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Countries Closest to Africa

Name the countries that lie closest to the continent of Africa, but that aren't considered to be part of Africa.
Using the Suez Canal as the border between Africa and Asia
Numbers in red indicate an external territory
Quiz by Jerry928
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Last updated: June 18, 2019
First submittedSeptember 6, 2014
Times taken33,601
Rating4.89
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km
country
miles
0
Spain
0
20
Yemen
13
21
UK (Gibraltar)
13
101
Saudi Arabia
63
144
Italy
89
183
Israel
114
202
Portugal
126
212
Jordan
132
258
Greece
160
288
Malta
179
km
country
miles
332
Lebanon
207
352
Cyprus
219
365
Syria
227
450
France
280
507
Turkey
315
549
Vatican City
341
570
Oman
354
637
Andorra
396
645
Iraq
401
737
Monaco
458
+3
level 61
Aug 15, 2016
If you have Andorra, Vatican City and Monaco, you should also have San Marino in the list.
+1
level 83
Aug 15, 2016
Distance between San Marino and Africa (near Bizerte, Tunisia, is 473 miles, so I agree.
+10
level ∞
Aug 15, 2016
473 miles is too far away to be in the top 20.
+1
level 66
Aug 19, 2016
Albania is about the same distance, not on the list either - there is simply a cut off before :-)
+2
level 83
Sep 21, 2016
yeah, there I go confusing the miles and kilometers columns again...
+1
level 82
Aug 15, 2016
Damn hard to remember those small ones.
+4
level 71
Aug 24, 2016
great! just not sure about Spain being 0 km away, wouldn't Ceuta etc be considered part of Africa hence not count towards this quiz? Also not sure if Mayotte/Reunion make the list
+4
level 74
Oct 4, 2016
"Name the countries that lie closest to the continent of Africa, but that aren't considered to be part of Africa." It's arbitrary but this is how the author quaified it. Spain is usually considered a European country, so it's included, while Egypt is considered an African country, so it's not, even though Sinai is in Asia, if Suez channel is the border.
+2
level 67
Aug 25, 2019
How can the locations of Ceuta and Melilla be arbitrary? They are both part of Africa. It's hardly a matter of opinion.
+3
level 50
Oct 18, 2019
Spain is unquestionably an African country.
+1
level 35
Aug 22, 2018
I agree. Spain is not 0 km away of Africa.
+2
level 47
Oct 15, 2019
Spain isn't considered 'African' so it isn't disregarded even if its territories are in Spain. Egypt owns the Suez Canal in Asia but isn't considered an Asian country, same with France in South America but it's still European. Spain shouldn't be counted out because of some territories, its a European country with land bordering Africa and therefor 0km.
+1
level 55
Sep 21, 2016
19/20... I missed Gibraltar. The whole territory thing screwed me up; I was guessing things like Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Crete, Northern Cyprus (hey, I was desperate), etc. trying to figure out what it could be, only to miss what should have been totally obvious. Oh well...
+4
level 68
Sep 21, 2016
Shouldn't Palestine be on the list?
+2
level 72
Sep 21, 2016
The original version included it. The editorial policy at Jetpunk is that, when a quiz is featured, that countries that don't appear in the Countries of the World quiz also do not generally appear in other country quizzes. This is to achieve consistency across featured quizzes.
+3
level 68
Sep 21, 2016
Fair enough if that is the policy. However 70.5 %(136) of member states on the UN have recognised Palestine as a independent state so in my opinion they should be featured as such in all quizzes.
+1
level 49
Sep 22, 2016
It is not a question of PR (being recognised by a list of countries) but of control over the territory. Kosovo achieves many more characteristics of a sovereign country than Palestine does. Hence, Kosovo is included in the Countries of the World quiz and Palestine or Tibet are not.
+2
level 72
Sep 22, 2016
A country's existence should be determined by (1) a country declaring itself to be one (as Palestine did back in 1988) followed by (2) a sufficient number of countries (in this case, 136 nations) agreeing that it does indeed exist. This isn't a matter of "PR", but of the reality of those two things. (If "control of borders" was a factor, then not only would Georgia and Cyprus no longer be countries, but any nation under occupation would cease to be a country!). The main difference between Palestine and Tibet is that China claims Tibet to be Chinese territory, but Israel does not claim Gaza or the West Bank to be Israeli territory.
