Physical Geography. The Big Idea East Africa is a region of diverse physical features, climates, and vegetation. Main Ideas East Africa’s physical features range from rift valleys to plains.
The Rift Valleys
Mountains and Highlands
Rivers and Lakes
Areas near the equator receive the most rain, while areas away from the equator experience occasional droughts, or periods when little rain falls.
During droughts, crops die and people suffer.
Several droughts have affected East Africa in recent years.
Main Idea 2: East Africa’s climate is influenced by its location and elevation, and the region’s vegetation includes savannas and forests.
East Africans, Arabs, and Europeans kidnapped Africans, enslaved them, and shipped them to ports throughout Africa and Southwest Asia.
Most slaves went to Islamic countries.
The Portuguese built forts and settlements to support the slave trade.
In the 1700s Zanzibar became an international slave-trading center.
Most European countries ended slavery in the 1800s.The Slave Trade
Europeans wanted goods like gold, ivory, and rubber that came from Africa.
In the 1960s most East African countries gained independence.
Many countries speak languages introduced by European imperialists:
French is an official language in Rwanda, Burundi, and Djibouti
English is common in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania
Swahili is the most widely spoken African language.
Ethiopians speak Amharic.
Somalians speak Somali.
Most religions emphasize honoring ancestors.
Many East Africans are animists. They believe that the natural world contains spirits.
Most Christians in East Africa live in Ethiopia.
Islam is also common. Sudan and Somalia are mostly Muslim.Main Idea 2:East Africans speak many different languages and practice several different religions.
More than 2 million tourists visit Tanzania and Kenya each year. One popular reason for visiting is the safari, an overland journey to view wildlife.
Tanzania is rich in gold and diamonds.
Farming is the major activity in both countries. Some people want to farm on national park land, but that would hurt tourism and endanger wildlife.
Kenya also produces geothermal energy, energy produced from the heat of Earth’s interior.
Tanzania’s capital is Dodoma.
The government began moving the capital there from Dar es Salaam in the mid-1970s.
Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s business center.
Kenya’s capital is Nairobi, an industrial center.
Connected to the rest of East Africa by railways
Both Dar es Salaam and Nairobi have been the site of terrorist attacks. The U.S. embassies in both cities were attacked by the al Qaeda terrorist group in 1998.The Cities of Tanzania and Kenya
Has never been under foreign rule
Rich soil in the highlands allows a profitable agricultural industry.
Droughts in the 1980s caused the loss of crops. The country has received plenty of rain recently.
Most people in the highlands are Christian. Most in the lowlands are Muslim.
Eritrea was an Italian colony in the 1800s and an Ethiopian one in the 1960s.
Eritrea broke away from Ethiopia in 1993. Since then the country has worked to improve.
Tourists are drawn to the coasts.
Most people are farmers or herders. Cotton is the main export.Main Idea 4:The countries of the Horn of Africa are among the poorest in the world.
Mostly covered with deserts and dry savannas
Too dry for farming, so most people are herders
Most people are ethnic Somali, practice Islam, and speak Somali.
Clans within Somalia have fought over rights to lands and cities such as Mogadishu, the capital.
In the 1990s drought and civil war caused much hardship in Somalia.
Small, desert country on the Bab al-Mandab, the strait that connects the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Was a French colony until 1977 so French is an official language
The capital and major seaport is also called Djibouti. It serves as the main port for Ethiopia, which is landlocked.
Two major ethnic groups fought for many years.Countries of the Horn of Africa