- Position, Shape and Size of Africa
- Major Longitudes and Latitudes
- Rotation of the Earth
- Revolution of the Earth
- Map Reading and Interpretation
- Physical Features
Africa lies between latitude 37°N and 35°S and on longitute 18°W and 52°E.
Separated by water from all other continent except at the point where it joins Asia.
NOTE; When giving the position start with the latitude and then longitude.
Mostly Easterly point is called ras hafun(cape guardafui)
Mostly westerly is cape verde
Mostly northerly is cape bon
Mostly southerly is cape agulhas
Africa is connected to sinai peninsula by suez canal
Separated from spain by strait of gibraltar
Separated from rabia by strait of bab el-mandeb
The northern half is very wide while the southern is much narrower
At the cape guardafui extends outwards in the shape of a horn therefore the horn of africa.
Africa is the second largest continent in the world
Has an area of about 30.3 million square kilometres(20% of the total land surface)
It measures 8000 km from north to south and 7400km from east to west
- Asia – 43608000km2
- Africa – 30335000km2
- North america – 25349000km2
- South america – 17611000km2
- Antarctica – 13340000km2
- Europe – 10498000km2
- Australia – 8923000km2
Africa has the largest number of countries in the world making a total of 55 countries
The newest country is South Sudan
African countries are given below in alphabetical order:
Burkina faso 274200km2
Cape verde 7275km2
Central africa republic 622984km2
cόte d’ ivoire 322463km2
DR congo 2345409km2
Equatorial guinea 28051km2
Guinea bisau 36125km2
Sόo Tome & principe 964km2
Sierra leone 72325km2
South africa 221037km2
South sudan 644329km2
Western sahara 252120km2
The largest country in africa is Algeria while the smallest is Sychelle.
Offshore island also form part of africa;
- Sao Tome and principe
- Cape verde
Draw and label map of africa(including all countries)
Major longitude is called prime meridian also called greenwich meridian
In africa it passes through:
- Burkina faso
All other longitudes are measured and named from prime meridian upto 180° on both sides
Major latitude in are three passing through africa
- divides africa into two parts
- It passes through;
- DR congo
Tropic of cancer 23½° north of equatorIt passes through;
- Western sahara
Tropic of capricorn 23½° south of equatorIt passes through:
- South africa
Other important lines of latitude are far from africa are:
- Arctic circle 66½° N
- Antarctic circle 66½° S
This is movement of earth on its own axis. One complete rotation is 360°
The direction of the rotation is from west to east i.e.anticlockwise direction. One complete rotation takes 24 hours
- Differences in time along different longitudes
- Occurrence of day and night
Effects on time note:
(360 × 1) ÷ 24 =15
Therefore 1hr=15 or 360 = (24×60)minutes=1440min
1 = 1440 ÷ (360 ×1)= 4min
The time in accra 0° is 7.00am.calculate time in bermbera 45°E
? = 45 = (45×1) ÷ 15 =3hrs
So 3hrs is equavalent to 45 then add 3hrs to 7.00am to get 10.00am
It is the movement of the earth around the sun on its own axis through a path known as orbit
- Causes different seasons
The four seasons follows
Summer → Autumn → Winter → Spring (SAWS)
- Differences in length of day and night
- In December North pole experiences longer hours of darkness than days
- In June south pole experiences longer hours of darkness than day
- In March and September days and night are equal. This is because neither south pole or north pole is facing the sun or away from it.
- Position of the midday sun
- On 21st June the sun is overhead at the tropic of cancer. This is called summer solstice
- On December 22nd the sun is overhead at the tropic of capricon. This is called winter solstice.
- On March 21st and September 23rd the sun is overhead at the equator. This is called Equinox.
A map is a representation of the earth or part of it on a flat surface.
