Africa Landforms

Zebras on African Savanna
The African Savanna


Africa is an amazingly diverse continent. It is the home an incredible array of animals and people. Africa's geography is also diverse and consists of a wide variety of landforms. We will cover many facts about these areas of Africa in this section which is written for both adults and kids. Some of the main African landforms are:

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Africa Landforms - Plateaus

Almost the whole continent is made up of vast plateaus of varying elevations. These plateaus are for the most part flat with steep rouged mountainous edges that go down to the narrow coastal plains. The highest of these steep edges is found in Drakensberg in South Africa and is approximately 11,000 feet high.

African Landforms - Mountains

Africa only has a few mountain ranges. One range is the Atlas mountains that extends from southwestern Morocco along the Mediterranean coastline to eastern Tunisia. Its highest peak is Mount Toubkal in west Morocco. The highest mountain in Africa is Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Its height is approximately 19,340 feet.

Africa Landforms - Rivers

Except for the Sahara desert rivers are abundant in Africa. Only the Nile, which is the longest river in the world, makes it through the Sahara to the sea. The Congo River carries immense amounts of water in order to drain the rain drenched equatorial regions of the continent (the only other river in the world to carry more water is the Amazon). Other major rivers include the Niger in Western Africa and the Zambezi, Orange, and Limpopo rivers of the south.

Africa Landforms - Deserts

The largest desert in the world is the Sahara found in northern Africa. This immense landform is nearly the size of the United States. A smaller desert, the Kalahari (sometimes called the Namib Desert) is located in South Africa

Africa Landforms - Rainforests

The world's second largest rainforest is located in the Congo river basin in the central and west side of Africa. The rainforest is home to half of the continent's wildlife including gorillas and chimpanzees. There are other much smaller rainforest located on the west coast of Africa.

Africa Landforms - Savanna

The African Savannas are vast grasslands found in mid and southern Africa. They are wide open plains with a few scattered isolated trees. It is here that the great cats of the continent, such as the lions, stalk their prey.

African Landforms - Lakes

Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa. It is part of the Nile river system. It is a fresh water lake approximately 150 miles by 250 miles (240 by 400 km), with an area of about 26,800 square miles. Other notable African lakes include Lake Albert, Lake Chad and Lake Tanganyika.