Jim Fonseca
2 min readDec 3, 2021


The One Minute Geographer: Africa: Closer Than You Think

Distances to and from Bar Harbor, Rabat, St. John’s and Denver. Base map from Great Circle Mapper at gcmap.com. Distances added by the author.

What part of the United States is closest to Africa? Probably Florida? Maybe Cape Hatteras in North Carolina?

No it’s Maine. Really? Yes, West Quoddy Head in Lubec, Maine, which is the easternmost point of the contiguous United States.

And the closest part of North America to Africa is Newfoundland, Canada. In fact, it’s closer to fly from St. John’s airport in Newfound to Rabat, Morocco, than it is to fly from St. John’s to Denver!

The Atlantic is a narrow world and Africa is closer than we think!

West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, Maine. Photo from Wikipedia

On the map I used these nearby airports to measure distances: Sale Airport (RBA) in Rabat, Morocco; Bar Harbor Airport (BHB) in Maine; St. John’s Airport (YYT) in Newfoundland; Denver Airport (DEN) in Colorado

Check out my previous post about how close the Azores Islands are to the USA:


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Jim Fonseca

Geography professor (retired) writes The One Minute Geographer featuring This Fragile Earth. Top writer in Transportation and, in past months, Travel.