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G1 Notes and Maps
SS7G1 The student will locate selected features of Africa.
a. Locate on a world and regional political-physical map: the Sahara, Sahel, savanna, tropical rain
forest, Congo River, Niger River, Nile River, Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, Atlas Mountains,
and Kalahari Desert.
b. Locate on a world and regional political-physical map the countries of, Democratic Republic of the
Congo (Zaire), Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Sudan.
G1a
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Africa is enormous and has almost every type of climate and geography.
Northern coast runs from Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.
Several hundred miles inland are the Atlas Mountains which separate the coastal regions
from the Sahara Desert.
Sahara Desert- runs across the entire width of northern Africa.
Largest desert in world.
Covered with sand dunes, rolling rocky hills and wide stretches of gravel that go on for miles
and miles.
Few people live in the Sahara.
Traders regularly cross it by camel caravans, jeeps, and trucks.
Sahel, a region south of the Sahara, is dry and semi-arid and is slowly turning into a desert.
Little rain in the Sahel.
Many have tried to live here, cutting down trees, allowing animals to overgraze which has
caused the plants to disappear and the soil to become drier and blow away.
The savanna (note the spelling) is a region in the middle of the continent, close to the
equator.
Savanna is a vast area of grassland and more tropical habitats.
This is where you would find the animals normally associated with Africa (lions, elephants,
giraffes, and many more)
Farming is good when the rains come. Lack of rain can cause problems for farmers.
African tropical rainforests are located along the central coast.
Hot and humid with dense forests with trees hundreds of feet tall.
Tropical rainforests have many different types of birds and animals.
Biggest threat to this environment is the rapid growth of population in most African nations
in this region.
Need for fuel is driving people to cut down trees faster than they can be replanted.
Kalahari Desert, Africa’s other great desert, is located in southern Africa.
Surrounded by semi-arid areas that are also becoming drier.
Nile River (longest in the world) begins in the central mountains of Africa as the White Nile
and the Blue Nile (and other tributaries).
Flows northward for more than 4,000 miles to the Mediterranean Sea at Alexandria, Egypt.
The White Nile, the longest tributary, begins in Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa.
Congo River flows through central and west Africa, through the largest rainforest in Africa
and the second largest rainforest in the world. (Amazon rainforest in South America is
world’s largest)
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Congo River begins in central Africa near Lake Tanganyika and flows almost 3,000 miles to
the Atlantic River.
Lake Tanganyika, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, is also one of the deepest
lakes in the world.
Niger River, third largest river in Africa, flows from Guinea to the African coast (over 2,600
miles)
Mouth of the Niger is a vast delta sometimes called the “oil Delta” for the vast petroleum
industry located there.
G1b
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Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire) large country in central Africa with a coastline
on the Atlantic Ocean
Rich in natural resources and has the Congo River as a route for transportation and
commerce.
Natural resources include rich rainforests and minerals such as copper, cobalt, and diamonds.
Has a troubled history with European colonization and a later civil war.
Political situation remains unstable which hinders economic growth and development.
Along the banks of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, in the northeast corner of Africa is
the country of Egypt.
Nile River runs the length of it and empties into the Mediterranean Sea near Alexandria.
Cairo, the capital, is located on the Nile River.
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Most of Egypt is desert and almost all of Egypt’s people live along the Nile River in what is
known as the Nile River Valley.
Kenya, located along the eastern coast of Africa bordering on the Indian Ocean is a beautiful
country known for its magnificent animal parks and rich savanna grasslands.
Colonized by British in the 1800s; gained their independence in the 1960s.
Since then government has been relatively stable, though there have been a few disputes in
recent years.
Nigeria- large nation on the coast of West Africa.
Has nearly every kind of habitat found in Africa.
Northern part is close to the Sahara and is rocky and sparsely covered with short, brush-like
vegetation.
Dry land gradually gives way to grasslands and finally to tropical rainforests.
Nigerian coastline is rich with oil, though problems and corruption in the government have
meant the Nigerian people enjoy few benefits from their country’s oil wealth.
Located at the very southern tip of the African continent is South Africa.
Much of the country is a broad plateau with large stretches of grassland in the interior.
Again these regions are home to the animals one thinks of in Africa; elephants, lions,
giraffes, and leopards.
The Kalahari Desert is to the north of South Africa
Republic of Sudan- this country was divided into two countries during the summer of 2011,
Sudan and South Sudan due to political and ethnic problems.
Many Sudanese people became refugees because of the fighting in the country.
Sudan was the largest country in Africa until this split and was one of the largest Arab
nations in the world.
The Nile flows through these two countries, linking them to Egypt.