South Africa and Its Neighbors


Review the geography of South Africa.
Outline the geographic features of the Atlantic countries of southern Africa.
Compare and contrast the countries of Zambia, Malawi, and Botswana.
Discuss the geography of the Indian Ocean countries of southern Africa.

     Chapter Overview

Chapter 21: South Africa and Its Neighbors

The Republic of South Africa is located at the southern end of the African continent. It is the most developed country in Africa. South Africa is the world's largest producer and exporter of gold. There are also large deposits of other mineral resources. In 1994 South Africa held its first democratic elections in which people from all ethnic groups could vote.

Angola and Namibia have long coastlines on the Atlantic Ocean. The Namib Desert runs along the coast of both countries. Most of Angola's people are farmers. The country's major export, however, is oil. Namibia has rich mineral deposits. Unfortunately, most of Namibia's people continue to live in poverty.

The Zambezi River flows across the country of Zambia. Zambia also has large deposits of copper. Zimbabwe takes its name from an ancient African city and trading center: Great Zimbabwe. Botswana lies in the center of southern Africa. The Kalahari Desert spreads over the southwestern part of the country.

The Indian Ocean countries of Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, and Seychelles are mostly farming nations. These countries are struggling to develop more varied economies.

     Quick Notes

Republic of South Africa

Most of inland South Africa is a high plateau.
Because of its mineral resources, South Africa has the most developed economy in Africa.
In recent years, South Africa has given equality to citizens of all ethnic groups and is struggling to become a democracy.

Atlantic Countries

Angola has large deposits of oil, diamonds, and iron ore.
Two major deserts cross Nambia. This harsh landscape limits agriculture in Nambia.

Inland Southern Africa

Zambia is one of the world's largest producers of copper.
Tiny, mountainous Malawi has a large lake running almost the entire length of its eastern border.
Zimbabwe has many mineral resources and good farmland.
Desert covers a large part of Botswana.

Indian Ocean Countries

Mozambique's ports on the Indian Ocean are used by landlocked countries in southern Africa.
Madagascar's people trace their ancestry to African and Southeast Asian settlers.

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