Africa Flora and Wildlife

Flora

Most of the flora belongs to the flora of the Paleotropic. The northern border is part of the Holarctic in terms of its flora and the extreme southwest, which has climatic conditions comparable to the north, forms the smallest but very species-rich flora of the Capensis.

The north is characterized by Mediterranean vegetation. In the forests of the lower mountain ranges of the Atlas, holm oak (Quercus ilex), Phoenician juniper (Juniperus phoenicea) and sand arac tree (Tetraclinis articulata) predominate, while in the higher altitudes mainly frankincense juniper (Juniperus thurifera) and cedar species (Cedrus atlantica), Cedrus libani grow.

The northern part of the Sahara, the largest subtropical desert, still belongs to the Holarctic, while the southern part of the Paleotropic. The transition to the Paleotropic is characterized by the ironwood tree (Argania spinosa) and milkweed plants. The semi-desert and desert vegetation is poor. To the south it turns into savannahs, grass corridors with different tree vegetation. Depending on the distribution of rainfall, a distinction is made between thorn and succulent savannah – the desert rose (Adenium obesum) and baobab (Adansonia digitata) are characteristic of these -, dry and moist savannah. What they all have in common are numerous types of acacia, some with an umbrella-shaped crown, and milkweed plants. The gallery forests along the rivers of the savannah are small wet forest areas (extrazonal vegetation).

Further south, the semi-evergreen forests join, the topmost tree layer of which is formed by deciduous trees. These lead over to the most lush form of vegetation in Africa, the evergreen tropical rainforest of the Congo Basin and the Guinea coast adjoining to the west.

This structure is basically repeated south of the equator. Particularly noteworthy are the Miombo forests in the alternately humid region and the vegetation of the Namib and Karoo in south-western Africa. In these two arid regions, in contrast to the Sahara, an abundance of characteristic life forms have developed through adaptation to the drought, e. B. Plants with large, water-storing tubers or succulent leaves that are almost completely sunk into the ground. Examples are the leaf succulent ice plant (Aizoaceae – many of them known as “living stones”) and Welwitschia mirabilis, which occurs in the central Namib.

The hardy hard foliage vegetation of the Cape, which belongs to the Capensis, is characterized by the heather family (Ericaceae) and Proteaceae.

The coast in the interior of the Gulf of Guinea and in parts of East Africa is occupied by extensive mangrove populations.

In the mountains of East and Northeast Africa, there are cloud forests with Koso tree (Hagenia abyssinica), tree heather (Erica arborea), mountain bamboo (Arundinaria alpinia) and common stone bees (genus: Podocarpus).

Above the tree line, from around 3,500 m above sea level, there is the Afro-Alpine level, in whose grassy meadows the giant senecia of the genus Dendrosenecio (daisy family) and Schopfbaum lobelia of the genus Lobelia (bluebell family) are particularly noticeable.

Wildlife

North of the Sahara, the fauna is assigned to the fauna of the Palearctic. It has a predominantly Mediterranean character there. The Atlas deer is typical of this region, but it is threatened with extinction and can only be found in protected areas; the Berber lion was exterminated at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Sahara, which forms the transition between the Palearctic and Ethiopis, which encompasses the rest of the African continent, is very species-poor due to the extreme living conditions. This also largely applies to the deserts and semi-deserts south of the equator . Well-adapted desert animals are the Mendes antelopes (threatened with extinction), the Dorcas gazelle and the dune gazelle, which can do without water for weeks, as well as the fennec (desert fox), the gerbil, some reptile species (e.g. skinks and vipers), insects and arachnids (e.g. scorpions). The fauna of the savannah is particularly impressive , which is mainly characterized by the huge herds of antelopes, buffalo and zebras. Other typical animals include: Vervet monkey, giraffe, black rhinoceros, lion, hyena, jackal, African ostrich and bustard. In the wet savannas live among others. the African elephant, leopard, various monkey and antelope species, cape buffalo, white rhinoceros, black mamba, puff adder and wandering ants. In the river valleys of the wet savannah there are a large number of water birds, e. B. pelican, Egyptian goose, osprey, tern, and in the marshes of Lake Victoria the shoebill. The animals of the savannah are protected by the establishment of large national parks (e.g. Komoé, Serengeti, Tsavo, Kruger National Park).

The fauna of the rainforest is particularly characterized by flying (bats, birds, insects) and climbing forms (monkeys, semi-monkeys, squirrels, tree snakes, tree frogs, etc.).

Overall, there are many endemic species in Ethiopis, e.g. B. gold mole, aardvark, hippopotamus, giraffe, the real ostrich, widow bird and the ancient pike.

The fauna of Madagascar is very different from that of the mainland; it forms the Malagasy sub-region.

East Africa

According to countryaah, East Africa is the area east of the Central African Rift between Ethiopia and the Rovuma, with the countries Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.

Since the fracture system of East Africa extends as far as the Zambezi, northern Mozambique is occasionally included in East Africa. The majority of the population belongs to the Bantu ; the contrast to the immigrant peoples (especially Nilotes) is still very pronounced in some cases. The coastal area has been influenced by Arabs for a long time; from there, Swahili has spread as the lingua franca.

East Africa