32 terms

African Geography Terminology

from "Everything You Need to Teach Africa"
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generalization
broad statement based on what is usually true
latitude
lines on maps and globes that measure distance north and south of the equator
longitude
lines on maps and globes that measure distance east and west of the prime meridian (0° longitude)
stereotype
a belief that is based on untrue or oversimplified ideas
rift
a large "cut" in the earth's surface
basin
large area of land that drains into a river or a lake
plain
large area of flat land
desertification
the process by which land changes and dries to become desert
arid
dry
steppe
semi-arid grasslands
tributaries
rivers that flow into a larger river
headwaters
streams at or near the source of a river
levees
embankments built along a river to prevent the water from flooding the land
silt
rich topsoil carried in rivers
deltas
triangular silt deposits at the mouth of a river
savanna
a treeless, grassy plain
escarpment
steep slope or cliff
ecology
The study of how living things interact with each other and their environment
subsistence farming
growing just enough crops for personal use, not for sale
distribution map
shows the location and amount of people, crops, resources, or industries in a country or area
population density
the number of people in a certain area, such as in a square kilometer
Sahara Desert
HUGE desert (largest in the world) that receives almost no rainfall.
The Sahel
A semi-dry region that is mostly sparse grasses and thorny bushes.
Great Rift Valley
A huge "crack" in the earth full of spectacular scenery and animals. Many soda lakes are located there.
Nile River
Longest river in the world. Most of it runs through deserts, providing much needed water to the people there.
Lake Victoria
Huge lake (2nd largest in the world) that lies between two rifts of the Great Rift Valley
Mt. Kilimanjaro
Highest mountain in Africa. Not part of a mountain range, but stands alone at over 19,000 feet
Congo Basin
A river valley that has too many waterfalls to make it easy to travel. It is used mostly for hydroelectric power.
Cape of Good Hope
Southern tip of Africa. Is rugged and wild, but beautifully scenic. There is a huge preservation park located here.
Horn of Africa
A peninsula that contains over 200 species of mammals and over 5,000 species of plants.
Ethiopian Highlands
Sometimes called the "roof of Africa." Although close to the equator, cooler temperatures are present due to the high elevations.
Serengeti Plain
A savanna, or grassland region that is home to zebras, lions and giraffes. Twice a year, 2 million animals migrate across the plain (north in the spring and south in the fall).