Ethiopia has a total area of 1,104,300 square kilometres making it the largest country in East Africa and the most populous landlocked country in the world. The country is also the second most populous country in Africa after Nigeria and is home to over 118 million inhabitants.
The East Africa region is the most populous subregion on the African continent, with a population of approximately 455 million people. The region is also home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies, including Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, and South Sudan.
Top 10 Largest Countries in East Africa
Nearly a quarter of East Africa’s population lives in one country, Ethiopia. Located on the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia has a land area of 1,104,300 square kilometers, which makes it the biggest country in all of East Africa.
Tanzania is the second biggest country in East Africa with a land area of 947,300 square kilometers.
Tanzania is followed closely by Mozambique (801,590 km²), Zambia (752,618 km²) and South Sudan (644,329 km²).
1. Ethiopia — Area: 1,104,300 km²
Ethiopia is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia has a total area of 1,104,300 square kilometres making it the largest country in East Africa. Ethiopia, the seventh largest economy in Africa, is also second most populous country in Africa after Nigeria and is home to over 117 million inhabitants.
2. Tanzania — Area: 947,300 km²
Located in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region, Tanzania has a total area of 947,300 square kilometres making it the second largest country in East Africa and the 13th largest country in Africa.
3. Mozambique — Area: 801,590 km²
At 801,537 square kilometers, Mozambique is the world’s 36th-largest country and the third largest country in East Africa.
The country is endowed with rich and extensive natural resources. The country’s economy is based largely on agriculture, but industry is growing, mainly food and beverages, chemical manufacturing and aluminium and petroleum production.
4. Zambia — Area: 752,618 km²
Zambia is a landlocked country with a tropical climate, and consists mostly of high plateaus with some hills and mountains, dissected by river valleys. At 752,618 square kilometers, Zambia is the fourth largest country in East Africa and the 38th-largest country in the world.
5. South Sudan — Area: 644,329 km²
South Sudan is a landlocked country in Central Africa with a population that’s estimated as 12,778,250 in 2022. The country has a total area of 644,329 km² making it the fifth biggest country in East Africa.
Until July 9, 2011, South Sudan was part of Sudan, then the largest country in Africa before a referendum took place in January 2011.
6. Somalia — Area: 637,657 km²
At 637,657 square kilometers, Somalia, which has been described as being roughly shaped “like a tilted number seven” is East Africa’s sixth largest country. The country is Located in the Horn of Africa and has an estimated population of around 15.5 million, of which over 2 million live in the capital and largest city Mogadishu.
7. Madagascar — Area: 587,041 km²
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa across the Mozambique Channel. At 592,800 square kilometres, Madagascar is East Africa’s seventh biggest country and the world’s second-largest country that consists primarily of islands, after Indonesia.
8. Kenya — Area: 580,367 km²
At 580,367 square kilometres, Kenya is the eighth largest country in East Africa and the world’s 48th largest country. With a population of more than 56 million, Kenya is also the 29th most populous country in the world.
9. Zimbabwe — Area: 390,757 km²
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southern Africa that is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the west and southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east and northeast. At 390,757 square kilometres Zimbabwe is East Africa’s ninth biggest country and the 63rd largest country in the world.
10. Uganda — Area: 241,038 km²
Uganda is another landlocked country in East Africa. It has a population of over 44 million, of which 8.5 million live in the capital and largest city of Kampala. Uganda has a total area of 241,038 square kilometres making it the tenth largest country in East Africa.
Top 20 Largest Countries in Africa by Land Area
Africa is the second-largest continent in the world. The continent spans around 30.2 million square kilometers. That is around 20.4 percent of the earth’s land area.
1. Algeria — Area: 2,381,741 km²
Algeria, is a sovereign state in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast. Its capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the country’s far north. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres, Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, and the biggest country in Africa.
To give you an idea of how big the country is.. Italy, Germany, Japan, Spain, Uruguay, North Korea, Portugal, United Kingdom would all fit into Algeria.
2. Democratic Republic of the Congo — Area: 2,344,858 km²
Democratic Republic of the Congo also known as DR Congo is a country located in Central Africa. It is the second biggest country in Africa and eleventh largest country in the world. With a population of over 93.3 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populated Francophone country in the world, the fourth most-populated nation in Africa and the eighteenth most populated country in the world.
3. Sudan — Area: 1,886,068 km²
Sudan is an Arab republic located in the Nile valley of North Africa. The Nile River divides the nation into eastern and western halves. Around 45.2 million people live in Sudan. The country is the third biggest country in Africa and the second biggest country in North Africa.
4. Libya — Area: 1,759,540 km²
Libya is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa, With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometres Libya is the fourth biggest country in Africa, and is the 16th largest country in the world. The country has a population of around 7 million people.
5. Chad — Area: 1,284,000 km²
Chad is the fifth biggest country in Africa. The country is a landlocked nation and has a population of 17 million. Around 1.9 percent of Chad is water. Lake Chad is the largest wetland in Chad, and the second-largest in the African continent.