UPSC Geography Oceans and continents Short Notes - World Geography (Africa)

Short Notes - World Geography (Africa)

Category : UPSC


World Geography (Africa)


  • Second largest continent.
  • Stretches from 37°N to 35°S latitude.
  • The Equator passes through almost the middle of the continent.
  • Special feature is its Great Rift Valley.
  • Important mountains - Atlas, Tibesti, East African mountains, Ahaggar mountains, Drakensberg, Mt. Kenya, Kilimanjaro (highest mountain in Africa).
  • Sahara, the largest hot desert in the world, stretches across the entire width of North Africa.
  • Other deserts are Kalahari, Namib, Nubian desert.
  • Important rivers - River Nile (longest in the world).
  • River Congo, River Niger, River Zambezi, River Limpopo (crosses the tropic of Capricorn twice), River orange.


Important Dams

  • Aswan Dam -River Nile
  • Kariba Dam - Zambezi
  • Kainji Dam - Niger
  • Cabora Bassa Dam - Zambezi


Important lakes of Africa: Lake Victoria, Taaganyika, Nyasa, Chad, Nasser, Kariba, Assal, etc.


As a large continent, Africa experiences a variety of climate. They are tropical monsoon, humid and sub humid tropical climate, mediterranean hot summer, hot desert climate, tropical wet/dry climate.

Natural Vegetation

Tropical Rain Forest: Mahogany, ebony and teak, oil palms, rubber-producing trees, orchid and lilic.

Tropical Savannas: Oil palms, rubber tree and african Abony.

Tropical Steppes and Deserts: Thorny Acacia euphorbias, dwarf palm, and juice tree.

Mediterranean Forest: Cork oak, olive tree, cedar pine and iron wood.

Montane forest: bamboo, wild variety of coffee and banana.

Mangrove forest: Papyrus, tall grasses, and lotus.



Pygmies: A short height tribal community predominant in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo (ROC), the central African Republic Cameroon, the Equatorial .Guinea, Gabon, Angola, Botswana, etc.

Bushmen: A group of yellow skinned nomads spreads along Botswana, Namibia South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Angola.

Zaius: They are the typical African tribes and descendants of Nguni speaking people who occupied, kwazulu-Natal province of Africa.

Yosai:  The semi nomadic tribe concentrated in Kenya.

Bantus: A community Bantu spoken people concentrated in Rwanda, Angola, Burundi, Zimbabwe and South Africa Tropical wet and dry climate zone which further divided into equatorial, Tropical and Sub tropical, etc.









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