|Rivers||Chari, Niger, and the White Nile|
Sudan is the geographic region to the south of the Sahara, stretching from Western to eastern Central Africa. The name derives from the Arabic bilād as-sūdān (بلاد السودان), or "the lands of the Blacks", referring to West Africa and northern Central Africa. The Arabic name was translated as Negroland on older English maps.
Historically, the name was understood to denote the western part of the Sahel region. It thus roughly encompassed the geographical belt between the Sahara and the coastal West Africa.
In modern usage, the term "Sudan" is also used in a separate context to refer specifically to the geographic region comprising the present-day countries of the Sudan, including its western region which forms a part of the country, and South Sudan, which gained its independence in 2011. In order to avoid confusion, the term "the Sudans" is becoming the preferred option when describing this region.[ citation needed ]
Sudan is marked by hay, forest cliffs and gallery forests along the rivers. Drought and livestock grazing threaten the area with desertification.
The area is predominantly a plateau with river valleys of the Niger, Chad and White Nile.
Sudan is a transition zone between the Sahelian dry desert climate and the dense humid equatorial rainforest. Average annual temperatures vary between 23 and 29 degrees. Temperatures in the coldest months are above 20 degrees Celsius and over 30 degrees Celsius in the hottest months. Daily temperature fluctuations are up to 10-15 degrees. The summer monsoon brings rain from the equator. Precipitation ranges from 100–200 mm in the north to 1,500-2,000 mm in the south. During the dry winter season, the hot and dry Harmattan northeasterly wind from the Sahara.
It extends in some 5,000 km in a band several hundred kilometers wide across Africa. It stretches from the border of Senegal, through southern Mali (formerly known as French Sudan when it was a French colony), Burkina Faso, southern Niger, northern Nigeria, northern Ghana, southern Chad, the western Darfur region of present-day Sudan, and South Sudan.
To the north of the region lies the Sahel, a more arid Acacia savanna region that in turn borders the Sahara Desert further north, and to the east the Ethiopian Highlands (called al-Ḥabašah in Arabic). In the southwest lies the West Sudanian savanna, a wetter, tropical savanna region bordering the tropical forests of West Africa. In the center is Lake Chad, and the more fertile region around the lake, while to the south of there are the highlands of Cameroon. To the southeast is the East Sudanian savanna, another tropical savanna region, bordering the forest of Central Africa. This gives way further east to the Sudd, an area of tropical wetland fed by the water of the White Nile.
According to some modern historians, of all the regions of Africa, western Sudan "is the one that has seen the longest development of agriculture, of markets and long-distance trade, and of complex political systems." It is also the first region "south of the Sahara where African Islam took root and flowered."
Its medieval history is marked by the caravan trade.The sultanates of eastern Sudan were Darfur, Bagirmi, Sennar and Wadai. In central Sudan, Kanem–Bornu Empire and the Hausa Kingdoms. To the west were Wagadou, Manden, Songhay and the Mossi. Later, the Fula people spread to a wide area. During the colonization period, French Sudan was created and Anglo-Egyptian Sudan was named after the present Sudanese state.
Early on in the first millennium, many people from the Sudan were used as "a steady steam of slaves for the Mediterranean world" in the Saharan slave trade. With the arrival of the Portuguese in the fifteenth century, "people were directed to the Atlantic slave trade," totaling over a thousand years for the Saharan and four centuries for the Atlantic trades. As a result, slavery critically shaped the institutions and systems of the Sudan. The Portuguese first arrived at Senegambia and found that slavery was "well established" in the region, used to "feed the courts of coastal kings as it was used in the medieval empires of the interior." Between the process of capture, enslavement, and "incorporation into a new community, the slave had neither rights nor any social identity." As a result, the identity of people who were enslaved "came from membership in a corporate group, usually based on kinship."
West Africa may be taken as the country stretching from Senegal in the west, to the Cameroons in the east; sometimes it has been called the central and western Sudan, the Bilad as-Sūdan, ‘Land of the Blacks’, of the Arabs.
Chad is one of the 48 landlocked countries in the world and is located in North Central Africa, measuring 1,284,000 square kilometers (495,755 sq mi), nearly twice the size of France and slightly more than three times the size of California. Most of its ethnically and linguistically diverse population lives in the south, with densities ranging from 54 persons per square kilometer in the Logone River basin to 0.1 persons in the northern B.E.T. (Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti) desert region, which itself is larger than France. The capital city of N'Djaména, situated at the confluence of the Chari and Logone Rivers, is cosmopolitan in nature, with a current population in excess of 700,000 people.
Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically and ethnoculturally, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all African countries and territories that are fully or partially south of the Sahara. While the United Nations geoscheme for Africa excludes Sudan from its definition of sub-Saharan Africa, the African Union's definition includes Sudan but instead excludes Mauritania.
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo as well as Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. The population of West Africa is estimated at about 381 million people as of 2018, and at 381,981,000 as of 2017, of which 189,672,000 are female and 192,309,000 male.
