GSEB Class 8 Social Science Notes Chapter 14 Introduction of the Continents: Africa and Asia

This GSEB Class 8 Social Science Notes Chapter 14 Introduction of the Continents: Africa and Asia covers all the important topics and concepts as mentioned in the chapter.

Introduction of the Continents: Africa and Asia Class 8 GSEB Notes

→ The length and breadth of the African continent is almost the same. Most of the continent i.e. —rd lies north to the Equator. The Tropic of Cancer passes through the north and the Tropic of Capricorn passes through the south, so most of Africa is in the Torrid Zone.

→ Most of Africa lies in the Eastern hemisphere. It covers 20 % of the total land mass of Earth and has a 30,000 km long running coastline.

→ Till the end of the 18th century the African continent was unexplored. So, it was known as the ‘Dark Continent’.

→ Bartholomew Diaz discovered the sea-route to the ‘Cape of Good Hope’ in 1493 C.E. and this helped Vasco-da-Gama to discover the sea-route to India in 1498 C.E.

→ The major landform of Africa is plateaus and highlands. The Ethiopian highlands have an altitude between 1500 and 4500 metres. There are highlands and plateaus that have an average altitude of 915 metres in South Africa.

GSEB Class 8 Social Science Notes Chapter 14 Introduction of the Continents: Africa and Asia

→ Atlas Mountain Ranges lie in the north-west of Africa. Mount Toubkal (4165 metres) is the highest peak. Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest volcanic mountain in the mountain range of East Africa. Its height is 5895 metres.

→ The huge Sahara Desert, the largest and hottest desert of the world lies in the north of Africa and covers an area of 94,00,000 sq km. It is full of rocky highlands.

→ The Great Rift Valley of East Africa (the longest one of the world) was created due to tectonic movements and it runs north-south for approximately 6000 km. Lakes Tanganyika, Malawi (Nyasa), etc. lakes have been formed due to accumulation of water. (Note : Victoria and Chad lakes are outside the Rift Valley.)

→ Most of Africa’s rivers originate from the central highlands and meet the sea. They are not useful as waterways, but various waterfalls created due to the rugged terrain help in producing hydroelectricity. The Victoria Falls located on river Zambezi are world famous.

→ The major rivers of Africa are Nile, Congo, Niger and Zambezi. Victoria, Malawi (Nyasa), Tanganyika, Chad, Turkana (Rudolph), etc. are the main lakes. With a surface area of 68,800 sq km (26,600 sq miles). Victoria, Africa’s biggest lake, is the largest tropical lake and the second largest freshwater lake in the world. Lake Tanganyika is the longest sweet water lake in the world.

→ The Nile is the longest river of the world. Its length is 6436 km. It originates in the highlands of Ethiopia and flows through Sudan and Egypt to meet the Mediterranean Sea.

→ The climate of Africa is diverse. Varying temperature and precipitation leads to a wide variety of vegetation. The extremely hot and humid climate suits the Equatorial rain forests and trees like mahogany, ebony, logwood, rosewood, ironwood, rubber, cinchona and bamboo flourish here.

→ Rainfall decreases as one proceeds due north. So, vegetation also changes from Savannah grass lands to thorny vegetation like cactus, jujube tree, date palm, etc. is seen in the Sahara desert.

→ The Mediterranean region of Africa receives rainfall in winters also. Sweet fruits like grapes, peaches, etc. and citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, etc. are grown here.

GSEB Class 8 Social Science Notes Chapter 14 Introduction of the Continents: Africa and Asia

→ Almost 70 % of Africans are agriculturists. Crops like tea, coffee, cocoa, rubber, tobacco, etc. are grown here. Crops like cloves, rice, etc. are also grown here. Zanzibar is known as the ‘Island of Cloves’.

→ Wild animals like two-humped camels, hippos, lions, leopards, deer, etc. are found in Africa.

→ Minerals like gold, copper, uranium, manganese, etc. are found in mines at Johannesburg and Transvaal regions of South Africa. Mineral oil is found in Libya and Egypt. Diamonds are also found in Africa.

→ Tribal races like the Pygmies live on banks of the rivers Zaire and Congo. The Bushman in the Kalahari Desert, the Masalit in Sudan, the Bantu in Kenya, the Bedouins in Egypt are found in African forests.

→ Egypt is one of the most ancient countries. It is an Arab Republic. This great civilization developed on the banks of river Nile. This country is famous for its pyramids and Sphinx. The Tropic of Cancer passes through the south of Egypt. Dates and cotton are grown in abundance here. Cairo (Kahira) is the capital city of the country as well as the industrial city. The Suez Canal has brought Europe and Asia closer to each other.

→ Located at the southernmost end of Africa, South Africa lies in the temperate zone and has a temperate climate. It was primarily an agricultural country but the discovery of diamond and gold mines near river Vaal in 1867 changed its economy drastically. The capital is Pretoria but the Parliament is in Cape Town. Johannesburg and Durban are the other main cities.

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