Africa Landforms and Environment

Physical Features
Daily Objective
• Students will explore the landforms and
environment that makes Africa.
North Africa
North Africa
• North Africa covers from the Atlantic Ocean to
the Red Sea. It is bordered to the north by the
Mediterranean Sea.
North Africa
• Broad coastal plains are a main landform in
North Africa
North Africa
• The Atlas Mountains run parallel to the
Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts.
The Sahara
• The Sahara is the world’s largest desert.
• The Sahara extends across all of North Africa.
This vast desert acts as a natural barrier
between North Africa and the rest of the
African continent.
• The climate of the Sahara has undergone
cycles of wet and dry periods over thousands
of years.
• During some of these wet periods the desert
was able to support grasslands and abundant
animal life.
• Today most of the Sahara is a barren expanse
of rock and sand.
• The desert covers about 3.5 million square
miles of land. It roughly is the size of the
entire United States.
• In basins, seas of shifting sands called ergs
• In other areas, wind blows the sand and
dust away, leaving a gravel-covered plain.
• This is called a reg.
The Nile
• The Nile river flows through Egypt into the Mediterranean.
This means that it flows to the north.
• Water from the river and the Nile Delta supports crops and
other vegetation, creating a fertile green strip across Egypt.
The Nile
• In 1960 the Aswan High Dam was completed
on the upper Nile. It allowed a year round
supply of water for irrigation, effectively
opening new areas to farming.
• The negative is that the dam blocks the yearly
floods that used to fertilize the Nile Delta
region of Egypt.
West and Central Africa
West and Central Africa
• Plains and low hills mix with rainforest to
make up the landscape of West and Central
The Congo Basin
• The Congo Basin is a huge, wet tropical
lowland in Central Africa. It is the second
largest rainforest.
• The Congo River drains
this region.
East Africa
East Africa
• The Serengeti Plain
• This is where most of the typical African
wildlife would be found.
East Africa
• East Africa’s landscape has
been formed from
tectonic processes. This
resulted in the formation
of huge rift valleys.
• The Great Rift Valley is a
series of geological faults.
These faults run from
Mozambique to
Southwest Asia.
East Africa
• Mt. Kilimanjaro is located near the Tanzania-Kenya
border. It is the most famous of the rift’s volcanoes.
Even though Kilimanjaro is near the equator, it is so
high that snow always caps its twin peaks; it is the
highest mountain in Africa.
Ethiopian Highlands
• The Ethiopian Highlands are the largest area
of high elevation (5,000 ft). The highest peaks
reaching near 15,000 feet above sea level.
• The Ethiopian Highlands cover major parts of
Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritrea.
Southern Africa
Southern Africa
• A narrow coastal plain stretches along the
southern Africa coastline. It is less than 100
miles wide in most places.
• Inland from the coastal plain, a high plateau
reaches more than 4,000 feet above sea level.
Drakensberg Escarpment
• Drakensberg Escarpment (Dragon’s Mountain)
is located in Southern Africa.
• It is the tallest Mountain range in Southern
Africa (11,420 Ft).
• The Drakensberg was created through volcanic
activity and the break up of Gondwanaland.
Kalahari Desert
• The Kalahari Desert covers most of Botswana,
Namibia, and South Africa.
• The desert receives between 3-7.5 inches of
rain each year.
• The area used to house many different species
of wildlife. It now does not have near as many
as it once did.
Namib Desert
• The Namib is a coastal desert in southern
Africa. The name Namib is of Nama origin and
means "vast place".