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Main climatic regions in African

  • Climate is the average weather condition of a given place for a very long  period of time.
  • Climatic regions refer to continuous geographic area with similar climatic characteristics.
  • Areas with similar climatic characteristics conditions are grouped together to form a climatic region
  • Climatic regions in eastern Africa include
  • Equatorial
  • Tropical
  • Sub tropical
  • Desert
  • Mountain
  • Semi desert
  • Modified equatorial



Characteristics of equatorial region

  • High rainfall throughout the year above 1500mm
  • Receives convectional rainfall
  • Rainfall is well distributed throughout the year
  • High temperatures throughout the year
  • Annual average temperatures of about 26 ̊ C
  • High humidity throughout the year
  • Two rainfall peaks between April – May and November – December
  • Small range of temperatures
  • No distinct dry season

Characteristics of modified equatorial 

  • High rainfall between 1000m-2000mm per year
  • Moderate temperature of about 22ºC (due to low altitude
  • Convectional rainfall due to nearness to large water bodies
  • High humidity throughout the year due to high rate of evaporation
  • it has two main seasons wet and dry
  • Long rains between march-may
  • Short rains between October – December. 

Characteristics topical climatic region

  • Has hot wet seasons and cool dry seasons
  • Cooler seasons have no rainfall hence remains dry
  • Hotter seasons receives a lot of rainfall hence they are wet
  • Rainfall is between 750mm – 1200mm
  • Has two distinct rainy seasons
  • Long rains between march-may
  • Short rains between September – October.   Temperature average is 21 ̊ c – 32 ̊ c Characteristics Mountain climatic region
  • High relief rainfall between 1100mm – 2500mm
  • Cool/low temperatures due to high altitude (at the peak of the mountain
  • Leeward sides are cool and dry
  • Peaks of high mountains are permanently covered by snow
  • Characteristics of semi arid climatic region
  • Low and unreliable rainfall 250mm – 750mm
  • High temperatures throughout the year 21 ̊ C – 28 ̊ C
  • Prolonged dry season of over six months
  • Low humidity
  • High temperatures at day time and low temperatures at night

Sub tropical climatic region

  • Cool or moderate temperature between 18c and 23 c
  • High rainfall between 1100mm and 2500mm per year
  • Rainfall is throughout the year

Characteristics of desert climatic region

  • Low/unreliable rainfall below 250mm per year
  • Rainfall is irregular
  • High temperatures of up to 40 ̊
  • Clear/cloudless skies throughout the year
  • Very high diurnal range of temperatures
  • Hot and dry most of the months of the year
  • Prolonged drought

Characteristics of semi arid climatic region  

  • Long dry season
  • High throughout the year.
  • Rainfall range between 250mm- 680mm per year

Influence of climatic regions on human activities in eastern africa

  • In arid and semi arid areas, pastoralism is the main economic activity.  The areas receives low rainfall that cannot support crop farming
  • In tropical areas where rainfall is reliable crop farming is practised as the main economic activities
  • Too much rain leads to flooding ad destruction of crops and property
  • Drought leads to famine and loss of livestock

Appreciating the climatic regions of eastern africa


  • Vegetation refers to plants that grow in a place.
  • It consists of trees, bushes, grass and shrubs.
  • The vegetation that grows on its own is called natural vegetation
  • The vegetation that is planted is called planted vegetation

Types of vegetation in eastern Africa

  1. Tropical rainforest vegetation
  2. Savannah woodland
  3. Savannah grassland
  4. Mountain vegetation
  5. Swamp vegetation
  6. Desert vegetation
  7. Semi-desert
  8. Mangrove vegetation

Free Grade 6 Social Studies CBC Notes

Map of eastern African showing the main types of vegetation




Tropical rainforest vegetation

  • Also called equatorial vegetation
  • Found in equatorial climatic region

Characteristics Tropical rainforest vegetation

  • Tall trees that form canopies
  • Vegetation is evergreen
  • Trees have straight trunks
  • Trees have broad leaves
  • Trees have buttress roots
  • Forests are thick and dense
  • Trees are mainly hardwoode.g.oak, teak, mvule, mahogany, ebony, camphor,obeche, iroko, heartwood, ironwood, rosewood, sapele, limba, okoune

Savannah woodland vegetation

  • Comes immediately after tropical rainforests
  • Mainly consist of trees

Characteristics Savannah woodland vegetation

  • Trees are of medium height
  • Trees are widely spaced ( scattered)  
  • Trees are deciduous
  • Tall grass between the trees
  • Tree tops are umbrella shaped
  • Common trees are acacia and baobab
  • Trees are deep rooted and have thick barks

Savannah grassland vegetation

Mainly consist of grass and few scattered trees

Characteristics Savannah grassland vegetaion

  • Drought resistant vegetation
  • Grass may grow upto 2m
  • Tall elephant grass
  • Few scattered trees
  • Trees have thick barks
  • Trees have thorny leaves
  • Main trees are baobab, acacia, cacti, euphorbia

Swamp vegetation

  • Common in swampy regions, along rivers and shores of small lakes  Mainly grows in poorly drained areas.
  • Main vegetation are; Papyrus reeds, Water lilies
  • Found in South sudan bahr-el-ghazal-sudd swamp, kyoga in Uganda, malagarasi swamp in Tanzania, amboseli swamp in Kenya

Mangrove vegetation

  • Grows in the muddy salty waters along shores of Indian ocean
  • The mangrove trees they have breathing roots (aerial roots)
  • Trees are mainly hardwood ever green and medium height
  • Is found along the shores of Indian ocean and mouths of r.ruvuma, r.juba

Mountain vegetation 

  • Grows on the slopes of mountains
  • Is widespread on the windward sides of the mountains
  • Vegetation changes as altitude increases
  • Vegetation is mainly influenced by the altitude
  • Is also called alpine or montane vegetation
  • from top to bottom the vegetation ranges from bare rocks, health and moorland , bamboo, rain forest and savannah.

Semi-desert vegetation

Found in areas with rainfall between 250mm-500mm

Characteristics Semi-desert vegetation

  • Short scanty thorny bushes
  • Short tough and scattered patches of grass
  • Vegetation is drought resistant with modified for thorns
  • Common plants cactus, baobab and euphorbia

Desert vegetation

Found in areas with rainfall less than 250mm

Characteristics Desert vegetation

  • Stunted plants
  • Plants have thorny or needle-like leaves ( catus is the most common plant)
  • Large section of Ground is bare
  • Plants have thick fleshy stems
  • Plants are deep rooted
  • Spiky scanty grass
  • Found in true deserts e.g. Kaisut and chalbi and taru deserts


Project work 



Project work

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  • Historic built environment refers to features made by people
  • These features have a historic value
  • They include
  • Museums
  • Monuments
  • Historical buildings
  • Cultural centers


The main historic built environments in eastern Africa

 Name of the built environmentcountryType-museum, monuments, building, cultural centres
1Kigali genocide memorialRwandamuseum
2Fort JesusKenya  
3Namugongo shrineUganda 
4Independence monumentBurundimonument
5John Garang mausoleumSouth Sudan 
6Black hawk down Crush SiteSomalia 
7The peoples palaceDjibouti 
8Askari MonumentTanzaniamonument
9Victory MonumrntEthiopia Monument 
10Bomas of KenyaKenya Cultural centre
11Hyrax museumKenyamuseum

Importance of the main historic built environment in eastern Africa

  • They create a sense of belonging
  • They serve as resources learning centres
  • Attracts tourist and earn as foreign exchange
  • They enable social interactions with friends, family and community
  • Many people are employed to work in historical buildings, mueum, and take care of monuments

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