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Chapter 13/Section 1.1 Physical Geography
 Sub-Saharan Africa is divided into four parts with varied geographic features
Where is Sub-Saharan Africa?
Lies south of the Sahara desert
Region extends from Senegal in western Africa to Ethiopia and Somalia in eastern
Africa, and southward to the tip of the continent
Region also includes Madagascar
Africa’s Continental Drift
All of the continents once belonged to a supercontinent named Pangaea
Movement of Earth’s tectonic plates caused the different continents to drift apart and
Africa to become a separate continent
Tectonic plates also formed physical features like lakes, basins, and valleys
Basin: a region drained by a river system
Landforms and Water
Sub-Saharan Africa is divided into four parts: west, central, east and south
West Africa:
Savannas: tropical grasslands
Sahel (semiarid grassland that separates the Sahara in the north from the tropical
Desertification: a gradual transition from fertile to less productive land (desert) caused by
climate change and overpopulation
Central Africa:
Rain forest (Congo Basin)
East Africa:
Rift Valleys stretch from the Red Sea southward through Mozambique
Great plateaus
The Kalahari Desert
Rift Valleys: deep valleys that formed when Earth’s crust separated and broke apart
 There are limited water resources and poor sanitation in this region