Africa: Relief and Drainage


Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about Africa: relief and drainage. Enjoy the class!

Africa: Relief and Drainage

Africa: Relief and Drainage |


Africa can be grouped into the following relief regions

  1. The east (made up partly of mountains)
  2. The west (made up partly of highlands)
  3. The south (made up mainly of plateaux)
  4. The north (made up mainly of ranges)

EAST AFRICA: There are many mountains found in this part of Africa. They include Kilimanjaro Mountain (5,895m) which is the highest mountain in Africa, Cameroun Mountain, Ethiopia Mountain, Mountain Elgon, Mountain Ruwenzori and Mountain Kenya.

WEST AFRICA: The highlands found in this area include the Fouta Djallon, Guinea, Adamawa highland and Jos plateau.

SOUTH AFRICA: This area is mainly made up of plateaux. There is a continuous escarpment, highest in the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa.

NORTH AFRICA: The ranges include Ahagger, Tasilli, Tibesti, Darfur and Atlas Mountain


The areas of lowlands are restricted mainly to the coasts of Africa and the Rift valley of East Africa.


  1. Describe the relief of Africa.
  2. Mention some areas of lowlands in Africa.

LOCATION: It stretches from the Red Sea to the River Zambezi in Zambia through Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi. It is about 5000 – 6000 km long.

ORIGIN/FORMATION: Due to block faulting, there was the subsidence of land between two Parallel faults caused by tension.

NATURE OF THE FLOOR / DEPTH: It has a narrow flat floor with lakes some of which fell below sea level. The valley has steep walls. It contains some lakes like Tanganyika (the 2nd deepest lake in the world) and Lake Malawi.

IMPORTANCE: The rift valley system is important for the following

  1. Tourism
  2. Fishing
  3. Salt mining
  4. Rich agriculture land.


Africa has a large number of important rivers. Out of all the rivers, only four are really

Outstanding as a result of their length and volume. These are.

  1. River Nile (6,600 km) the longest
  2. River Niger (4,200 km)
  3. River Zambezi (2,400 km)
  4. River Orange (1,600km)
  1. Natural lakes: These include lake Victoria, Chad, Tanganyika, Malawi and Turkana.
  2. Artificial/Man-made lakes: These include lake Nassir on the Nile, lake Volta on River Volta, lake Kanji on the Niger and Lake Kariba (the largest man-made lake in Africa) on the Zambezi river.
  1. What is relief?
  2. What is drainage?
  3. Describe the drainage of Africa.
  4. Mention the natural lakes in Africa.
  5. Mention some important rivers in Africa.


In our next class, we will be talking about Africa: Climate and Vegetation.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

Should you have any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.

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