Africa landscape


Published on

This is a slideshow version of a movie I made — without audio commentary — so that students could understand the physical geography of Africa and comprehend how the terrain and the vegetation on that terrain influences who lives there and what sort of political boundaries are imposed.

1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Good afternoon. You all did very well on the second half of the quiz, but the first half of the quiz — the map — was not so good. Here’s some ideas about how to fix it.
  • It’s easy to imagine that you can fill out a map just by having the outline of information, but really it’s not actually enough information.
  • Even if you’re working with a country map, it’s hard to figure out what should go where.
  • To make things more complicated, Africa has two different major political systems — the existing borders of the 20th century nations established by European rule, and the tribal affiliations that often cross border lines and make a mess of the standard “nation-state” lines.
  • But the reason you need to know the terrain types is that those terrain types help establish the boundaries between countries and tribal affiliations. Here’s the map of the terrain....
  • And here’s an outline map of the countries.
  • When we combine them, we can see that most of the countries in Africa are actually based on the boundaries between terrain types, and so help define the boundaries between tribal affiliations.
  • We’re then going to add in these two dotted blue lines. The top one, the Tropic of Cancer, is at about 25
  • We’re then going to add in these two dotted blue lines. The top one, the Tropic of Cancer, is at about 23°, 26’ north of the Equator. It’s actually just about the centerline of the Sahara Desert. The Tropic of Capricorn, the southern Tropic, passes just across the southern tip of Madagascar. It’s at 23°, 26’ south of the Equator. See if you can create these two lines across your Africa map.
  • The equator is halfway between these two lines. And dividing the continent into these three sections — above the Tropic of Cancer, between the Tropic and the Equator, between the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn, and south of the Tropic of Capricorn, will help you lay out WHERE all the terrains are.
  • First up is the part of AFrica north of the Tropic of Cancer. We’ve got Mediterranean forest, temperate grassland, and desert (its two types)
  • Between the northern Tropic and the Equator, the presence of water determines where the Mediterranean forest is... everything else is either desert or grassland in two types — tropical savanna or temperate grassland (called “veldt”).
  • Centered on the equator, you find a band of tropical rainforest. And those tiny countries along the southern edge of the bulb of west Africa are all tropical rainforest kingdoms. The inland countries are all savanna.
  • The landscape of central southern Africa is very similar to the landscape of acentral northern Africa — tropical savanna, some grasslands in the high country and near water, and desert along the west coast.
  • The landscape of deep southern Africa is very similar to far northern Africa. We have the same types of landscape — desert scrub, deep desert, temperate grassland, and mediterranean forest. We’re the same distance south of the Equator that Tunisia is NORTH of the equator... and so the landforms are the same.
  • On Madagascar, we have the same landforms that we do in central southern Africa, with this exception — the presence of the ocean, and the heights of the mountains on Madagascar draw rain into the coniferous forest along the tops of the mountains.
  • Finally, we want to have a sense of scale. This shows that Africa is about the size of FIVE United States. We need to bear in mind that this is a continent every bit as large as our whole country, five times over, and that the population is vastly poorer than us because of the challenges of their landscape.
  • ×