The Physical Geography of Africa

Unit 6

Did you know?

The geography of Africa is amazing! The entire continent of Africa is the second largest in the world! In fact, Africa is over three times larger than the United States of America. In addition to its stark and untamed beauty, Africa contains huge mountains, such as the breathtaking Mt. Kilimanjaro, lush savannas, tropical rainforests, three enormous deserts (one of which is the largest on earth), and the longest river in the world.

Aside from the unique geography of Africa, the continent is both an enigma and a wonder. Countless novels, poems, movies, and songs have been written about it. Take the following video created by BBC motion gallery, for example. It is a haunting ode to the enchantment of Africa, especially when played alongside Africa’s wildlife in their natural habitat:

The tragedy of the continent is that most if it still has not seen its potential. Colonialism, political unrest, and untapped natural resources have kept most of the continent in third world status.

Facts about Africa:

  • The Great Rift Valley of East Africa is a huge crack in the earth’s surface. It stretches from Mozambique in the south, all the way to Sudan in the north. There are places along the rift where the valley walls are over a mile high!

  • Most of the land near the equator in Africa is abundant, verdant rainforest. Since the rainforest provides oxygen to the entire planet earth, the rainforest is home to many of the world’s most important vegetation!

  • The African savanna, which is north and south of the rainforests, is home to large grazing animals like lions, tigers, giraffes, elephants, and zebras! Because the topsoil is too thin, no farming takes place there.

  • There are three massive deserts in Africa, one of which is the largest desert in the world: the Sahara. The second is the Kalahari Desert and it is cold and rocky and is situated in Southern Africa. The Namib Desert, situated in southwest Africa, is the hottest and driest place on earth!

  • Africa is home to four of the five fastest land animals: the cheetah, which can run at a startling 70 miles per hour, the wildebeest, the lion, and the gazelle.

  • Lake Malawi in southern Africa contains around 500 different species of fish!

  • Two Nobel Peace prize winners, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, live in Africa. They reside in the same country, South Africa, and on the same street, Vilakazi Street! No other place on earth can boast this.

  • In this unit, students are introduced to the physical geography of Africa. Along with the usual assignments of the unit routine, there are also several map activities, and an engaging travel scrapbook project.

    Click on the following links to download the resources for this unit:

    Unit 6 Terms: Africa's Physical Geography

    Unit 6 PowerPoint Presentation

    Unit 6 PowerPoint Fill-in-the-Notes

    Blank Outline Map of Africa

    List of African Countries to Label on Map

    African Travel Scrapbook Project

    List of Regions plus Facts for Scrapbook Project

    Cooperative Group Activity Using Maps

    Unit 6 Study Guide: coming soon......

    Unit 6 Test: Africa's Physical Geography

    Return from Geography of Africa to World Geography


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