Land forms and bodies of water
- Fronted by reefs, the low-lying coastal areas of South Africa's land rises (with a few exceptions) into a mostly level plateau, one crisscrossed by hills, mountains and shallow valleys in the east and northeast.
- The Orange River, South Africa's major river, rises in the Drakensberg Mountains in Lesotho, where it is known as the Senqu. It twists and turns westward for some 2,200 km (1,367 mi) to the Atlantic Ocean, the country's lowest point.
- Forming the northern part of the Drakensberg escarpment is the Blyde River Canyon, one of the largest canyons on Earth at 16 miles (26km) in length and 2,500 ft. (762 m) deep.
- South Africa's Kalahari Desert is part of a huge sand basin that reaches from the Orange River up to Angola, in the west to Namibia and east to Zimbabwe.
- The Drakensberg (or Dragon Mountains) are the highest mountain range in Southern Africa, rising to over 11,000 ft) in height. South Africa's highest point, Njesuthi at 11,181 ft. (3,408 m) is located there.
- Arguably, South Africa's most famous landform is Table Mountain, a flat-topped peak forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town.
Bodies of water
- River Congo is the second longest river in Africa and the world's deepest river with measured depths in excess of 220 m (720 feet).
- Nile River is famous International River because of it being the longest in the world.
- The Sundays River or Nukakamma is a river in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It is said to be the fastest flowing river in the country.
"Which type of land form is common in Southern Africa".
- Tropical rain forest – found particularly in the centre of the continent and also along the eastern coast of Madagascar.
- Savannah – found to the north and south where it replaces the rain forest. There are distinct wet and dry seasons.
- Humid sub-tropical – found in the southwest.
- Mediterranean – mostly on the northwest (Mediterranean) coast and in the southeast
- Steppe – away from the Equator, to the north and south, the savannah grades into drier steppe.
- Desert – here there is little rainfall and wide differences between day and night temperatures. The Sahara in the north is the world’s largest desert (only three countries have a greater area – Russia, Canada and China). The Kalahari in southern Africa covers an area larger than France.
- Southern Africa has a transition to semi-tropical or temperate climates (green), and more desert or semi-arid regions, centered on Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa. ... Africa mainly lies within the intertropical zone between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn
- Africa is a rainy place and a dry place. Africa mainly lies within the inter tropical zone between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Only the northernmost and the southernmost fringes of the continent have a Mediterranean climate because they aren't located under the tropics.
- Kalahari Desert. The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid sandy Savannah in Southern Africa extending 900,000 square kilometers (350,000 sq mi), covering much of Botswana, parts of Namibia (known as South-West Africa from 1884 to 1990), and regions of South Africa.
- Part of this rugged, mountainous in the north-west of South Africa is declared a World Heritage Site due to its unique, almost martian character. It is situated in the northern part of the Namaqualand, an area most famous for its colorful spring flowers. The Richtersveld, rich in flora and fauna, is known as the only arid biodiversity hotspot on earth.
"Why are temperatures in Southern Africa’s tropical countries generally not hot?"
It has a wider variety of climates than most other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and it has lower average temperatures than other countries within this range of latitude, like Australia.
What natural resources are found in Southern Africa, and why are they important.
Diamonds, salt, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, copper, bauxite, silver, petroleum and cocoa beans, but also woods and tropical fruits.
- Electricity Generation – Southern Africa has ample resources for electricity generation, though occasionally lacks the capacity for development.Electricity generation is the process of generating electric power from other sources of primary energy. For electric utilities, it is the first process in the delivery of electricity to consumers.
- Hydro power and Renewable Energy – Renewable energy has grown in importance for both regional and global energy markets.This is called hydroelectric power or hydro power. The most common type of hydroelectric power plant uses a dam on a river to store water in a reservoir. Water released from the reservoir flows through a turbine, spinning it, which in turn activates a generator to produce electricity.
- The mineral industry of Africa is the largest mineral industries in the world. Africa is the second largest continent, with 30 million km² of land, which implies large quantities of resources.
- For many African countries, mineral exploration and production constitute significant parts of their economies and remain keys to economic growth.
- The region's wildlife includes: White rhinos, elephants, lions, and the vervet monkey, which has human-like characteristics. They have the ability to identity their offspring by scream alone. Southern Africa is also home to the riverine rabbit, one of our planet's rarest and most endangered mammals.