It consists of swamps,
bogs, marshes, and mud banks and is home to a variety of waterfowl, crocodile, and hippopotamus.
Bodélé Depression
The Bodélé Depression is an area in the Sahara Desert that produces frequent dust storms. The
storms occur an average of one hundred days out of every year, and the depression produces over a
million metric tons of dust every day during the winter months.
Nearby towns, including the city of Faya-Largeau, are often affected by these dust storms. The dust
can blow for many miles. Scientists have discovered that Bodélé Depression dust reaches as far as the
eastern United States and the Amazon rainforest.
13

Did you know...?
➢ The four stars on the Comoran flag represent
the archipelago's four main islands, called
Mwali, N'gazidja, Nzwani, and Mahore.
➢ One of the islands claimed by Comoros, Mahore
or Mayotte, is actually governed by France as
an overseas territory.
➢ The farms of Comoros produce coconuts,
vanilla, coffee, ylang-ylang, and cocoa beans.
➢ Because the Comorian language never
developed a written script of its own, both Arabic
and Latin letters are used in different situations.
Comoros
Capital City: Moroni
Languages: Comorian,
Arabic, French
My Comoran Fact Book
Full Name:
Union of the Comoros
Population: 773,407
Land Area: 695 square miles
Currency: Comorian franc
Major Religion: Muslim (98%)
Highest Point: Karthala (7,743 feet)
Lowest Point: Indian Ocean (0 feet)
Comoros is divided into three islands and
four municipalities.
Karthala
Grand Comore, Comoros’ largest island, is dominated
by a volcano called Mount Karthala. After 14 years of
dormancy, Karthala erupted in both 2005 and 2006. The
2005 eruption was greater and led 40,000 people to
evacuate their homes. A lake that had been formed after a
1991 eruption was completely evaporated during the 2005
eruption.
Karthala is covered by evergreen trees, though the
forests are in danger of being decimated by logging. Some
of the most remarkable wildlife on Karthala are four species
of birds that are found nowhere else in the world. All four
species are classified as endangered.
14

Expedition Earth
Lesson Plans
Note to Parents:
The lesson plans that follow are designed to help you work through
Expedition Earth in one school year. You'll find daily plans, quizzes, and
information for further study that will carry you through 35 weeks.
Your local library is a great resource for learning more about the topics
mentioned in Expedition Earth. The lesson plans don't contain specific book
titles because every library is different. Take some time before beginning a
week's lessons to search your library's card catalog for the keywords marked in
bold.
Throughout the lesson plans, you'll find links to websites and videos where
you and your children can learn more about the topics. Though the sites have all
been checked prior to being included here, the content can change at any time.
Please preview any website before sharing it with your children.
Feel free to go through the lesson plans more quickly or more slowly as it
suits your family. You may want to work through a continent, take a break for
several weeks, and then begin again later. Above all, have fun learning!

Week One – Day 1
Read page 4 about Algeria.
Learn more about the Barbary Pirates.
Barbary Pirates – an article from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
America and the Barbary Pirates: An International Battle Against an
Unconventional Foe by Gerard W. Gawalt – The Library of Congress
Algeria's Numidian people fought in the Punic Wars, first as an ally of the
Carthaginians and then as an ally of the Roman Empire.
Masinissa, Numidian ruler – Encyclopedia Britannica
Draw a picture of a desert oasis with a gateway. Do caravans visit your oasis?
Week One – Day 2
Read page 5 about Angola.
Almost immediately upon gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, Angola
entered a civil war that lasted for 27 years. These websites explain more about
the destructive and tragic conflict.
Angola: First civil war (1975-1992) - Electoral Institute for the Sustainability
of Democracy in Africa (EISA)
Angola: Second civil war (1992-2001) – EISA
Angola's civil war in pictures – BBC News
Week One – Day 3
Read pages 6 and 7 about Benin and Botswana.
Learn more about the Kingdom of Dahomey, the last African kingdom to be
colonized by Europeans.
Dahomey – The Ouidah Museum of History
Dahomey – Encyclopedia Britannica
Wonders: Dahomey Kingdom – PBS.org

Dahomey, like other African kingdoms, is known for selling captives into slavery.
Africa And The Africans In The Age Of The Atlantic Slave Trade – History
World International
Botswana is home to a diverse landscape including the Kalahari Desert,
Chobe National Park, and the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan.
Kalahari Desert – ThinkQuest
The !Kung of the Kalahari Desert – University of Connecticut
The Baobab Tree in Chobe National Park
Week One – Day 4
Read page 8 about Burkina Faso.
Emperor of the Mossi Tribe: In Burkina Faso, Mogho Naba Lives On – Los
Angeles Times
Week One – Day 5
Take Quiz 1 on the next page.
Finish reading your library books or explore the websites from this week's
lessons.
Color Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, and Burkina Faso on the outline map of
Africa.

