Physical Features of Africa

Sahara Desert: stretches across North Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea;
covers almost 1/3 of the continent; largest desert in the world; divides the continent into 2
regions: North Africa & su!Saharan Africa"
Kalahari Desert: covers aout 1##$### s%uare miles of southwestern Africa"
Sahel: a elt of dr& grasslands that orders the southern edge of the Sahara; runs
through 12 countries; climate is semiarid 'gets more rainfall than the desert("
Savannas: cover the regions )ust north & south of the rainforests that lie along the e%uator;
are hot$ dr& grasslands; wild animals live here"
Tropical Rainforest: a forest close to the e%uator that averages over *# inches of rain a
&ear & has dense vegetation; the +ongo ,asin is home to the world-s 2
largest tro.ical
rainforest; '.rocess of rainforests eing destro&ed to ma/e wa& for human develo.ment( is a
.rolem here"
Bodies of Water: odies of water .la& a crucial role in Africa; serve as trans.ortation & trade
routes; ma)or odies of water that surround Africa are the Mediterranean Sea to the north$
the Red Sea to the northeast$ the Atlantic Ocean to the west$ & the Indian Ocean to the east"
Major Rivers:
1" Nile River: longest river in the world; means of travel & /e& source of water for .arts
of northern & east!central Africa; much of Africa-s fertile farmland lies along the Nile
2" Cono River: 2
longest in Africa; used for fishing & travel; 0nga 1am hel.s to
.roduce electricit& for +entral Africa"
3" Nier River: relied on for food$ water$ & drainage; egins in 2uinea & flows
northward through 3ali$ Niger$ & Nigeria; em.ties into the 2ulf of 2uinea; the Niger
1elta contains rich su..lies of oil"
4" !a"#e$i River: southern Africa-s longest river; egins in northwest 5amia & flows
etween 5amia & 5imawe; has man& waterfalls67ictoria 8alls; flows into 3o9ami%ue
& em.ties into the 0ndian Ocean"
Major %a&es:
1" %a&e 'ictoria: largest la/e in Africa & the 2
largest freshwater la/e in the world;
e:tends into 3 countries: ;an9ania$ <ganda$ & =en&a; used for fishing & tourism"
2" %a&e Tanan(i&a: large la/e in +entral Africa; 2
dee.est freshwater la/e in the world;
shared & 4 countries: ,urundi$ 1R+$ ;an9ania$ & 5amia; home to 2## uni%ue s.ecies of
fish; attracts tourism"
Mo)ntain Ranes:
1" *ast African Mo)ntains: stretch from the >thio.ian ?ighlands in the north through
;an9ania to the south; the 3 highest .ea/s in Africa '3t" =iliman)aro$ 3t" =en&a$ & 3t"
Ruwen9ori( all lie in this mountain range; climate is cool & wet"
2" Dra&ens#er Mo)ntains: highest mountains in southern Africa"
3" Atlas Mo)ntains: mountain range in northwest Africa; run through 3orocco$ Algeria$ &
;unisia; se.arates the 3editerranean & Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara 1esert;
.rone to earth%ua/es