Southern Africa

The Southern Africa region is the southernmost region in the African continent. It is comprised of the countries of Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The island nation of Madagascar is excluded because of its distinct language and cultural heritage.


The interior of Southern Africa consists of a series of undulating plateaus that cover most of South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana and extend into central Angola. Contiguous with this are uplands in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Coastal mountains and escarpments, flanking the high ground, are found in northern Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, and along the Mozambique-Zimbabwe border. Coastal plains abut the Indian .

In the early part of the 19th century the history of southern Africa is marked by the massive expansion of the Nguni empire under the military leadership of Shaka. This had a knock on effect throughout southern Africa displacing other peoples.