Quiz 1
1. How much of Algeria's land is available for farming? ____________________
2. What do the crescent and star on Algeria's flag symbolize? ______________
________________________________________________________________
3. Name the capital of each country.
Algeria _________________________________________________________
Angola _________________________________________________________
Benin __________________________________________________________
Botswana _______________________________________________________
Circle the countries that border the Atlantic Ocean.
Algeria
Angola
Benin
Botswana
4. Name the three largest ethnic groups in Benin. ________________________
________________________________________________________________
5. What types of music have been traditionally enjoyed in Botswana? ________
________________________________________________________________
6. What do the words Burkina Faso mean? _____________________________
________________________________________________________________
7. What is the emperor of the Mossi people called? _______________________
________________________________________________________________

Week Two – Day 1
Read pages 9 and 10 about Burundi and Cameroon.
Learn more about the Royal Drummers of Burundi and their karyenda.
Drummers of Burundi – Heavenly Planet
Videos:
Burundi Drummers – filmed in Burundi, hear one of the drummers
speaking in the native Kirundi language
Drummers of Burundi Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 – at a festival in the United
Kingdom
Learn more about Cameroon's Lake Nyos.
The Lake Nyos Disaster – University of Arizona Geosciences
Webcam on Lake Nyos – shows the fountain used to degas Lake Nyos
Week Two – Day 2
Read pages 11 and 12 about Cape Verde and the Central African Republic.
Chã das Caldeiras – photos of Chã das Caldeiras and other areas on
Fogo Island (Use the navigation links to view all of the photos.)
Volcanoes of Cape Verde Islands – Volcano Live (Use the links to learn
about four of the volcanoes in Cape Verde.)
Read about Henry the Navigator, whose expeditions led Portuguese sailors all
over the world.
Prince Henry the Navigator – ThinkQuest
Prince Henry the Navigator – University of Calgary (Click the arrows at the
bottom of each page to read a complete tutorial on Henry's life and
expeditions.)
Learn more about the history and current state of the diamond industry in the
Central African Republic as well as other African nations.
Diamond Producing Countries in Africa – World Diamond Council
The Nature of Diamonds – American Museum of Natural History

Though you probably won't be able to read Etienne Goyemide's novels about
the East African slave trade (unless you're fluent in French!), you can learn
more about this often overlooked aspect of slavery in Africa's history.
Slavery in Africa – Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia, contains an
overview of slavery in Africa (In particular, read Part III, Section A called
“The Trans-Saharan and East Africa Slave Trades.”)
Week Two – Day 3
Read page 13 about Chad.
Learn more about Lake Chad and the Bodele Depression.
Dust Storm in the Bodele Depression – NASA Earth Observatory
Scientists have discovered that dust from the Boudele Depression is actually a
source of fertilizer for the Amazon Rainforest.
Print the world map found at the end of the lesson plans. Using your atlas as a
reference, mark Lake Chad in blue and color the Boudele Depression in brown.
Draw a path from the desert, across the Atlantic Ocean, to the Amazon
Rainforest in South America. Color the area of the rainforest green.
Week Two – Day 4
Read pages 14 and 15 about Comoros and Congo.
Volcanoes of Comoros – Volcano Live (Use the links to learn about the two
active volcanoes in Comoros.)
Karthala, Grand Comore Island, Indian Ocean – Oregon State University
Karthala Volcano Erupts – NASA Earth Observatory
Read more about the Bakongo people of Congo.
Bakongo – The Africa Guide
Week Two – Day 5

Take Quiz 2 on the next page.
Finish reading your library books or explore the websites from this week's
lessons.
Color Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, the Central African Republic , Chad,
Comoros, and Congo on the outline map of Africa.

Quiz 2
1. (a) Name the Belgian colony partially made up by Burundi during the early
twentieth century. (b) What other modern country was also part of this colony?
(a) _____________________________________________________________
(b) _____________________________________________________________
2. Name the capital of each country.
Burundi _________________________________________________________
Cameroon _______________________________________________________
Cape Verde ______________________________________________________
Central African Republic ____________________________________________
Chad ___________________________________________________________
Comoros ________________________________________________________
Congo __________________________________________________________
3. What two rivers gave the Central African Republic its name as a French
colony? _________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
4. What lake has shrunk by 95% due to overuse? ________________________
5. Name three crops that are grown on the Comoros Islands. _______________
________________________________________________________________
6. Where do most Congolese people live? ______________________________
________________________________________________________________