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The White Mans South Africa 767

mountains, climate, region, coasts, plain and coast

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THE WHITE MAN'S SOUTH AFRICA 767. Location.—That part of South Africa in which white men can live and be healthy we call "The White Man's South Africa." This region is bounded on the northeast by the hot lowlands of the Limpopo Valley, and on the northwest by the dry lands of the Kalahari Region. Most of the region is a high plateau with very narrow low plains along the seashores.

768. Another California.—The western tip of South Africa, called the Cape Section, is in latitude similar to that of southern California, and it has the climate and therefore the crops of that region. It so happens that western coasts of continents in that lati tude always have that kind of climate. We found it in Spain and in Italy. We shall find other such coasts in South America and Australia. This is the climate of the winter rains, and of the dry summer when fields are brown and bare and roads are dusty.

While the Cape Section is another Califor nian-Mediterranean region, it is a very small one and the water supply is poor. The mountain ranges have little snow and are parallel to the southern coast, and, therefore, they catch very little rain from the west wind. All of the few streams are used for irrigation. There are some very valuable orchards of peaches, plums, oranges, and other fruits. The grapes are especially fine. The fruit can be sent to the markets of Europe and the United States when it is winter in the north ern hemisphere, but the freight makes it very costly.

How would South Africa be helped if its mountains were like the Sierra Ne vada in direction and height? 769. Another Florida.— We have found that the west coasts of continents just outside of the tropics are like California. The climates of eastern coasts of continents in the same latitude are also much alike. They all have moist summers. Thus the coast of South Africa, called the Natal Coast, has the moist sum mer climate which we have already seen on the southeast coasts of Georgia, Florida, and South China. (Sec. 668.) We shall find this climate again in the same latitudes in South America and Australia. (Secs. 804, 882.)

These sections have more rain in summer than in winter, so that forests cover the land, and corn, sugar cane, cotton, oranges, and even bananas can grow there.

The South African Florida, like the South African California, is small. The hot, damp plain by the sea is narrow. A series of ter races or step-like plateaus reaches upward one after the other toward the high Drakens berg Mountains. On the low plain, sugar cane, bananas, and oranges are grown for the South African market. A little tea is raised with the .help of workers from India. The summer rainfall helps corn, which is the chief crop, to grow on several of the plateau steps. The good pastures on the cool upper slopes of these mountains sup port a dairy industry; but this cool dairy section, like the coast plain, is small in area.

770. Another New Mexico.—West of the crest of the Drakensberg Mountains is a wide plateau, sloping gently away across the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, toward the Kalahari Desert Region and the Atlantic Ocean. The mountains shut most of the moist winds away from these plains, causing a dry interior climate, such as we found in New Mexico (Sec. 143) and the edges of the Sahara (Sec. 576), and that we shall find again in South America and in Australia.

At the inner edge of the mountains the rainfall is thirty inches per year. Some corn can be grown there, and the plain, or "veldt," as the Dutch call it, is covered with fine grass. As we go away from the mountains and descend the slope of the veldt, the rain fall becomes less, farming becomes impossible and the pasture poorer, as is the case when one goes southward from the Rocky Moun tains into New Mexico. Here, as in our southwestern plateaus, are ranches, with millions of cattle, sheep, and the long-haired goats that yield mohair. The chief exports of South Africa, except gold and diamonds, are skins, wool, and mohair.

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