The symbols used in a map help to identify;
- Economic activities
- Population distribution
- Drainage of an area
These are things that people engage in to obtain wealthe.g –mining,fishing, farming, livestock keeping,trading,
|Quarry||People keep cattle or livestock|
|Road||People and goods are transported using road|
|Fish trap||People practise fishing|
|National Park||Tourism activities are carried out|
This is physical appreance of the earth’s surface. They include;
High ground or plateaus may be identified by the presence of;
- River source
Low attitude or plains may be identified by presence of;
- Direction of flow of rivers
On the atlas colour:
- Light green represent plains
- Yellow represents plateaus
- Brown represents highlands
- Purple represents mountain tops
Includes all water features. They are;
- Human made lakes
Colour is used to represent drainage
- Seasonal rivers – broken blue lines
- Permanent rivers – continuous blue lines
Swampy areas have few settlement because they are breeding ground for mosquitoes
Population distribution and settlement
Many dots in an area indicate there are many people living there. Such areas are said to be densely populated.
When dots are far apart or scattered the area is said to be sparsely populated.
The main physical features in africa are:
- Mountains and highlands
Our lives today pg 17
Draw map of africa showing main physical features
It is a high area which is generally level or flat ot the top
They are made up of very old and hard rocks
|Plateaus surface||Country where found|
|Nyika plateau||East Africa|
These are broad and shallow depressions. Most prominent ones are:
- El Djouf
- Danakil depression
Other smaller basins – qattara in egypt,Lake victoria – kyoga basin
The lowest depression in africa is danakil depression
It is a long depression on the earth surface
The world’s biggest and most famous is the great rift valley. It covers a distance of 5600km.
Great rift valley is divided into four sections
- Ethiopia rift valley
- Eastern branch
- Western branch
- Malawi rift valley
Ethiopian rift valley
- It begins from the red sea and extends down to lake turkana
- Begins from lake turkana through kenya down to tanzania
- Starts from lake rukwa in tanzania and runs along the borders of uganda and DRC to south sudan border.lake tanganyika, kivu,goerge,albert and edward are found in this branch.
Malawi rift valley
- It is a continuation of the eastern branch. Starts from lake malawi and ends at port of beira in mozambique
River shire valley, luangwa of zambia and the urema trough of mozambique are found here
Mountains and Highlands
The main highlands in africa include:
- Ethiopian highlands
- Guinea highlands
- Adamawa highlands in cameroon.
|Mountain||Country where found|
|Mountain Range||Country where found|
|Drankensberg||South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland|
|Cape Ranges||South Africa|
Lake victoria, tanganyika, malawi, chad, bangweulu.
- Victoria is the second largest lake in the world
- Tanganyika is the deepest (second)lake in the world
Human made lakes
Volta – ghana, kainji – nigeria, nasser – egypt, kariba on border of zambia and zimbabwe.
Some lakes are salty e.g. magadi, natron, shala, bogoria, nakuru.
Salty lakes have no river flowing out of them.
Major rivers include the:nile, congo, niger, zambezi, benue, orange, limpopo, volta, senegal,
River Nile is the longest in africa
Rivers that form delta are; Niger, and Nile
Niger delta is the largest in africa
Other rivers drain into the sea or lake in a single channel called estuary.
Examples: are zambezi, congo and senegal.
They are areas of soft,wet land covered with vegetation.
They are named according to the types of vegetation in them e.g.papyrus swamps have papyrus reeds
Mangrove swamps have mangrove trees.
Examples of swamps are;
- Okavango and makarikari in botswana
- Sudd along the nile in south sudan
- Lorian in kenya
- Lake – kyoga in uganda
- Malagasi in tanzania
- Swamp around lake chad
There are four types of mountains
- Block mountain
- Volcanic mountain
- Fold mountains
- Residual mountains
Formed after sedimentary rock fold at the edges
Examples of fold mountains includes:
- atlas in north africa
- Cape ranges in south africa
- Drankenberg in south africa
Formed when rock masses are reduced in size after many years of erosion
Examples are namuli – mozambique, homboli – mali
Other smaller features which may be formed in smaller manner are inselbergs
A lake is hollow or depression on the surface of the earth which is filled with water. Lakes are formed in different ways
- Earth movements
- Volcanic actions
- Human activities
May be either through action of wind or glaciers
Examples are maghra, birket(lake siwa)both in egypt
A glacier is a big block of moving ice
It is found on top of high mountains
Glacial lakes are known as tarns or corrie lake. Examples are teleki, hanging, gallary
Materials eroded by ice(moraine)may be deposited to form a barrier in a valley.
