Afrotropics | One Earth


The Afrotropics, or Sub-Saharan Africa, is one of the world’s major biogeographical realms with 5 major subrealm divisions based on the Bioregions 2020 framework -- Southern Afrotropics, Sub-Equatorial Afrotropics, Equatorial Afrotropics, Madagascar & East African Coast, and Sub-Saharan Afrotropics -- containing 24 bioregions in total. The Southern Afrotropics subrealm has two desert-shrubland bioregions, including the Karoo and Kalahari drylands and incorporates the southern tip of Africa, which is a Mediterranean biome and one of the most biodiverse floristic regions in the world with over 9,000 endemic plant species. The Madagascar & East African Coast subrealm contains the continent’s forested eastern coastline and adjoining marine areas and islands in the Indian Ocean including Madagascar, one of the most biodiverse and also the most threatened landscapes on the planet. The island is home to over 200,000 species half of which are found nowhere else in the world. The Sub-Equatorial Afrotropics subrealm is defined by one massive bioregion containing 20 woodland and grassland ecoregions including the Serengeti, host to one of the largest mammal migrations in the world. The Equatorial Afrotropics subrealm has 5 bioregions dominated by the Congolian forests and forest-savannas, extending westward from the Gulf of Guinea and including large mangroves along the coast. The Northern Afrotropics has 6 bioregions with the Sahel Acacia Savannas spanning the entire width of the continent.