+1
level 77
Sep 28, 2016
Georgia and Cyprus are independent countries with independent sovereign or semi-sovereign regions within them. Even if you took away those regions, they would still be countries, just smaller countries. "Palestine" is not anywhere near analogous to Cyprus or Georgia. It's not even clear what "Palestine" is. Most countries that recognize Palestine as a country recognize the PNA as the government of that country, but this is in dispute (primarily because Hamas, the elected government of Gaza, is not part of the PNA). The PNA claims Jerusalem as their capital, but they have no presence there. They have nominal control over a smattering of cities and settlements around the West Bank, but the IDF controls 100% what goes in and out of there and they control a large portion of the territory, as well, entirely encircling cities under PNA control. Israel DOES claim the West Bank. It has annexed large portions into Israel proper and the rest is under Israeli administration.
+2
level 77
Sep 28, 2016
Gaza is free and self-determined, though under blockade from Israel and Egypt so they don't control their own borders even if there is no Israeli occupation within the borders of Gaza. Gaza has it's own government (Hamas) which is not the PNA and is not Fatah. But nobody thinks of "Palestine" as solely Gaza.

The existence of a Palestinian state is pure fantasy. I've lived there. It does not exist. I've also been to Cyprus, Northern Cyprus, Georgia, and Adjara incidentally.
+3
level 77
Sep 28, 2016
And finally the 136 countries that recognize Palestine do so because they are more concerned with playing politics than observing reality. Many of these countries are Muslim countries and they recognize Palestine for purely and obviously partisan reasons- they hate Jews and will support Muslims in their efforts to destroy a Jewish state. Many of these countries are in Africa, South America, or SE Asia, are still resentful of European colonialism, and have been duped by the false narrative that Israel is a European colony and not a nation-state of people with ties to the land same as any other. Many of these countries are from within the sphere of influence of the former Soviet Union and are still stuck in the Cold War where the US backed Israel and Russia backed Israel's enemies. A handful are despotic rogue nations who hate the USA and have confusedly conflated the United States with Israel. And a smattering are liberal countries that see Arabs as oppressed minorities.
+1
level 57
Jul 3, 2018
@Jerry928 I don't really agree with your argument about Palestine. The main problem is that existence of one country tries in other "countries". How do you know these are countries? If 500 people around the world each declared their houses independent countries and all recognised each others' as countries, then by your argument all of them would be sovereign countries, at least to the extent that any UN member states is. If countries are wholly occupied they are no longer sovereign states, which is what is usually meant by a country, but not all of Georgia or Cyprus are occupied. Nobody really controls the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, so the area is not any country's sovereign territory.
+1
level 72
Nov 25, 2018
We gotta correct a massive blooper by Mr Kal above: Israel does not claim any of Palestine, in either the West Bank or Gaza, apart from East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. No-one other than the Palestinians claim Palestine, which makes the term "Palestinian Territories" plain wrong, because to be a territory, there has to be a country that has ultimate control over it.
+1
level 77
Aug 25, 2019
I didn't say anything that was incorrect, Jerry. As I pointed out above, what exactly one means by "Palestine" is confusing and contentious. If you identify the "West Bank" as all the territory east of the 1949 armistice line previously annexed by Jordan, as most do, then absolutely there are portions of the West Bank claimed by Israel. 12% of this territory is on the Israeli side of the wall that Israel has built. The other 78%, though not claimed by the Israeli government officially as part of the state of Israel proper, has been under Israeli military occupation since 1967. Territory in the colloquial sense just means land. There is land in the area known as the West Bank. Some of it disputed, some claimed only by the PNA, but all of it under Israeli control and the state has repeatedly defended its presence and control there using various definitions and rationale.
+1
level 72
Aug 25, 2019
Please see my comments above. Your comment just above admits you are wrong as well. Pretending that a country most other countries agree does exist - including, most importantly. themselves! - does not exist, is just being in lala land.
