When looking at the physical geography of Mozambique it’s not that simple. Physical geography is the branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the domain of human geography.
When it comes back to the physical geography of Mozambique, it’s not that simple but a bite complicated and really interesting also Anyway, Mozambique is a beautiful stretch of land off the southeast coast of the second largest of the earth’s seven continent called Africa. Its capital city is Maputo which covers an area of over 800, 000 square kilometres. Mozambique lies along the Indian Ocean opposite to island of Madagascar and is bordered by six other countries, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Ziambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest. However the following write-up or essay will only explain more on the type of climate, vegetation, landforms and mineral resources that are found in the beautiful country called Mozambique.Firstly, climate talks about the weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long period of time. Mozambique has a tropical climate as well as subtropical with two seasons, a wet season from October to March and dry season from April to September as all the tropical regions have.
Climatic settings differ depending on the height above sea level. Rainfall is heavy along the coast and falls in the north and south of the country. Annual precipitation fluctuates from 500 to 900 millimetres depending on the region with an average of 590 millimetres. Cyclones are also common throughout the wet seasons in the country.
Average temperature ranges in Maputo are from 13 to 24 degree Celsius in July to 22 to 31 degree Celsius in February. (Source: https://en.m.
). Mozambique crosses the tropic of Capricorn giving a tropical climate with plenty of sunshine all through the year and it hardly gets cold. The average temperature is about 28 degree Celsius, and the weather along the coast remains sunny and warm even in midwinter.
Tropical to subtropical Mozambican climate with coastal temperatures high for much of the year while the interior is warm to mid, even in cooler, dry season from April to September. In the south the hot, humid rainy season is from December to March, further north of the country, this period extends by a few weeks, and coastal northern Mozambique climate is occasionally affected by tropical cyclones. It is usually sunny throughout the year.
(Source: www.mozambiquetravelservice.com;cli.)Furthermore the Indian monsoon influences the climate of the northern two-thirds of Mozambique. Heavy rains arrive with the monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean in October and stay through March, whereas a dry season prevails through the rest of the year, when the winds blow in the reverse direction.
The southern third of the country is usually drier. Rainfall can be as high as 1,400 mm a year near the Zambezi Delta and as low as 300 mm a year in the lowlands of the southern interior. Mozambique is prone to severe droughts, and when droughts are relieved by heavy rains, flash floods often result. Average temperatures along the coast are as low as 18°C in the extreme south; while in the hot season most parts of the coast average 27° to 28°C. The hottest region is the interior Zambezi Valley, with average summer temperatures of 32°C. The coldest temperatures are usually recorded in one of the western mountain ranges, where frosts are common in the winter. The average January temperature for the capital of Mozambique (Maputo) is 26°C, while the average July temperature is 18°C.
(Source: Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009.) Moreover, December and January are a seasons of cyclones in the Mozambique Channel. (Source: Peter Gadake 1978) Climate of the northern regions of Mozambique is similar to equatorial and southern part of the country has tropical trade-wind type of weather conditions. Rainy seasons last from November to May. Droughts and devastation tropical cyclones are frequent.
Annual range of daytime temperatures is between 20 and 30 degree Celsius and 15 to 25 degree Celsius at night. During rainy season air feel much hotter than it is due to high humidity. As for precipitation it decreases southward from 1500mm to 500mm per year. Droughts are frequent in southern regions while north often suffers from terrible floods. (Source: https://seasonsyear.
com).From May to November winter season is the best time to go to Mozambique for cooler temperatures and the least chance of rain, December to April is the wet summer season although it generally rains in brief but strong downpours after which the sun comes out again.Once again, Mozambique is a country located in the south east Africa, very extended in latitude, the climate is tropical with a hot and rainy season from May to October , during which there is cooler period from mid-May to mid-August. In inland areas, mostly in the north central, there are highlands and mountain ranges, where the altitude tempers the climate, but in the low lands, for example in the Zambezi valley, the heat can be intense in the hot and rainy summer period, and even more so in the preceding the rainy season (September to November). Being in the southern hemisphere, Mozambique has reversed seasons compared with the Europe or North America.During winter, the south east trade winds bring a pleasant and sunny weather, although in the southernmost provinces, sometimes the temperatures can drop because of air masses from South Africa, so that it can be cold at night, mainly in inland areas. From June to October, it rains very little almost everywhere, although some brief lowers are possible along the central part of the coast.During summer, the northwest monsoon prevails, at least in the centre and north, which are affected by humid currents.
The rains occur primarily in the form of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon, so even during the rainy season, the amount of sunshine does not decreases, except in the in the northern mountainous areas where the sky is frequently cloudy. The greatest arid regions of the country are Limpopo National Park in the south west, where precipitation drops below 500 millimetres per year. (Source: Secondly, vegetation refers to the members of a group or aspect of plants that are found or grow in an area together or that share similar environmental conditions, characterized by the presence of one or more dominant species.In general there are five major vegetation regions throughout the world is forest, grassland, tundra, desert and ice sheet. Climate, soil, the ability of soil to hold water and slope or angle of the land determine what types of plants that will grow in a particular region. (Source: www.nationalgeographic )Mozambique has various ecosystems that reflect its climatic and topographic diversity. Savannah and open woodlands make up the northern regions where the vegetation is called the eastern miombo forest, while the south is covered with the so called southern miombo forest.
