Southern Africa pages 377-396

Landforms and bodies of water

  • The region of Southern Africa consists of 10 southernmost countries on the African continent.
  • 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.


Drakensberg Mountains
  • A high series of plateaus that range in elevation from 3,000 feet to 6,000 feet, cover almost all of the region.
  • The plateau's outer edges form a steep slope called the Great Escarpment.
  • As the Great Escarpment follows South Africa's coastline, it forms the Drakensberg Mountains.

3 Major Bodies of water

Limpopo River
  • Zambezi River
  • Orange River
  • Limpopo River
Which type of landform is common in Southern Africa?


Climate in Southern Africa

Tropical Zone

  • Daily average temperatures range from the upper 60 degrees to the upper 70 degrees.
  • Most places average 24 inches to 40 inches of rainfall each year.

Temperature Zone

Temperature Zones
  • Droughts are common in some places through South Africa, they can last for several years.
  • Most of the rain falls during the summer, very little throughout the rest of the year.

Desert Regions

Desert Region/Safari
  • Namib is home to the vast areas of barren sand.
  • Along the coast, Namib gets very little rain, but fog and dew help provide the area the water they need.
Why are temperatures in Southern Africa's tropical countries generally not hot?
They can receive up to 200 inches of rain per year.

Natural Resources

What natural resources are found in Southern Africa, and why are they important?
Mining materials, such as platinum, gold, and diamonds. They help attract workers and investment which helps the economy.

South Africa's resources

Main resources
  • World's largest producer of platinum, chromium, and gold.
  • This industry has attracted workers and investments from other countries that have helped the industry grow.

Energy Recources

Energy Resources
  • Namibia has oil and natural gas deposits, which must be refined, or changed into other products.
  • The region's rivers are another resource for providing power.

Minerals and Other Resources

  • Gold is a leading export for Zimbabwe.
  • Malawi's most important resource is its fertile soil.


  • The animals in Southern Africa are very important, but much of the wildlife is being killed, illegally, to make profit.
How does deforestation affect the energy supply in the region?
The trees provide rain for hydro-power.


History of Southern Africa - Rise of Kingdoms

  • Some of the goods traded were, tools, salt, beads, and cloth.

Great Zimbabwe

  • It was abandoned in the 1400's, because of its overused water and food.
  • It was built in AD 900.

The Mutapa Empire

  • Thrived on gold and trades with China and India.
  • The Portuguese took over the coastal trade in the 1500's

Other Kingdoms

  • A French king conquered many islands to form the Kingdom of Madagascar.
  • The Zulu leader Shaka was killed in 1828.

European Colonies

  • Portugal and other countries established settlements along the African coast.

Clashes in South Africa

  • Africans started a fight between them and the Dutch, Africans were defeated.

The Union of South Africa

  • The Boers discovered diamonds and the world's largest gold deposits which started the Boer War in 1899.

Colonialism in Other Areas

Europe controlled Southern Africa for about 80 years.

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

Independence and Equal Rights

  • French rule ended for Madagascar in 1960, which made it the first African country to gain independence.

The End of Portuguese Rule

  • In 1974, Portugal had grown tired of the wars, that were costing them very much.

The Birth of Zimbabwe

  • Only white leader controlled the government and had a right to vote.

Equal Rights in South Africa

  • Apartheid- an Afrikaans word meaning "apartness."
  • By the 1970's, apartheid-related events in South Africa gained world attention.
  • Nelson Mandela became the president in 1994.


Life in Southern Africa - The People of the Region

  • Most all the population is black African, in Southern Africa.

Population Patterns

  • Population depends on geography and economics.
  • South Africa and Angola are about the same size.
  • Malawi is one-third the size of Zimbabwe, and one-sixth of Zambia, but exceeds both populations.

Ethnic and Culture Groups

  • Southern Africa hold many ethnic groups who speak a variety of languages.
  • About 4 million Tswana form the major population group in Botswana.

Religion and Languages

  • Christianity was introduced during the colonel era by missionaries.
  • Portuguese is the official language of Mozambique and Angola.
What is the main religion practiced in Southern Africa?

Life in Southern Africa

  • There are many challenging things that happen in Africa over the years.

Urban Life

  • Zimbabwe's population is 14.15 million.

Urban Growth and Change

  • Most Africans live in "townships" at the city's edge.
  • The white community is mainly English and Afrikaner.
  • At least 12 languages are heard on city streets.

Family and Traditional Life

  • Rural villages often have 20 or 30 houses.
  • People practice subsistence farming, growing the crops they need to survive.
Where in their countries do most Southern Africans live?
In villages to work for money for their family

Southern Africa Today

  • Even though half of Africa is good with minerals and wildlife, the other half is everyday struggles.

Health Issues

  • The life expectancy in South Africa is low.


  • Malaria, a disease caused by mosquitoes, is a major problem.
  • Southern Africa has some of the highest rates of death in infancy and childhood.
  • A big cause of death is HIV/AIDS.

Progress and Growth

  • Oil exports in Angola and aluminum help pay for the rebuilding of the town.
  • They are rebuilding the towns because of the war destruction.

Help From Other Countries

  • African farming is a struggle in poverty, growing few crops worth cash.
  • The problems faced mirror challenges other countries have to deal with.
Why is life expectancy in Southern Africa so low?
Many disease for children below adolescence have killed much of the population.


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