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Mountains and Lowlands of the Horn of Africa

9.3N 47.7E

November 18th, 2011 Category: Mountains

Somalia - November 14th, 2011

The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent, and denotes the region containing the countries of Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia.

The Horn of Africa covers approximately 2,000,000 km² (770,000 sq mi). It consists chiefly of mountains uplifted through the formation of the Great Rift Valley, with the highest peaks in the Semien Mountains of northwestern Ethiopia.

The lowlands of the Horn are generally arid in spite of their proximity to the equator. This is because the winds of the tropical monsoons that give seasonal rains to the Sahel and the Sudan blow from the west. Consequently, they lose their moisture upon reaching Djibouti and Somalia, with the result that most of the Horn receives little rainfall during the monsoon season. On the windward side in the west and center of Ethiopia and the extreme south of Eritrea, monsoonal rainfall is heavy.

 

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