Southern Africa Pages 377-396

Landforms and Bodies of Water

  1. The region of Southern Africa consists of of the 10 southernmost countries on the African continent. It also includes four independent island countries and two french island territories in the Indian Ocean off Africa's coast.
  2. Southern Africa is bordered by the Indian Ocean on the east and the Atlantic Ocean on the west. The Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of the continent considered the place where the two oceans meet.
  3. The country of Madagascar occupies the world's fourth largest island, also called Madagascar. The region's three other island countries-Comoros, Mauritius, and Seychelles-are tiny. Their combined area of 1,800 square miles makes them smaller than the state of Delaware.


  1. South of the Kalahari Desert, much of the rest of Southern Africa is covered by a huge plateau that slopes from about 8,000 feet in the east to 2,000 feet in the west.
  2. The northern plateaus extend from Malawi across Zambia to Angola.
  3. The Namib runs 1,200 miles from southern Angola to western South Africa, where it merges with another desert, the Kalahari.

Bodies of water

  1. Zambezi
  2. Limpopo
  3. Orange River

The most common type of land form in Southern Africa are plateaus.


  1. Southern Africa has a wide variety of climates, ranging fron humid to arid to hot to cool.
  2. Daily average temperatures range from the upper 60 degrees to the upper 70 degrees.

Temperature zones

  1. Much of South Africa, central Namibia, eastern Botswana, and south Mozambique have temperature, or moderate, climates that are not marked by extremes of temperature.
  2. Temperatures are like those in the semiarid regions, but ocean currents and moist ocean bring up to 55 inches of rain annually.

Desert Regions

  1. Western South Africa, western Namibia, and much of Botswana are arid.
  2. In inland areas of the Namibia Desert, temperatures are hotter with summer highs from the upper 80 degrees to more than 100 degrees.

The temperatures in Southern Africa's tropical countries are generally not hot because the high elevation makes the temperatures cooler.

Natural recources

The resources found in Southern Africa consist of platinum, chromium, gold, diamonds, coal, iron ore, uranium, copper and other materials. But they are important because they have created a mining industry this industry has attracted workers and investments from other countries that have helped South Africa's industries grow.

South Africa's recources

  1. The Republic of South Africa has some of the largest mineral reserves in the world.
  2. It is the worlds largest producer of platinum, chromium, gold, and one of the largest producers of diamonds both gems and industrial diamonds.

Energy Recources

  1. Mozambique has large deposits of natural gas as well, as does Angola.
  2. Zimbabwe and Zambia get electricity from the huge Kariba Gorge dam on the Zambezi River.

Minerals and other recources

  1. In the 1990s, rebels captured Angola's mines and sold the diamonds to continue a 20-year-old civil war against the government.
  2. Zambia has some of the largest emerald deposits in the world.


  1. Southern Africa is known for it's variety of animal life such as wildebeests, lions, zebras, giraffes, and many other animals that are found across the region.

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

History of Southern Africa

Rise of kingdoms

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

Great Zimbabwe

  1. In the late 1400s, the Shona conquered the region between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers from Zimbabwe to the coast of Mozambique.
  2. The Portuguese and took over the coastal trade in the 1500s.

The Mutapa Empire

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

Other Kingdoms

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

European Empire

  1. Around 1500, Portugal and other European countries began establishing settlements along the African Coast.

The Union of South Africa

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

Clashes in South Africa

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

The Union of South Africa

  1. In the 1860s, the Boers had discovered diamonds in their territory.

Colonialism in Other Areas

  1. While the British and the Boers competed for South Africa other European countries were competing over the rest of Africa.

Britain had claimed the most territory in Southern Africa

Independence and Equal Rights

  1. French rule in Madagascar ended in 1960s, making it the first Southern African countries 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

  1. Rhodesia's African population demanded the right to be able to vote.

Equal Rights in South Africa

  1. After independence the growth of South Africa's mining and other industries depended on the labor of black Africans, who greatly outnumbered the country's whites.

Life in Southern Africa

  1. The population of Southern Africa is overwhelmingly black Africa.

population Patterns

  1. Southern Africa's countries vary widely in population.
  2. Population depends heavily on geography and economics.
  3. South Africa and Angola are about the same size.

Ethnic and Culture Groups

  1. Africans are not a single people.
  2. About 4 million Tswana form the major population group in Botswana.
  3. Groups like the Chewa, Tsonga, Ambo, and San illustrate the important point about Southern Africa's history.

Religion and Languages

  1. Southern Africa's colonial past has also influenced its people's religious beliefs.
  2. Portuguese remains the official language in Angola and Mozambique.

The main religion practiced in Southern Africa is Christianity.

Life in Southern Africa

  1. Many rural people continue to fallow traditional life.

Urban Life

  1. Although most people in the region of Southern Africa live in the countryside, migration to cities grow because of job opportunities.

Urban Growth and Change

  1. Outbreaks of cholera and other diseases have resulted from drinking polluted water.
  2. The regions cities have a mix of many ethnic groups and cultures.
  3. The white community is mainly English and Afrikaner.

Family and Traditional Life

  1. Rural villages are small often consisting of perhaps 20 or 30 houses.
  2. People in the countryside practice subsistence farming, growing the food they need to survive.

Most South Africans in their countries live in either the countryside or cities.

Southern Africa Today

  1. Southern Africa's wealth of mineral, wildlife, and other resources may be the key to its future.

Health Issues

  1. In the majority of countries, most people do not live beyond age 50 to 55.


  1. Malaria, a tropical disease carried by mosquitoes, is a problem in several countries.
  2. Southern Africa has some of the highest rates of infant death in the world.
  3. A major cause of death in children and adults is HIV/AIDS.

Progress and Growth

  1. Angola and Mozambique continue to rebuild the cities and towns, industries, railroads and communication systems that have been destroyed by years of civil war.
  2. Tourism at national parks has grown with the establishment of stable, democratic governments.

Help From Other Countries

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

Life expectancy in Southern Africa is so low because of lack of good rural health and diseases.

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