Africa is the second-largest continent on the planet.
Its landmass is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, The Red Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. The highest peak in Africa is Mount Kilimanjaro, standing at 5,895m. Located in Tanzania, “Killy” is also the highest freestanding mountain in the world.
Africa is made up of eight major physical regions:
• The Sahara • The Sahel • The Ethiopian Highlands • The savanna • The Swahili Coast • The Rain Forest
• The African Great Lakes • Southern Africa
Each of these regions has unique animal and plant communities. The climate of Africa varies dramatically, ranging from tropical to subarctic on its highest peaks.
Its northern half is on the whole desert or arid. It’s central and southern areas contain both savanna plains and very dense rainforest regions. In between, there is a convergence of vegetation patterns.
Africa is greatly affected by the Intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ). The movement of the Intertropical convergence zone, also known as the monsoon trough, creates a rainy season across central portions of the continent to the south of the Sahara. Tropical waves moving offshore Africa caused by the African easterly jet lead to many of the northern Atlantic’s tropical cyclones annually.
The Sahara is the hottest and driest portion of Africa due to the presence of the subtropical ridge.