A land of many broad tablelands above 3,300 ft (1,000 m), Angola also has both central and southern high plateaus that range up to 7,900 ft (2,400 m). The country as a whole is relatively dry, especially in the south and along the coast. The interior is the source of many rivers but is predominately savanna. Land abuse, such as desertification, forest loss, and water impurity are significant environmental problems throughout the country. The Angolan province of Cabina lies somewhat to the north of Angola, separated from the rest of the country by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC). It receives more rainfall than most of Angola and parts of it are covered by rain forest.
Area: 481,226 sq mi (1,246,700 sq km) including the exclave of Cabinda. / World Rank: 24 Location: Located in the Eastern and Southern Hemispheres on the west coast of the African continent,south and southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DROC), west of Zambia, north of Namibia, east of the Atlantic Ocean. Cabinda region is separated from the rest of Angola by the DROC, and is completely surrounded by that country and the Republic of the Congo. Coordinates: 12° 30′S and 18° 30′E Borders: 3,233 mi (5,198 km) total boundary length; the border of DROC, 1,557 mi (2,511 km, 136 mi (220 km) of which is the boundary of the discontiguous Cabinda province; Republic of the Congo, 125 mi (201 km); Namibia, 853 mi (1,376 km); Zambia, 688 mi (1,110 km) Coastline: 992 mi (1,600 km) Territorial Seas: 12 NM (22 km) from the coast; exclusive economic zone is 200 NM (360 km) Highest Point: Mount Moco, 8,596 ft (2,620 m) Lowest Point: Sea level Longest Distances: 1,092 mi (1,758 km) SE-NW / 926 mi (1,491 km) NE-SW; Cabinda: 103 mi (166 km) NNE-SSW / 39 mi (62 km) ESE-WNW Longest River: Congo, 2,693 mi (4344 km)
Natural Hazards: Occasional heavy rainfall with accompanying floods Population: 10,366,031 (July 2001) / World Rank: 72 Capital City: Luanda, located on the Atlantic Coast. Largest City: Luanda, 2,665,000 (2000 estimate).INLAND WATERWAYS Rivers Angola has a diverse system of rivers, including somelarge constantly fed rivers, such as the Congo; seasonally fed rivers; and temporary rivers and streams. Most of the country’s many rivers originate in central Angola, but the pattern of flow and ultimate outlets is varied. The enormous Congo River (or Cuango), which drains much of central Africa, flows along a small part of the border with the DROC before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. This is one of the few navigable rivers in Angola. Most of the other rivers in northeastern Angola, those north of the Lunda Divide, flow into the Congo basin. Another great river, the Zambezi, flows through aportion of eastern Angola. Many of the rivers to the south of the Lunda Divide and east of the coastal plains are tributaries of this river. The Okavango (Cubango) River has its source in central Angola and flows southeast into Namibia, running for 998 mi (1610 km) before emptying into the Okavango Swamp in Botswana. The Cuanza River (or Kuanza or Kwanza), at 600 mi (966 km), is the longest river that flows entirely within Angola’s borders, and is the only one besides the Congo that is navigable, although only for 126 mi (200 km). The Cambembe Dam on the Cuanza River provides power to Luanda. Several other smaller rivers flow from the plateaus westward into the Atlantic and provide both irrigation for the otherwise dry coastal strip and hydroelectric power. The country has six dams, but as of 2002 only three were functioning. The southernmost rivers flowing that runs north along much of the coast is cold, reducing precipitation, although it does support a food fishing industry that contributes to export income. CLIMATE AND VEGETATION Temperature Angola’s temperatures average 68°F (20°C), but there is considerable variation from the warmer coastal region to the cooler central plateau. The north—from Ambriz to Cabinda—has a wet, tropical climate; the eastern strip, starting slightly north of Luanda and stretching to Namibe, has a moderate tropical climate; the southern central strip between the plateau and the border with Namibia, as well as along the coast as far north as Namibe, has hot, dry desert conditions. There are two seasons in Angola. The dry and cool winter lasts from June to late September. The hot, rainy summer extends from October into May. Deserts The southern part of the country is sandy and dry and has sparse vegetation, except along the courses of major rivers. This is less true in the southeastern parts of the country, but even there much of the vegetation disap- pears during the dry season. Due to vagaries in precipitation the far south is marked by sand dunes, which give way to dry scrub in the central portions. NATURAL RESOURCES Natural resources in Angola are abundant and include: petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold, bauxite, and uranium. Angola’s war for independence and ongoing civil strife has hampered the economic potential that resides in the land. Both petroleum production and diamond mining lead the industrial sector. ;