What are the different climate zones of Africa?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are a number of different climate zones in Africa.  Different textbooks may, however, list them differently.  One way to describe them is:

  • Mediterranean climate.   This is the smallest climate zone on the African continent.  It is found only on a coastal strip of North Africa, across the countries of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya, and on a small strip of the coast of South Africa. 
  • Desert.  There is a huge amount of desert in Africa.  The largest of these, of course, is the Sahara Desert, which is about 3.3 million square miles in size.  There are also deserts in Southwest Africa and on the Horn of Africa.
  • Sahelian.  This is a transitional climate zone that is typically found between deserts and savannas. 
  • Savanna.  This is a climate zone in which we find grasslands.  Most of Southern Africa and much of Central Africa is made up of this sort of climate zone.
  • Rain forest.  The remainder of Southern and Central Africa (that is not savanna, desert, or Mediterranean) is made up of rain forest.  This is the dominant climate zone of the basin of the Congo River.

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