+1
level 77
Oct 15, 2019
No it's not. If I said that I was the dictator of LaLa Land, a country with vaguely defined territorial range that overlaps other extant countries, in spite of the fact that I did not have sovereign control of any of that territory, and there were other people making similar competing claims of being the governor of LaLa Land, and then I went out and got a majority of the members of the UN to recognize my dictatorship.... that would not make LaLa Land a real country. It would make me a fruitcake, and it would make those UN members out of touch with reality. Where do you see my admission of wrongness? The United Nations could vote unanimously tomorrow to recognize that Justin Bieber is the greatest musician in human history. That wouldn't make it so.
+1
level 77
Oct 15, 2019
Are you referring to the comment I left Aug 25 that begins "I didn't say anything that was incorrect?"
+1
level 72
Oct 15, 2019
I saw La La Land yesterday, a brilliant movie, however I digress... If you said you were the leader of your said La La Land then you wouldn't get any, let alone a majority of, other nations in the UN to recognise you. Using bizarre and extreme examples like this isn't a way to make sense to anyone, let alone convince them.
+1
level 77
Oct 15, 2019
Not if they're inconvincible. I'm sorry that you can't wrap your head around this. It's not really that complicated. A questionably supported declaration of sovereignty and winning a popularity contest at the UN doesn't bring a country into existence, whether that country is China, Palestine, or the Mushroom Kingdom it doesn't matter. It simply doesn't work that way.
+1
level 72
Oct 15, 2019
Ryan, feel free to question 139 out of 196 countries recognising Palestine all you want, and feel free to question the UN vote by 138-9 to agree to observer status for Palestine all you want, no matter how disconnected from reality that may be. Your obsession with Palestine in the face of these facts, while ignoring the more questionable nation statuses of Taiwan, Kosovo, Marshall Islands, Cyprus, Georgia etc is weird. Still, its fun chatting to you.
+1
level 77
Oct 16, 2019
My position is neither weird nor inconsistent. You didn't bring up these other nations before, though calling them "more questionable" as nations I think reveals a pretty strong bias against reality on your part. Cyprus, Georgia, Kosovo, and Taiwan all have a single, central, undisputed government. Those governments exert full sovereign control over at least some of the territory that they claim including the parts of the nation identified as their capital cities. They control their own borders and do not have a foreign power occupying the entire extent of their country. They have territorial disputes with neighboring countries, but that's not really the same thing. The don't use the currency of a foreign occupying power and most of their citizens are not nationals of other countries. They each have a functioning military or national guard that maintains control of their borders. Their borders are clearly demarcated, largely contiguous and unambiguous.
+1
level 77
Oct 16, 2019
None of that can be said for Palestine.
Like "Palestine," they each have been recognized by multiple members of the United Nations and carry on foreign diplomatic relations with multiple other countries. They issue their own passports. They hold their own elections. They have their own flag.
JetPunk takes a holistic view when it comes to country recognition. UN recognition and foreign diplomatic relations is *part* of the equation. But it's not the whole equation. If other UN member states recognize a country, this is a clue that the country being recognized might exist. It's evidence for that. But it's not the whole story. Because there are other reasons that UN members might choose to recognize or not recognize another country. Mostly politics, economics, and popularity. It doesn't always have to do with reality. So... Taiwan is less recognized in the UN because the members don't want to piss off China. But to say that makes Taiwan less of a real country is nuts.
+1
level 72
Oct 16, 2019
I think everyone's fallen asleep Ryan. Happy to continue this conversation off-site. Cheers Jeremy, jhall@legalsearch.nz
+1
level 44
Sep 21, 2016
Asian Egypt borders Africa?
+1
level 72
Sep 21, 2016
The answer to your question is Yes, It Does, and there's a good argument for it to be here. It's another another editorial question that Quizmaster and I batted around when this was featured! In the end we decided to leave it off as an answer, because Egypt appears as an African country on Jetpunk's major quizzes.
+1
level 76
Sep 21, 2016
That's interesting. I'd never thought about the fact that part of Egypt is in Asia. We often hear about Turkey being on two continents, but no one ever seems to mention Egypt as "bi-continental".
+1
level 80
Sep 21, 2016
Probably because there is not much in the Sinai, yet the Turkey split happens right in the middle of a huge city.
+3
level 72
Nov 25, 2018
Interestingly, the piece of Egypt in Asia is larger than the piece of Turkey in Europe (it's interesting to me anyway, because European Turkey is a lot more famous than Asian Egypt. Probably fair enough, since the former has most of Istanbul, but the latter is mostly just desert).
