Exploring Our World: People, Places, and Cultures

Chapter 19: Physical Geography of Africa South of the Sahara

Student Web Activity

"The Niger River"

You learned in Chapter 19 that some of the most important geographic features of Africa south of the Sahara are lakes and rivers. In West Africa, many great civilizations of long ago were built along the banks of the Niger River. On this Web site, you will learn why the Niger River is so important to the millions of West Africans who still rely on it.

Destination Title: On the Line: Geography: Mali

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Start at the Oxfam: Geography: Mali Web site.

  • On the map on the left, see where the country of Mali is located in West Africa. On the map on the right, find the Niger River.
  • Read the information, and then click on the link Niger River. Read this page and answer the following questions.

How long is the Niger River?
The Niger River flows through nine countries. What happens to its shape when it reaches Mali?
In what ways do West Africans rely on the Niger River?
Click on A Fisherman’s Tale. Read the story and answer the following questions. How has fishing the Niger River changed for 25-year-old Lamine Coulibaly since he started?
How does the river benefit farmers?
What kinds of things might damage the health of a river? How would those things impact the people who live nearby?
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