Behind such a barrier water may be collected to form a moraine dammbed lake.
They are of two types.these are;faulting and downwarping
- Lake tanganyika – tanzania
- Eyasi – tanzania
- Malawi – malawi
- Edwajrd and george – uganda
- Turkana, baringo and magadi – kenya
Examples of downwarping lakes are:
The lakes formed in this manner are ox-bow lakes
- Utange – on river rufiji in tanzania
- Kanyaboli – on river yala in kenya
- Gambi – on river tana in kenya.
Such lakes can also form in a delta areas e.g. lake manzala on nile delta.
draw diagrams on our lives today pg 24.
- Crater lakes
Examples of crater lakes are:
- Lake shala – ethiopia
- Lake nyos – cameroon
- Lake paradise – kenya
- Lava – dammed lakes
Formed when water accumulates behind the lava barrier to form a lake
- Lake kivu – uganda
- Lake tana – etiopia
- Lake itasy – madagascar
- Lake bunyoyi – uganda
Lakes formed as a result of human activities are called artificial lakes
- Lake nasser
- Lake kariba
- Lake volta
Relief regions in africa are
- Rift valley
- Highlands and mountains
- Coastal and lowlands
Is high and generally level ground
They lie between 400 – 2600 m above sea level
They have residuals hills (inselbergs)and valleys\
They are separated by short steep slopes known as scarps or escarpments.
The rift valley
The great rift valley enters africa from the red sea to beira in mozambique.
The narrowest part is about 30km wide while the widest is about 100km.
There are depressions occupied by lakes; e.g. bogoria and malawi etc
There are hills and mountains e.g. mt.longonot, suswa and ruwenzori
Some rivers flow along the floor of the rift valley .e.g. kerio, ewaso nyiro, and semliki
Highlands and mountains
Areas lying above 2000m can be described as highlands
Areas lying aove 2600m form mountains
The main highlands and mountains in africa
- Atlas mountains – morocco
- Ethiopia highlands – ethiopia
- East african highlands
- Ahaggar and tibesti mountains – chad
- Adamawa highlands – cameroon.
- Drankens berg and cape ranges – south africa
- Guinea highland – guinea
Mt.kilimanjaro is the highest in africa 5895m
Mt kenya – 5199m
Mt ruwenzori – 5109m
Coastal plains and lowlands
These are low – lying areas that border coast
They lie 0 – 400m above sea level.
They are narrow
Many parts are covered by sandy beaches
Climate is the average weather conditions of a particular place over a long period of time normally 30-35years
- Relief and altitude
- Ocean currents
- Shape of the coastline
- Distance from the sea
Relief and Altitude
It influences the temperatures, the higher you go the cooler it becomes. The rate for every 100m of vertical height is 0.6
It also affects rainfall
Onshore wind absorbs water vapour from the sea and therefore bring rain to the land.
Offshore wind are dry winds and bring no rainfall.
The wind which influenceclimate in africa are;
- Westerly winds – bring rainfall to mediterranean
- North-east trade winds – they are offshore wind since they originate from asia.
- South-easttrade winds – they bring alot of rainfall to eastern africa
- South-westerly winds – they bring alot of rain to west africa and congo basin.
- Hamarttan winds – they are hot and dry. They cause dry conditions to the north and west africa.
Draw map of africa showing the winds.our lives today bk 7 pg 29
This is the distance from equator.
Places near the equator experiences high temperatures while those far awy expriences lower temperatures
Africa lies within the tropics that is 23½° N and 23½° S. This region does not experience big change in
temperature during the different seasons.
Places outside the tropics experience winter and summer seasons. This is because the farther away one moves
from the tropics the cooler it gets.
These are the horizontal movements of water in the ocean.
They can be either be cold or warm.
Cold moves toward the equator while warm away from the equator.
The cold ocean currents are;
- Canary current
- Benguela current
Cold current cause fog and mist to land
Warm currents are;
- Somali current
- Mozambique current
- Guinea current
Warm currents causes rainfall to the land
Distance from the sea
Places that are far away from the sea receive low rainfall than those that are near.
