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Geography of Africa Unit 2 : Africa Table of Contents # 2.

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1 Geography of Africa Unit 2 : Africa Table of Contents # 2

2 Location Africa is central on the Equator Between two major oceans ◦ Atlantic Ocean on the West Coast ◦ Indian Ocean on the East Coast Other surrounding bodies of water ◦ Mediterranean Sea to the north ◦ Red Sea to the northeast Water sets Africa apart from other regions, but also links it with the rest of the world.

3 Location Continued Water Divides ◦ Separates the land from other continents including culture, people, etc. Water Unites ◦ Allows for easy transportation via ships ◦ Ships carried people, goods, and ideas to Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia

4 Regions North Africa ◦ Stretches from Morocco to Egypt ◦ Close contact with Europe and Middle East West Africa ◦ Bulges into the Atlantic ◦ Stretches from Mauritania to Nigeria East Africa ◦ Stretches from Kenya to Tanzania ◦ Also includes Uganda Central Africa ◦ DR Congo Southern Africa ◦ Stretches from Atlantic Ocean to Indian Ocean ◦ Includes Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa

5 Regions Continued Region diversity contributes to the diversity of African people Geographic features give each region its own identity

6 Landforms Plateaus ◦ Highest plateaus are in the South and East ◦ Continent then tilts gradually downward toward the west and north ◦ Basins, swamps, and lakes scattered across the plateaus Escarpments ◦ Steep cliffs divide the plateau from the coastal plain ◦ Affect the course of Africa’s rivers making travel harder ◦ Rivers tumble over cataracts : large waterfalls or rapids

7 Landforms Continued Great Rift Valley ◦ Giant fault in Earth’s crust in eastern Africa ◦ Runs from Red Sea to Zambezi River ◦ Rich soil of highlands around the Great Rift Valley have fallen down into the valley making it a rich and fertile area ◦ Transportation of rich minerals and soil is difficult due to cliffs and canyons ◦ Landforms create a barrier to the European explorers

8 Rivers Provide fish, irrigation, transportation, and hydroelectric power (energy produced by moving water) Nile ◦ Longest river in the world ◦ Aswan Dam prevents the yearly flooding  Traps the rich minerals from flowing down stream – causing the soil to be not as fertile ◦ Very fertile land surrounds it

9 Rivers Continued Congo ◦ Central Africa, empties into the Atlantic ◦ Very powerful, used for electricity ◦ Most of it is to dangerous to travel Niger ◦ Through the Sahara to the Ocean ◦ Source of trade, travel, food, and irrigation

10 Rivers Continued Zambezi ◦ South Africa ◦ Falls over Victoria Falls ◦ Dam is a source of power Effects ◦ Area surrounding the rivers is rich in minerals and creates fertile farmlands ◦ Due to the small amount of rivers on the continent, they have been a source of war and efforts to control by bordering countries

11 Natural Resources Rivers and land are a source of precious metals ◦ Copper, Diamonds, Cobalt, and Oil are in abundance ◦ Caused the drive of Europeans to colonize Africa ◦ Influence by outside forces due to lack of money to fund harvesting the resources Uneven Distribution ◦ Resources are unevenly distributed ◦ Causes tensions and uncertainty

12 Tropical Wet Climate Zone Made up of Rainforests Narrow belt around the Equator, covering only 8% of Africa Guinea to Great Rift Valley Hot and Humid all year ◦ Allows for plant growth ◦ Home to many animals ◦ Disease is carried due to the standing water

13 Tropical Wet Climate Zone Constant rain washes the nutrients out of the soil ◦ Soil not fertile, farming is not possible New types of buildings had to be constructed due to the dampness and the termites

14 Tropical Wet and Dry Climate Zone Largest Climate Zone Savanna and Grasslands Wet season and a Dry season Rainfall is unpredictable and spotty ◦ Drought, too much rain, and desertification (the turning of semi desert land into desert) are all a result of unpredictable rainfall Causes great poverty and devastation

15 Deserts Cover 40% of Africa Sahara ◦ Larger than the United States ◦ Stretches from Atlantic to the Red Sea (North Africa) ◦ Few parts have plants ◦ Sahara was a trade highway through Northern Africa and connected Western Africa to the World

16 Deserts Continued Kalahari ◦ Not as dry as the Sahara ◦ More plant life ◦ Southern Africa Namib ◦ one of the driest places on earth ◦ Southwest Africa Created another barrier to travel and unite cultures and societies

17 Mediterranean Climate Zone Southern tip and Northern Coast Mild Climate, similar to L.A. Summer hot and dry Winter cooler-moist Soil and climate support fertile soil and good crops Attract Europeans due to the weather and soil

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