+1
level 45
Sep 21, 2016
Israel has a direct border with Egypt. How would it be not be 0 miles away?
+4
level 70
Sep 22, 2016
Egypt lies partly in Asia.
+1
level 51
Sep 21, 2016
What part of Spain is zero miles away?
+3
level 44
Sep 21, 2016
Ceuta, Spanish city in Africa.
+3
level 49
Sep 22, 2016
And Melilla. Same case.
+1
level 32
Sep 21, 2016
Mayotte is only ~38 miles from Comoros. Should the distance be adjusted?
+1
level 37
Aug 15, 2017
Mayotte is part of Africa, so no
+4
level 67
Jul 3, 2018
So is Ceuta, but Spain is listed as 0 miles from Africa.
+1
level 45
Oct 15, 2019
It is. They are part of France. France is on this quiz, making those 2 on here too. They aren’t countries so we can’t list them separately.
+1
level 35
Sep 25, 2016
Er, what about Madagascar? It's not regarded as being part of Africa geologically (having broken off from India) or geographically and its population are linguistically more linked to east asia and oceana than africa. Yet its only 250 miles away from Africa.
+6
level 77
Sep 28, 2016
I have personally never seen a map that didn't count Madagascar as part of Africa.
+1
level 49
Sep 30, 2016
I luckily remembered with ten seconds left that there are islands in the Mediterranean. But I still forgot France.
+1
level 21
Sep 30, 2016
What about SanMarino?
+1
level 72
Oct 1, 2016
762 km / 474 mi.
+1
level 38
Feb 7, 2017
Why are people so intent on being obstructive? Egypt is on the AFRICAN CONTINENT!!!! - punto final/ Whatever political spin you want to put on it is your problem, but geographically it is an African Nation!
+3
level 72
Feb 7, 2017
So, when you are wandering around the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, which continent are you on?
+1
level 38
Feb 10, 2018
WHO CARES? - The Peninsula does not the country make! Any map will show you that 99% of Egypt is in Africa. Just as you all consider Panama to be in North America, though it is tethered to Colombia.
+4
level 72
Feb 10, 2018
I think you were trying to say "um, er, Asia, so OK, I get it"
+1
level 77
Oct 16, 2019
In my opinion it makes as much sense to group the Sinai in with Africa as it does with Asia. Maybe more sense. The Suez was not always there. It's not like the cutoff between North and South America is at the Panama Canal.
+1
level 43
Feb 8, 2017
Egypt should really be on this list seeing as how it is on both sides of the Suez Canal
+1
level 44
Dec 3, 2017
I was just writing "Vatican" when I ran out of time, so I got 19/20
+1
level 35
Dec 29, 2017
what about san marino, isnt it closer than andorra and monaco?
+1
level 72
Dec 29, 2017
762 km / 473 miles.
+1
level 38
Jul 6, 2018
Don't understand the significant distances between Monaco and France and Italy and Vatican City from Africa. Monaco is tethered to France and Vatican City is IN Italy, so why are they not closer to Africa than given in this quiz? (This is not a criticism, but an earnest inquiry).
+1
level 72
Jul 6, 2018
The distances are the shortest distance between Africa and the relevant countries - hopefully that makes sense now!
+1
level 67
Jul 6, 2018
Good quiz, made me think on that one ......... still missed Iraq ;o)
+1
level 52
Jul 6, 2018
Reunion Island is between Mauritius and Madagascar and is part of france so shouldn't france count?
+1
level 28
Jul 7, 2018
i think uk shouldnt really count, as it isn't really that close, just gibraltar is. also, isnt israel 0 km from africa since it borders egypt
+1
level 53
Nov 2, 2018
Parts of egyot extend into asia
+1
level 46
Nov 25, 2018
I'm not seeing red numbers
+1
level 72
Nov 25, 2018
Oops, we're getting that fixed now.
+1
level 56
Mar 17, 2019
And Reunion and Mayotte for France?
+1
level 36
Oct 12, 2019
Israel borders Africa, in this it doesn't say that it borders it.
+1
level 72
Oct 13, 2019
Africa starts at the Suez Canal. Sinai is a part of Asia.
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