This rainfall is called convectional rainfall
The sea also helps in the formation of cool sea breezes and land breezes
Shape of the coast line
When winds blow parallel to the coastline, they bring no rainfall to the land e.g. coast of ghana
Example axim town receives more rainfall than accra.
Africa has the following climatic regions
- Desert and semi desert
- Humid sbtropical
- Warm continental
Characteristics of climatic regions of africa
Also called hot and wet climate It is experienced in;
- Cote d ivoire
- Sierra leone
- Democratic repblic of congo
- Receives heavy rainfall – highest rainfall between April to June and lowest rainfall between september to october
- Have double maxima rainfall
- Most of the rainfall is convectional
- Rainfall is accompanied by thunder and lightning
- Temperatures are high throughout the year
- No dry season
- Dinurnal temperature range is small
- High humidity
Also called tropical climate.
Mainly found within the tropics
- Experiences hot rainy season and acool dry season
- Temperature range is between 15 C to 25 C.
- When the rainy season is being experienced in the north of the equator, the dry season inthe south of africa and vice versa
- Rainfall ranges from 380mm to 2000mm p.a.
It is experienced to the north africa along coast of;morocco, algeria, tunisia and around benghazi in libya.
Also experienced in south africa around cape town.
- Experience hot, dry summer and cool, wet winter
- During the winter season, winds are on shore hence rain , while during summer winds are offshore hence no rain.
- Annual rainfall varies from 500 – 750mm
- Most rainfall is brought by westerly winds
- Temperatures range between 13 C and 24 C.
Semi – desert Climate
Experienced in kalahari and the sahal regions
This region have low rainfall and high temperatures
- Rainfall between 380-500mm p.a.
- Temperature between 22 C to 27 C
- The skies are generally clear
Desert or Arid Climate
True desert are experienced in sahara in north africca and in the namib in namibia
- Lands are dry
- Highest temperatures 58°C and lowest 4°C
- The skies are normally cloudless
- Temperature range is very big.
- Rainfall is less than 250mm p.a. it fall within short period accompanied by storms.
Humid Subtropical Climate
Experienced in the coastal areas of eastern cape province and natal in south africa and also in mozambique.
Is influenced by warm mozambique currents and south east trade wind.
- Rainfall between 900 to 11500mm
- Most rainfall falls in summer.
- Both convectional and relief rainfall are recieved.
- Temperature range betwwen 13°C to 26°C.
Warm Continental Climate
Also known as the high veld climate
Experienced between the mediterranean climate zone of cape region in south africa and the humid subtropical
- Rainfall received all year
- Annual rainfall between 780mm in the east and 400mm in the west
- Winds from the indian ocean influence the rainfall.
- Temperature from 10°C to 19°C.
Also known as alpine climate
It is influenced by altitude
- Temperature decreases with increase in altitude
- High rainfall is received in mountain areas due to rising of moist air.
- Seasons exprienced in africa
Activity draw the diagrams on our lives today bk 7 pg 37
Places outside the equatorial regions but within the tropics, we have tropical region.these regions experience dry seasons and rainy seasons during other parts of the year.
Places farther away from equatorial and tropical regions experiences the four seasons
Mediterranean lands experiences hot and dry summer and cool, wet winter
Arid and semi-arid regions experiences hot and dry seasons throughout the year.
- Savannah are used for grazing
- Wild animals in savannah encourage tourism
- In the hunid subtropical region of south africa sheep are reared for meat and wool.
- Sawmilling is common in equaltorial regions
- Nomadic pastralism is practised in desert and semi desert regions
- Farming is practised in equatorial, modified equatorial, tropical and subtropical climatic zone.
- Tourism is practised at the top of mt.kenya, kilimanjaro and ruwenzori mountain because of snow.
- Climate influences types of houses to be built e.g.in wet areas the roof is steep for water to drain while flat tops are built in hot areas e.g. manyatta among the maasai.
- Areas that encourages breeding of mosquitoes and tsetse discourage settlement e.g.miombo woodland in tanzania and lambwe valley in kenya