southern africa. continent of africa physical geography the big idea southern africa’s physical...
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Continent of Africa
Physical GeographyThe Big IdeaSouthern Africas physical geography includes a high, mostly dry plateau, grassy plains and rivers, and valuable mineral resources.
Main IdeasSouthern Africas main physical feature is a large plateau with plains, rivers, and mountains.The climate and vegetation of Southern Africa is mostly savanna and desert.Southern Africa has valuable mineral resources.
Main Idea 1:Southern Africas main physical feature is a large plateau with plains, rivers, and mountains.Grassy plains run along the coast and cover the plateau.The plains are home to lions, leopards, elephants, baboons, and antelope.Plateaus and MountainsMost of Southern Africa lies on a large plateau.An escarpment, the steep face at the edge of a plateau, runs along this plateau.In the east, part of the escarpment is made up of the Drakensberg Mountains.Other mountains can be found in the northeast and the southwest.Plains
Main Idea 2:The climate and vegetation of Southern Africa is mostly savanna and desert.Savanna and DesertTropical ForestsOpen grasslands, called the veld, cover much of the region. The Namib Desert is the driest place in the region. It receives as little as one half inch of rain each year.The Kalahari Desert of Botswana features sandy plains and pans, or low, flat areas.Found in Madagascar, which is known for its lush vegetationContains animals not found anywhere else in the world, such as lemurs
Main Idea 3:Southern Africa has valuable mineral resources.Rich in natural resources:Madagascar has timber.Rivers provide hydroelectricity.Farmers grow a variety of crops.South Africa produces most of the worlds gold.South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia produce diamonds.Other minerals include coal, platinum, copper, uranium, and iron ore.Mining is very important to the economy, but it can be very damaging to the environment.
History and CultureThe Big IdeaNative African ethnic groups and European settlements influenced the history and culture of Southern Africa.
Main IdeasSouthern Africas history began with hunter-gatherers, followed by great empires and European settlements.The cultures of Southern Africa are rich in different languages, religions, customs, and art.
Main Idea 1:Southern Africas history began withhunter-gatherers, followed by great empires and European settlements.The Khoisan were among the earliest people in Southern Africa. They were hunter-gatherers and herders.The Shona, a Bantu group, built an empire in the 1400s.The Shona farmed, raised cattle, and traded gold.They also built Great Zimbabwe, a stone-walled town that was their capital. Great Zimbabwe was the center of a great trading network.Trade made the citys rulers rich and powerful.The Shona traded with people as far away as China and the East Coast of Africa. In the 1400s the gold trade declined, and so did the Shona empire. By 1500 Great Zimbabwe was no longer a major trading center.
Europeans in Southern AfricaPortuguese and DutchThe Portuguese were the first to explore Southern Africa.The Dutch were the first to actually settle in the area. They set up a trade station near the Cape of Good Hope.Afrikaners and Boers Afrikaners were descendants of Dutch, French, and German settlers in South Africa. They developed a language called Afrikaans.The Boers were Afrikaner farmers who were forced north by the British.BritishAs the British forced the Boers to move, they came into conflict with a Bantu group called the Zulu.The British defeated the Zulu in a long series of battles.The slave trade ended in the 1830s.
Modern HistoryApartheidThe South African government became increasingly racist and established a policy of racial segregation called apartheid in the mid-20th century.It divided people into three racial categories: white, black (African), and coloured (of mixed descent, or Asian).Apartheid placed restrictions on where Blacks and coloured people could live. For example, black South Africans were made to live in tiny clusters of homes called townships.
IndependenceBeginning in the 1960s many former colonies gained independence.Some countries won their freedom peacefully. Others had to fight for it.Namibia remained under the control of South Africa until 1990.
Main Idea 2:The cultures of Southern Africa are rich in different languages, religions, customs, and art.Most languages belong to either the Khoisan or Bantu language families.Khoisan languages are known for the click sounds they include.More than 200 Bantu languages are spoken today.English is also common.PeopleHundreds of ethnic groupsSome ethnic groups, such as the Zulu and the Tswana, are very large.Other groups are small and not native to Africa. Languages
Southern African CultureSouth Africans celebrate many holidays:Heritage Day celebrates the countrys diversity.Christian holidays such as ChristmasThe regions art reflects its many cultures.South African artists paint ethnic designs.Artists in Lesotho make tapestries.Artists in Zimbabwe make stone statues.Artists in Botswana make ostrich eggshell beadwork.ReligionEuropeans introduced Christianity to the region, and many people today are Christian.Most non-Christians in the region practice traditional religions. Celebrations and Art
Southern Africa TodayThe Big IdeaCountries of Southern Africa today are trying to use their governments and resources to improve their economies and deal with challenges.
Main IdeasSouth Africa ended apartheid and now has a stable government and strong economy.Some countries of Southern Africa have good resources and economies, but several are still struggling.Southern African governments are responding to issues and challenges such as poverty, drought, disease, and environmental destruction.
Main Idea 1:South Africa ended apartheid and now has a stable government and strong economy.Other countries put sanctions, or economic and political penalties, on South Africa to convince the government to end apartheid.People within South Africa also protested against apartheid.In the 1980s the government began to move away from its apartheid system. It released political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, who was elected president in 1994.Today all races have equal rights in South Africa. Everyone is free to attend any school or university. However, not everyone is equal economically yet. White South Africans are still generally wealthier than black South Africans.
South Africa TodaySouth Africa has more resources and industry than most African countries.Worlds largest producer of several valuable mineralsgold, platinum, and chromiumLarge cities also contribute to the economy:Johannesburg has Africas largest industrial area.Cape Town attracts many tourists.GovernmentRepublic with an elected presidentMany officials are working to guarantee both political and economic equality for all races in South Africa.Economy
Main Idea 2:Some countries of Southern Africa have good resources and economies, but several are still struggling.Lesotho and SwazilandNamibiaEnclaves, small territories surrounded by foreign landLesotho has few resources, so it is a poor country.Swaziland has mineral resources and cattle.Gained independence from South Africa in 1990Now a republic with its capital at Windhoek Some of Africas richest mineral deposits are in Namibias deserts. Despite these resources, most people are poor.
Other Countries of Southern AfricaBotswanaZimbabweMineral resources (especially diamonds), stable government, cattle ranching, and tourism have led to economic success.One of the worlds fastest growing economiesUnemployment remains high.Zimbabwe has resources, but inflation and war have severely hurt the economy.Whites make up less than 1 percent of the population, but own most of the land. The government is working to fix this problem by taking land from white farmers and giving it to black residents.
Other Countries of Southern AfricaMozambiqueMadagascarOne of the worlds poorest countries due to years of civil warIndustries include shipping and agricultureWas ruled for more than 20 years by a socialist dictatorNow has an elected president who wants to improve the economyMost of the countrys income comes from exporting coffee, vanilla, sugar, and cloves and from tourism. ComorosFour tiny islands with few resourcesStruggling to improve education and promote tourism
Main Idea 3:Southern African governments are responding to issues and challenges such as poverty, drought, disease, and environmental destruction.One of the most serious challenges facing the region is poverty. Droughts often destroy food crops. In addition, many people are unemployed, so they have no way to escape poverty.Disease is also a problem. Many people in the region are infected with HIV. Governments are working to stop the spread of this disease.Many countries also face environmental challenges. For example, deforestation is a major problem in Madagascar.Countries are working to solve these problems. Namibia was the first country in the world to include environmental protection in its constitution.