Southern Africa Pages 377-396

landforms and bodies of water

  • The region of Southern Africa consists of the 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 northern plateaus extend from Malawi across Zambia and Angola.
  • Between the escarpment and the Atlantic Ocean lies a strip of desert called the Namib that is 80 miles to 100 miles wide.
  • A series of plateaus that range in elevation from 3,000 feet to 6,000 feet cover most of the region.

Bodies of water

  • Zambezi
  • Limpopo
  • Orange

Which type of landform is common in Southern Africa

  • The Kalahari

Tropical Zones

  • Southern Africa has a wide variety of climates, ranging from humid to arid to hot to cool.
  • The Tropic Capricorn crosses the middle of Southern Africa

temperature Zones

  • Annual rainfall varies from 8 inches in some areas to 24 inches in others.
  • Lesotho, Swaziland, and eastern South Africa, including the Indian Ocean coastline, are much wetter.

Desert Region's

  • Western South Africa, western Namibia, and much of Botswana are arid.
  • Along the coast, the Namibia gets very little rain.

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

  • Most of it falls in the spring, summer, and fall from October to May.

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

  • Coal and iron ore, because they created a thriving mining industry and attracted workers investments from other countries.

South Africa's Resources

  • The Republic of South Africa has some of the largest mineral reserves in the world.
  • It is one of the largest producers of diamonds.

Energy Resources

  • Oil and gas must be refined, or changed into other products, before they can be used.
  • The region's rivers are another resource for providing power.

Minerals and other Resources

  • Most of their people practice subsistence farming, growing only enough to meet their needs.
  • Malawi's most important natural resources is its fertile soil.


  • Southern Africa is known for its variety of animal life.

How does deforestation affect the energy supply in the region?

  • Deforestation, however, allows more sediment to enter rivers, which reduces the water flow and the electricity that river

History Of Southern Africa

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

Great Zimbabwe

  • Great Zimbabwe was the largest of many similar cities throughout the region.
  • The capital was a city called Great Zimbabwe.

The Mutapa Empire

  • The Portuguese arrived and took over the coastal trade in the 1500s.
  • They gradually gained control over the empire and forced its people to mine gold for them.

Other kingdoms

  • A series of kingdoms rose and fell on the island of Madagascar from the 1600s to the 1800s.
  • Some of the early kingdoms were influenced by Arab and Muslim culture.

European colonies

  • Around 1500, Portugal and other Europeans countries began establishing settlement along the African coast.

Clashes in South Africa

  • The Dutch became known as Boers, the Dutch word for farmers.

The Union of South Africa

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

Colonialism in other Areas

  • In Southern Africa, Britain gained control over what is now Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.

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

  • Great Britain had the most Territory in the 1800s.

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

  • Rhodesia's African population demanded the right to vote.

Equal Rights in South Africa

  • English South Africans controlled the government until the end of World War 2.
  • By the 1970s, apartheid-related events in South Africa had gained world attention.
  • In 1995 the new government created a truth reconciliation commission.

Life in Southern Africa - the people of the region

  • The population of Southern Africa is overwhelmingly black African.

Population Patterns

  • Southern Africa's countries vary widely in population.
  • Population depends heavily on geography and economics.
  • South Africa and Angolia are about the same size.

Ethnic and Culture Groups

  • About 4 million Tswana form the major population group in Botswana.
  • A smaller group, the Ambo, live in Angola and Namibia.
  • the Chewa are Malawi's largest ethnic group.

Region and Languages

  • Southern Africa's colonial past has also influenced its people's religious.
  • In almost every country, most of the people are Christians.

What is the main religion practiced in Southern Africa?

  • English

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 region's cities have a mix of many ethnic groups and cultures.
  • Most, however, live in "township" at the city's edge.
  • Outside the central city are the white neighborhoods where about 20 percent of the city's population live.

Family and Traditional Life

  • In recent times, more and more men have been leaving their villages to work at jobs in cities or mine.
  • Rural villages are often small-consisting of perhaps 20 or 30 houses.

Where in their countries do most Southern Africans live?

  • They mostly lived in Nigeria.

Southern Africa today

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

Health Issues

  • Life expectancy in Southern Africa is low.


  • A major cause of death in children and adults is HIV/AIDS.
  • 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.

Progress and Growth

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

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 expectancy in Southern Africa so low?

  • South Africans are dying younger and in greater numbers, and HIV/AIDS is to blame, according to a report released this week by the South African Institute of Race Relations.

The End!!!


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