The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic realm of transition in Africa between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian savanna to the south. Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the south-central latitudes of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea. The name is derived from the Arabic term for "coast, shore"; this is explained as being used in a figurative sense. However, such figurative use is unattested in Classical Arabic, and it has been suggested that the word may originally have been derived from the Arabic word sahl سهل "plain" instead.
The Afrotropical realm is one of Earth's eight biogeographic realms. It includes Africa south of the Sahara Desert, the majority of the Arabian Peninsula, the island of Madagascar, southern Iran and extreme southwestern Pakistan, and the islands of the western Indian Ocean. It was formerly known as the Ethiopian Zone or Ethiopian Region.
The Sahara is a desert on the African continent. With an area of 9,200,000 square kilometres (3,600,000 sq mi), it is the largest hot desert in the world and the third largest desert overall, smaller only than the deserts of Antarctica and the northern Arctic.
Hausa–Fulani are an ethnolinguistic group of the Sudan, a vast region south of the Sahara, encompassing the Sahel, they are located primarily in the Northern region of Nigeria. Hausa-Fulani are people of mixed Hausa and Fulani origin, most of whom speak a variant of Hausa as their native language, although about 12 to 15 million speak Fula language called Fulfulde.
Western Bahr el Ghazal is a state in South Sudan. It has an area of 93,900 km2 (36,255 sq mi) and is the least populous state in South Sudan, according to the controversial Sudanese census conducted in 2008. It is part of the Bahr el Ghazal region. Its capital is Wau. The state shared international borders with Sudan to the north and the Central African Republic to the west. The portion now occupied by Raga County is the southern part of the historical region known as "Dar Fertit".
Trans-Saharan trade requires travel across the Sahara between sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa. While existing from prehistoric times, the peak of trade extended from the 8th century until the early 17th century. The Sahara once had a very different environment. In Libya and Algeria, from at least 7000 BC, there was pastoralism, the herding of sheep, goats, large settlements, and pottery. Cattle were introduced to the Central Sahara (Ahaggar) from 4000 to 3500 BC. Remarkable rock paintings in places that are currently very dry, portray flora and fauna that are not present in the modern desert environment.
The history of West Africa has been commonly divided into its prehistory, the Iron Age in Africa, the major polities flourishing, the colonial period, and finally the post-independence era, in which the current nations were formed. West Africa is west of an imagined north-south axis lying close to 10° east longitude, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Sahara Desert. Colonial boundaries are reflected in the modern boundaries between contemporary West African states, cutting across ethnic and cultural lines, often dividing single ethnic groups between two or more states.
The East Saharan montane xeric woodlands is an ecoregion of central Africa, a number of high mountains in the middle of the huge area of savanna on the edge of the Sahara Desert.
The Islamization of the Sudan region (Sahel) encompasses a prolonged period of religious conversion, through military conquest and trade relations, spanning the 8th to 16th centuries.
The Sudanian savanna is a broad belt of tropical savanna that runs east and west across the African continent, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Ethiopian Highlands in the east. The Sahel, a belt of drier grasslands and acacia savannas, lies to the north, between the Sudanian savanna and the Sahara Desert. To the south the forest-savanna mosaic forms a transition zone between the Sudanian savanna and the Guineo-Congolian forests that lie nearer the equator.
The Burgu people are a minority ethnic group found primarily in the mountainous Ouaddaï region of eastern Chad and adjacent areas of Sudan. Their population is estimated to be about 300,000 in Chad. Other estimates place the total number of Burgu people in Sudan to be about 700,000.
The East Sudanian Savanna is a hot, dry, tropical savanna ecoregion of Central and East Africa.
The wildlife of Chad is composed of its flora and fauna. Animal and plant life correspond to the three climatic zones. In the Saharan region, the only flora is the date-palm groves of the oasis. Palms and acacia trees grow in the Sahelian region. The southern, or Sudanic, zone consists of broad grasslands or prairies suitable for grazing. As of 2002, there were at least 134 species of mammals, 532 species of birds, and over 1,600 species of plants throughout the country.
A large-scale, drought-induced famine occurred in Africa's Sahel region and many parts of the neighbouring Sénégal River Area from February to August 2010. It is one of many famines to have hit the region in recent times.
During the Trans-Saharan slave trade, slaves from West Africa were transported across the Sahara desert to North Africa to be sold to Mediterranean and Middle eastern civilizations. It was part of the Trans-Saharan trade.
The Prehistory of West Africa spans from the earliest human presence in the region until the emergence of the Iron Age in West Africa. Acheulean tool-using archaic humans may have dwelled throughout West Africa since at least between 780,000 BP and 126,000 BP. During the Pleistocene, Middle Stone Age peoples, who dwelled throughout West Africa between MIS 4 and MIS 2, were gradually replaced by incoming Late Stone Age peoples, who migrated into West Africa as an increase in humid conditions resulted in the subsequent expansion of the West African forest. West African hunter-gatherers occupied western Central Africa earlier than 32,000 BP, dwelled throughout coastal West Africa by 12,000 BP, and migrated northward between 12,000 BP and 8000 BP as far as Mali, Burkina Faso, and Mauritania.