These two ecoregions are divided by the Zambezi on whose banks a mopane forest has thrived. The highlands are covered with grasses, as well as temperate evergreen forests where rainfall is high. On the coast swamps are homes to mangroves.
In the extreme south, the Maputaland coastal forest mosaic ecosystem takes over and covers the east coast of the African continent until the north of South Africa. In these two ecoregions, savannah and more humid areas alternate. (Source: www.economiesafricanes)The vegetation of lowland Mozambique is mostly light forest and grassland, while on the coast mangroves grow in the swamps and palms line the beaches. Tropical rain forests once stood south of the Zambezi Delta, but they have all been cut down. Forests become denser in the higher elevations, particularly along the border with Zimbabwe. Forest covers almost 24 per cent of Mozambique landmass and only 6 per cent of the land is arable for agriculture. (Source: Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009).
In addition, National park is an area set aside by a nation’s government to protect natural beauty, wildlife or other remarkable features. It also protect entire environment such as, coral reefs, deserts, grasslands, mountain ranges or rain forests. The national park that found in Mozambique is called Great Limpopo which covers an area of 35,000 square kilometres.
It may have the largest variety of mammals in any African park or reserve. It has thousands of buffaloes, elephants and zebras as well as hundreds of species of birds and plants. Great Limpopo is a world centre for wildlife research. (Source: Chicago, 2011).Plants can only be classified according to the way in which they are adapted to different climates types that they are adapted. For example, the plants that grow in the swampy areas cannot be grown in the desert therefore every plant adapts to the climate type.
Man’s activities of clearing, using wood for fuel and building and grazing animals have changed the vegetation type in Mozambique and even throughout the world (Source: Pierre Birot, 1966)Thirdly, landform is a natural feature of the solid surface of the earth or other planetary body. Landforms together make up a given terrain, and their arrangement in the landscape is known as topography. Major types of landforms on earth include mountains, valleys, plateaus, glaciers, hills, losses, plains and deserts. Mozambique is divided into two topographical regions, to the south of the Zambezi River, a narrow coastline and bordering plateau slope upward into hills and a series of rugged highlands punctuated by scattered mountains. South of the Zambezi River, the lowlands are much wider with scattered mountains and hills along its borders with South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia. (Source: https://www.
worldatlas.co).Most of Mozambique’s coastline is low-lying, containing of swamps or sandy beaches, and supported by thin forest and grassland, which cover about two-fifths of the country. Farther inlands, some mountainous regions formed by the edge of the southern African plateau that extends into Mozambique from the west part of Africa. The mountainous sections are the Lebombo Mountains in the south; the Manica and Gorongosa highlands along the Zimbabwe border, home to Mount Binga, Mozambique’s highest peak at 2,436 m; the Angonia Highlands and the Namuli Peaks in the north; and another mountainous area in the north along Lake Malawi.
A small slice of Malawi’s Lake Chiuta sits in Mozambique. (Source: Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009.)From the mountains and uplands, many rivers spring forth and flow east to the sea. Central Mozambique is dominated by the valley of the Zambezi, one of the world’s largest rivers and the fourth longest in Africa. In its lower reaches the Zambezi is as wide as 3 kilometres and enters the sea through a delta 80 kilometres wide. To the north, the Ruvuma and Lugenda rivers are sources of water and irrigation, while south of the Zambezi, the Pungwe, Save (Sabi), Limpopo, and Komati rivers are important resources. Most of Mozambique’s rivers fluctuate wildly in volume between the wet and dry seasons, and continually shift their shallow channels.
Only the Zambezi is controllable for more than a short distance from the coast.During colonial times the Portuguese built several projects to make the rivers more reliable for commerce. On the Limpopo, they erected a dam to deepen the river, control its flow, and provide irrigation for the valley’s farms. Other hydroelectric projects were built in the Manica highlands, and in 1969 work began on the enormous Cabora Bassa Dam on the Zambezi—one of Africa’s largest hydroelectric projects. The dam was completed in 1974. Another important source of water and transportation is Lake Malawi, of which 13,000 square kilometres lies within Mozambique. (Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009)The forth longest river in Africa called Zambezi is found in Mozambique the fast flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa, Lake Malawi is the country’s major lake and Cahora Bassa is African’s fourth-largest artificial lake.
Some of the richest coral reefs are found in Mozambique. There are over 1,200 species of fish have been identified in the coastal waters of Mozambique. In southern Mozambique the coastline is low, sandy and comprises swamps of East African mangroves. Harbours are limited and poor. The difference in character of these two regions arises from the point that in the half the ocean current which flows south between Madagascar and the mainland is near the coast and washes out all the softer material, while at the same time the corals are building in deep waters. The backbone of the country is the mountain chain which forms the eastern cliff of the continental plateau. Only along the Zambezi Mozambique’s territory reaches to the continental plateau, beside the Zambezi, the most considerable river is the Limpopo which enters the Indian Ocean about 100 miles north of Delagoa Bay.