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Madagascar, Sub-Saharan & East African Geographic Features

How do the geographical features of Madagascar differ from Subsaharan Africa and East Africa?

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OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Africa - Overview

The world's 2nd largest and 2nd most populous continent, it covers 6% of the planet's Surface and over 30 million square kilometres. About 14.7% of the global population (about a billion - and growing) resides here bounded by the Atlantic ocean in the West, the Mediterranean sea in the North, the Suez Canal, the Sinai Peninsula, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean in the East, & South East and the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean meet in the South along the coast of South Africa. To the Southeast lies the African island of Madagascar, the 4th largest island in the world. There are 61 independent nation-states in Africa and the Sahara, the world's largest and hottest desert (about 9.4 million square kilometres) lies smack in the heart of the continent. The climate is diverse, from tropical to arid to subarctic in its highest peaks. The population of Africa is predominantly Black with minorities including Arabs, Whites (South Africa especially & remnants of Colonials in former colonies), some Malay/Indones (in Madagascar), Chinese, and Indian (settlers due to trade) spread all over the continent. The religion is diverse - Islam, Christianity, Folk-Christianity, paganism/animism, and a minority also practice Buddhism.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is the geographical used to denote the transitional region that is located just south of the Sahara. It is in this region where we will find the Sahel, the sub-region that transcends desert environment towards the tropical savannah of nations like Sudan. The extremely harsh climate of the Sahara - arid, lifeless ends on the line of the Sahel broken only in the Sudan area where the Nile River passes through. Scientists have determined that at some point in the history of the region wide lakes and strong rivers existed making the region teeming with life and allowed the possibility of human and animal migration towards the North of the continent and the Fertile Crescent. It is here in this region that the earliest hominid (10-15 million years ago) was found and the australopithecine species began to populate Southern, Eastern and Central Africa. From scavengers and vegetarians the hominid evolved towards Homo Habilis, Homo Ergaster/Erectus with the modern man's ancestors, the Homo Sapiens (modern man being Homo Sapiens Sapiens) appearing at around 100,000 years ago in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hence, this region is rich with paleontological, anthropological and archaeological sites and resources having been home to some of the most important finds and information we know of our own origin as a species. The desertification of the Sahara effectively cut off much of the South and its early inhabitants to the North making migration and movement difficult. In the later years however the chains of oases and camels once more allowed for trade. The Sahel sits upon the countries of Niger, Mali, Chad and Sudan while south of the Sahel the forest-savannas run through Guinea, Congo, Sudan and ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a comprehensive 1,911-word essay that discusses, enumerates and lists the geographical features that ran from Sub-Saharan to East Africa and that of the island of Madagascar. The features of the lower half of the African continent is compared to that of Madagascar. Environment, topographic and social elements are included in the discussion. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing. References are listed to allow students room for further research.