Plan of Study
Discuss the physical and cultural
geography of Kenya.
Review the cultural geography of Tanzania.
Describe climate, economic activities, and ethnic tensions in inland East
Outline the geography of the Horn of Africa.
Chapter 20: East Africa
Kenya's coastal plain borders the Indian Ocean. As you move west there
is an upland plain and then the Great Rift Valley. Because of its location
on the Equator, Kenya has a climate that is warm year-round. Although Kenya
has a developing economy, many of its people remain poor. They are subsistence
farmers or nomadic herders. Kenya won its independence from the British
in 1963. Tanzania, with landforms and climates similar to Kenya, has a
large mainland and three islands. Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest point in
Africa, is located in the north. Farming and tourism are the main economic
activities in Tanzania. The country is too poor to develop its mineral
resources. Scientists believe they have found remains of some of the earliest
human settlements in the country of Tanzania. To the west of Kenya and
Tanzania lie the landlocked countries of Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. Subsistence
farming is the main economic activity in all three countries. They have
also suffered from violent conflicts in recent years.
Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia are located in the Horn
of Africa. All have suffered from drought and violent conflict. Sudan is
the largest country in Africa. Most of the people live along the Nile River
or one of its tributaries. A civil war between the people of the north
and the south broke out in the 1980s. The government is still searching
for ways to end this conflict. Scientists have found what they believe
to be the remains of the oldest known human ancestors in Ethiopia. In 1993,
after 30 years of war, Eritrea won its independence from Ethiopia. Djibouti,
one of the hottest, driest places on Earth, is located at the northern
tip of the Great Rift Valley. In Somalia fighting among different clans
continues today. Somalia has no real government.
Kenya has coastal lowlands as well as inland plains and
The Great Rift Valley is a huge gash in the earth that runs through most
of East Africa.
Two important economic activities in Kenya are farming and tourism.
Coffee and tea exports are Kenya's main source of income.
Kenya's population of about 27 million is growing rapidly.
Tanzania is made up of a mainland area and a group of offshore islands.
Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain, lies in the northern area of Tanzania.
Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is home to many species, including
lions, antelopes, and elephants.
Tanzania's population consists of about 120 ethnic groups.
Inland East Africa
Uganda has a fertile plateau that is good for farming.
Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi lie close to the Equator, but their generally
high elevation keeps their temperatures mild.
The two main ethnic groups in Rwanda and Burundi are the Hutu and the Tutsi.
The Horn of Africa
Most of Sudan's people live along the Nile River and farm for a living.
Ethiopia has been an independent country for thousands of years.
Eritrea, Somalia, and Djibouti are hot, dry countries where farming is