Paris Hilton thinks West Africa is a "great country" ... only problem is, it's not a country.

While vacationing with her boyfriend, Good Charlotte rocker Benji Madden, in Johannesburg, South Africa, this past weekend, Paris was asked for her thoughts on South Africa. Her response?

"I LOVE Africa in general, South Africa and West Africa. They are both great countries," she said, according to various reports.

Paris almost got it right. While South Africa is a country, West Africa is not.

West Africa is part of Africa. It refers to the westernmost region of the African continent and includes 16 countries; Benin, Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.