South Africa pages 377-396

Landforms and bodies of water

  • Southern Africa is bordered by the Indian Ocean on the east and the Atlantic Ocean on the west.
  • The country of Madagascar occupies the world's fourth largest island, also called Madagascar.
  • If Southern Africa's physical geography had to be described with one word and that word would be high.


  • The Kalahari Desert is a vast sand covered plateau that sits some 3,000 ft above sea level.
  • The ranges are separated from each other by dry basins called the Great Karoo and the Little Karoo.
  • The Drakensberg mountains parallel the Indian Ocean coastline for some 700 miles through Lesotho and Swaziland, two landlocked countries in Southern Africa.

Bodies of Water

  • The Zambezi.
  • The Limpopo.
  • The Orange drain.

Which type of land form is common in Southern Africa?

  • Plateau


  • The temperatures range from the upper 60's.
  • Mozambique coastline is watered by rain bearing winds.

Temperature Zones

  • Much of South Africa, central Namibia, Eastern Botswana, and Southern Mozambique have temperature or moderate climates that are not marked by extremes of temperature.
  • Annual rainfall varies from 8 inches (20cm) in some areas to 24 inches (61cm) in others.

Desert Regions

  • The Nambi Desert temperatures are hotter with summer highs from the upper 80's Fahrenheit to more than 100 Fahrenheit.
  • The Kalahari also gets a little more precipitation than the Nambi.

Why are temperatures in Southern Africa's tropical countries generally not hot?

  • Because it rains a lot.

What natural resources are found in Southern Africa and why are they important?

  • Mineral resources, they are important because they have helped the Republic of South Africa in particular to build a strong economy.

South Africa's Resources

  • Platinum, chromium, and gold.

Energy Resources

  • Coal, and natural gas.

Minerals and other resources

  • Tin, copper, zinc, gold, silver, and uranium.


  • Wildebeests, lions, zebras, giraffes.

How does deforestation affect the energy supply in the region?

  • It allows more sediment to enter the rivers which reduces the water flow and the electricity that the rivers produce.

Lesson 2

History of Southern Africa

  • Southern Africa's indigenous people have inhabited the region for thousands of years.

Great Zimbabwe

  • Around the year A.D. 900 the Shona people built a wealthy and powerful kingdom in what is now Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
  • Great Zimbabwe was abandoned in the 1400's possibly because it's growing population exhausted its water and food resources.

The Mutapa Empire

  • IN the late 1400's the Shona conquered the region between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers from Zimbabwe to the coast of Mozambique.
  • The Portuguese arrived and took over the coastal trade in the 1500's.

Other Kingdoms

  • The Zulu leader Shaka united his people in the early 1800's to form the Zulu Empire in what is now South Africa.
  • A series of kingdoms rose and fell on the island of Madagascar from the 1600's to the 1800's.

European Colonies

  • Around the 1500's Portugal and other European countries began establishing settlements along the African coast.

Clashes in South Africa

  • During the 1600's till about the 1800's Europeans set up trading posts did but did not establish colonies which are large territories with settlers from the home country.

The Union of South Africa

  • Wars in Europe gave Britain control of Cape Colony in the early 1800's.

Colonialism in Other Areas

  • European control in Southern Africa continued for about the next 80 years.

Which European country claimed the most territory in Southern Africa in the 1800's?

  • The Britain's.

Independence and Equal Rights

  • French rule in Madagascar ended in 1960, making it the first Southern African country to gain independence.

The End of Portuguese Rule

  • While other European nations gave up their African colonies Portugal refused to do so.

The Birth of Zimbabwe

  • After granting Malawi and Zambia independence Britain prepared to free neighboring Zimbabwe then called Southern Rhodesia.

Equal Rights in South Africa

  • The white minority government stayed in power by limiting the black population's educational and economic opportunities and political rights.
  • By the 1970's apartheid-related events in South Africa had gained world attention.
  • In 1995 the new government created a truth and reconciliation commission.

Lesson 3

The People of the Region

  • The region's black African population is made up of many different ethnic and culture groups.

Population Patterns

  • Fewer than 2 million people live in the small countries of Lesotho and Swaziland.
  • Angola's rural areas are thus much more thinly populated rural areas in South Africa.
  • The average Malawian earns less than $350 per year.

Ethnic and Culture Groups

  • South Africa's 9 million Zulu make up that country's largest ethnic group.
  • About 4 million Tswana form the major population group in Botswana.
  • The Chewa are Malawi's largest ethnic group.

Religion and Languages

  • Southern Africa's colonial pat has also influenced its people's religious beliefs.
  • In Angola however nearly half the population continues to hold traditional indigenous religions beliefs.
  • Portuguese remains the official language in Angola and Mozambique.

What is the main religion practiced in Southern Africa?

  • Christianity

Life in Southern Africa

  • As in other regions of Africa life differs from city to countryside.

Urban Life

  • Although most people in the region of Southern Africa live in the countryside migration to cities grows because of job opportunities.

Urban Growth and Change

  • The rapid growth of some cities has strained public utilities services such as trash collecting, sewage treatment, and water distribution.
  • Outside of the central city are the white neighborhoods where about 20 percent of the city's population live.
  • Every black ethnic group in Southern Africa is present as well. The white community is mainly English and Afrikaner.

Family and Traditional Life

  • People who move to the cities must adjust to new experiences and a different way of life.
  • People in the countryside practice subsidence farming growing the need to survive.

Where in their countries do most Southern African's Live?

  • The countryside.

Southern Africa today

  • Southern Africa's wealth of minerals wildlife and other resources may be the key to its future .

Health Issues

  • In the majority of countries most people do not live beyond age 50-55.


  • Malaria a tropical disease carried by mosquitoes is a problem in several countries.
  • Southern Africa has some of the highest rates of infant death in the world.
  • The highest incidence of HIV/AIDS has disrupted the labor force by depriving countries of needed workers.

Progress and Growth

  • Oil exports in Angola and aluminum exports in Mozambique help finance this effort.
  • Tourism at national parks has grown with the establishment of stable democratic government.

Help From Other Countries

  • The United States has used economic aid to strengthen democracy in Southern Africa.
  • Other countries and international organizations have also made huge investments in the region.

Why is life expediency in Southern Africa so low?

  • Malnutrition, disease, and HIV/AIDS.


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