Gray countries with texture denote areas of future engagement.

Congo

An ecological paradise that is home to some of the world’s rarest species

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Southern Africa

Land

  • Quick Facts:

    Area

    659,508,700 hectares (2,546,369 sq. mi.)

  • Key Landmarks

    1. Epupa Falls
    2. Cape Floral Kingdom
    3. Kruger National Park
    4. Chobe National Park
    5. Tsodilo Hills
    6. Sibebe Rock
    7. Ngwempisi Gorge
    8. Victoria Falls
    9. Banhine National Park
    10. Hwange National Park
    11. Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park
  • Animals

    White rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, elephant, lion, kudu, wildebeest, leopard, dik-dik, wild dog, puku antelope, zebra, cheetah, riverine rabbit, blue crane

  • Primary Ecosystems

    Desert, savanna, montane, forest

    Tags: Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Etosha-Skeleton Coast, Great Fish River, Kazungula, Limpopo, Save Valley, Zambezi

Gallery
  • Lupani School Perrin Banks
  • Lupani School Becky Walter
  • Lupani School Nasson Tembo
  • Lupani Nasson Tembo
  • Manyara Ranch IT Lab Craig R. Sholley
  • Manyara Ranch IT Lab James Mithamo
  • Manyara Ranch IT Lab James Mithamo
  • Manyara Ranch IT Lab Craig R Sholley
  • Inyambo Nasson Tembo
  • Inyambo Brian McBrearity
  • Inyambo Nasson Tembo
  • Inyambo Nasson Tembo
  • Ngoma Lodge Becky Walter
  • Ngoma Lodge Becky Walter
  • Ngoma Lodge Becky Walter
  • Ngoma Lodge Ngoma Safari Lodge
  • Zambia Rhino Relocation Joreck Chisshika
  • Zambia Rhino Relocation Joreck Chisshika
  • Zambia Rhino Relocation
  • Zambia Rhino Relocation Joreck Chisshika
  • Elephant Craig R. Sholley
  • Elephant Joe Dodson
  • Elephant Robyn Gianni
  • Elephant
  • Limpopo Leopard Conservation Billy Dodson
  • Limpopo Leopard Conservation Billy Dodson
  • Limpopo Leopard Conservation Philip Muruthi
  • Limpopo Leopard Conservation AWF
  • Banhine National Park Revitalization
  • Banhine National Park Revitalization AWF
  • Banhine National Park Revitalization Harry Van Der Linder
  • Banhine National Park Revitalization AWF
  • Zambezi Zute Lightfoot
  • Zambezi Craig R. Sholley
  • Zambezi Zute Lightfoot
  • Zambezi Craig R. Sholley
  • Zambezi Craig R. Sholley
  • Zambezi Mohamed Hashim
  • Zambezi Craig R. Sholley
  • Chiawa Cultural Village Craig R. Sholley
  • Chiawa Cultural Village Craig R. Sholley
  • Chiawa Cultural Village
  • Chiawa Cultural Village Craig R. Sholley
  • Sekute Conservation Area Becky Walter
  • Sekute Conservation Area Becky Walter
  • Botswana
  • Botswana
  • Botswana
  • Botswana Becky Walter
  • Mozambique Harry Van Der Linder
  • Mozambique Harry Van Der Linder
  • Mozambique Harry Van Der Linder
  • Mozambique Harry Van Der Linder
  • Namibia David Thomson
  • Namibia David Thomson
  • Namibia David Thomson
  • Namibia Kathleen Fitzgerald
  • South Africa
  • South Africa
  • South Africa Kathleen Fitzgerald
  • South Africa daryl and Sharna Balfour
  • Zambia Zute Lightfoot
  • Zambia Nasson Tembo
  • Zambia Becky Walter
  • Zambia Nasson Tembo
  • Zimbabwe Sharon Haeger
  • Zimbabwe Mohamed Hashim
  • Zimbabwe AWF
  • Zimbabwe AWF
  • Kazungula Skip Kaltenheuser
  • Kazungula Becky Walter
  • Kazungula Nasson Tembo
  • Kazungula Cardo Kleberg
  • Limpopo Harry Van Der Linder
  • Limpopo Harry Van Der Linder
  • Limpopo Harry Van Der Linder
  • Limpopo Harry Van Der Linder
  • Namibia Kathleen Fitzgerald
  • Namibia David Thomson
  • Namibia Kathleen Fitzgerald
  • Namibia David Thomson
  • Great Fish River
  • Great Fish River
  • Great Fish River
  • Great Fish River
  • Save Valley
  • Save Valley
  • Save Valley
  • Save Valley
  • A ranger monitors the rhinos at the Rhino Sanctuary at Hluhluwe iMfolozi
  • A ranger watches over the Rhino Sanctuary at Hluhluwe iMfolozi
  • A white rhino calf at the Rhino Sanctuary at Hluhluwe iMfolozi
  • A rhino at the Rhino Sanctuary at Hluhluwe iMfolozi
  • The fence protecting the Rhino Sanctuary at Hluhluwe iMfolozi
  • White rhinos at the Rhino Sanctuary at Hluhluwe iMfolozi
Overview
  • Southern Africa includes:

    Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritious, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

  • The terrain here has a little bit of everything:

    Deserts, woodlands, lush forests, grasslands, coastal areas, and mountains. It also has some of the world’s most spectacular flora and fauna, including the Succulent Karoo—an incredible ecosystem with a third of our planet’s 10,000 succulent species.

  • Mining plays a crucial role in many Southern African economies.

    This region has the world’s largest reserves of platinum, making it one of Southern Africa’s biggest exports, along with diamonds, gold, and uranium.

  • The region’s wildlife includes:

    White rhinos, elephants, lions, and the vervet monkey, which has human-like characteristics. They have the ability to identity their offspring by scream alone. Southern Africa is also home to the riverine rabbit, one of our planet’s rarest and most endangered mammals. It is estimated there are less than 200 of these nocturnal rabbits left.

Challenges

Water security threatens wildlife and is creating conflicts between neighboring communities.

While Southern Africa is breathtaking with its long coastlines, extensive dry woodlands, and sand dunes that can rise close to 1,000 ft., the geography has a dramatic impact on the lives of the people here. 

Poverty is exacerbated by overpopulation and a lack of economic opportunities and infrastructure. As a result, many depend on natural resources and subsistence agriculture for their livelihood. As more people turn to the forest for fuel, medicine, shelter, or profit, deforestation is accelerating at an alarming rate. This habitat loss is threatening some of our planet’s most endangered wildlife.

Historically, Southern Africa has suffered from water shortages. Its coastal deserts, rocky gravel plains, and drier terrains mean water is more scarce here than other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. And, its booming population makes water security a real issue for people and wildlife alike.

Projects

Will you show your support for Southern Africa?

African Wildlife Foundation’s efforts in Southern Africa include protecting the desert-dwelling elephant, developing ecotourism lodges that can help entire communities, and more. Donate for a cause that will help the people of Southern Africa, its wildlife, and its landscapes.

  • Grootberg Lodge
    Community-driven eco-tourism in Namibia

    Namibia still faces eco-challenges.

    Despite being at the forefront of conservation in Africa, Namibia still faces issues of poverty and habitat loss. Human-wildlife...

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    All Projects

  • Sekute Conservation Area
    Community-wide protection of Zambia’s wildlife

    Agriculture and population growth threaten wildlife in Zambia. 

    Historically, wildlife roamed freely around the Sekute Chiefdom in southern Zambia. But, in recent...

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    All Projects

  • Great Fish River Rhino Conservation
    Protecting black rhinos in South Africa

    More than 75% of the world’s rhino population lives in South Africa.

    Black rhinos are classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation...

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    All Projects

  • Lupani Primary School
    Education for conservation in Zambia

    Education remains one of the major challenges facing Africa.

    In the Sekute community of Zambia, students often had to walk miles a day to attend school. Classes were...

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  • Save Valley Rhino Conservancy
    Protecting rhino populations in Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe’s rhinos are disappearing fast. 

    Zimbabwe’s current population of rhinos is estimated at approximately 430 black rhinos and 290 white rhinos. In the past...

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    All Projects

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