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Namibia, Land and Resources

hartebeests, Cunene, Great Escarpment, Namib Desert, physical regions

Namibia can be divided into three physical regions: a low-lying coastal belt, a central plateau, and the Kalahari Desert. The coastal belt consists of the Namib Desert. It extends along the entire Atlantic coast and ranges from 100 to 160 km (about 60 to 100 mi) in width. On the east, the central plateau rises abruptly at the Great Escarpment. The plateau averages about 1,100 m (about 3,600 ft) in elevation, but climbs to elevations of more than 1,800 m (5,900 ft) in several mountainous areas. Along the eastern border is the Kalahari Desert. It is a highland area containing vast sandy tracts. The only permanent rivers are the Orange, Cunene, Okavango, and Zambezi, all of which form boundaries. The territory has virtually no other surface water. The climate is generally hot and dry. The average annual rainfall in the Namib Desert along the coast is about 50 mm (about 2 in). Inland, annual rainfall increases from 150 mm (6 in) in the south to about 560 mm (about 22 in) in the north. Average temperature extremes in Walvis Bay on the coast are 15 to 23C (59 to 73F) in January during the summer and 8 to 21C (47 to 70F) in July. What little rain occurs falls from February through May. In Windhoek, in the interior, average temperature extremes are 17 to 29C (63 to 85C) in January and 6 to 20C (43 to 68F) in July. Most precipitation occurs from October through April. Vegetation is sparse in both the Namib and Kalahari deserts. A woodland savanna is found in the central plateau. True forests are found only in the northeast. Wildlife is abundant and includes elephants, rhinoceroses, lions, giraffes, zebras, and hartebeests. Namibia is rich in mineral resources, among which are diamonds, uranium, copper, zinc, and lead.

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Article key phrases:

hartebeests, Cunene, Great Escarpment, Namib Desert, physical regions, rhinoceroses, Okavango, Walvis Bay, central plateau, zebras, giraffes, eastern border, elephants, uranium, Zambezi, little rain, Windhoek, diamonds, mineral resources, lions, average annual rainfall, mountainous areas, Orange, Namibia, elevations, falls, Wildlife, surface water, precipitation, climate, Vegetation, zinc, copper, northeast, territory, ranges, summer, interior, lead, south, width


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