Social Studies - 2018-19

WG.9 b - Physical and Environmental Features of Sub-Saharan Africa

The student will analyze the characteristics of the Sub-Saharan African region by 

b) describing major physical and environmental features; 

Adopted: 2015



Although the continent of Africa is covered by an enormous plateau, the Sub-Saharan African region contains very distinctive landforms, water features, and landlocked countries.


Major physical and environmental features 

  • Continent composed of a huge plateau, escarpments 
  • River transportation impeded by waterfalls, rapids, and cataracts 
  • Location of equator through middle of region; similar climatic patterns north and south of the equator 
  • Smooth coastline; few harbors 
  • Large number of landlocked countries 
  • Limited fertility of rain-forest soils 
  • Limited water resources 
  • Kalahari, Namib, and Sahara Deserts 
  • Sahel 
  • Desertification 
  • Bodies of water 
    • Nile River 
    • Zambezi River 
    • Niger River 
    • Congo River 
    • Atlantic Ocean 
    • Indian Ocean 
    • Red Sea 
    • Lake Victoria 
  • Nature preserves and national parks 
  • Great Rift valley 
    • Mt. Kilimanjaro 
    • Victoria Falls


Updated: Jun 13, 2018