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

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Southern Africa


  • Quick Facts:


    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

  • Lupani School Nasson Tembo
  • Lupani Nasson Tembo
  • Lupani School Perrin Banks
  • Lupani School Becky Walter
  • 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
  • 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.


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.


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.

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Inyambo Fish Farm
    Feeding the future through environmentally sustainable agriculture

    Overfishing threatens people and wildlife along the Zambezi River.

    The Zambezi river is home to more than 200 different species of fish, all of which contribute to...

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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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