Topography of Sudan

Topography of Sudan Last updated on Saturday 24th April 2010

Situated in the northeastern corner of the African continent, the Sudan is divided into three distinct geographical regions.

The northern area, comprising about 30% of the country, consists of barren desert plains, the stony Nubian desert lying to the east of the River Nile and the sandier Libyan desert to the west. The River Nile cuts through these desert lands, and in many places the arid desert landscape reaches right up to its banks. In some places, a narrow fertile strip separates the river from the desert.

The central region of the Sudan consists of steppes and low mountains. Near the city of Khartoum, the two main sources of the Nile River, known as the Blue and the White Nile, converge. The Blue Nile rises from Lake Tana in Ethiopia and flows across east central Sudan. The much longer White Nile has its source at Lake Victoria on the border with Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

The southern region, known as the Sudd, contains vast swamps and rain forests. On its journey through this region on the way to Khartoum, the White Nile loses about 60% of its water through evaporation. Once the two headstreams converge to become the Nile proper, they are fed by many tributaries as the river flows north.

There are several mountain ranges in the Sudan. In the west, the Jebel Marra is the country's highest range. Others include the Nuba Mountains near Khartoum, the Matong and Dongatona ranges in the south and the rugged Red Sea Hills to the east, which give way to a narrow coastal strip about 700 km long.

Sudan's highest peak is Mount Kinyeti, which rises to a height of 3187 metres (10,456 feet) in the south-eastern Immatong Mountains.

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