Physical conditions. – Sudan within the narrowest limits of its extension can be considered a remarkably homogeneous region. From the point of view of the relief it appears as a vast flat expanse whose altitude remains below 500 m. and descends to 240 m. in the mirror of Lake Chad and only 170 m. in the Bodele depression. The highest altitudes would be found in the watershed region between the Congo basin and that of the Nile and Lake Chad where they would reach 1500 m at some point. it’s more. From the point of view of its constitution, the same uniformity is not maintained. The Lake Chad region including the Bodele depression as well as that of middle Niger for a large radius around Timbuktu and the Nile and Bahr el-Ghazal valleys are covered with recent alluvial formations. A notable part there are the archaic sediments and the ancient crystalline rocks, on which recent volcanic formations rise in various points. An extensive part of the territory is made up of sandstone or limestone formations of an unspecified age, while in the westernmost part paleozoic desert sandstone formations prevail, similar to those of the adjacent Saharan region.
Totally included in the intertropical region, Sudan has its own climate, not modified by the altitude or by a sensitive influence of the sea. Enclosed in January between the isotherms of 20 ° and 24 °, it passes in April-May from that of 28 ° to that of 34 °, with a pronounced tendency of increase proceeding from north to south; rainfall is scarce especially in the northernmost area bordering the Sahara, with waves ranging from less than 250 mm. he nodded at a meter in the southernmost regions.
The following table gives the climatic data for some of the most characteristic Sudanese locations.
We can distinguish three different river basins in Sudan. That of Niger, that of Chad and that of the Nile. Niger and its main tributaries can be said to run their entire course in Sudan. Lake Chad (v.), A vast expanse of marsh rather than a real lake, is fed by the Sciari and other minor rivers whose toll is absorbed entirely by evaporation so that, at least normally, the lake has no emissaries and only in the case of strong floods it seems that part of the water flows into Niger. The Bahr el-Ghazal flows mainly into the Nile, which is considered to constitute the limit of Sudan to the east, although it is customary to include the part of the lowland extending to its right, which with the vast range of its tributaries remains totally included in the boundaries of the Sudan. A part of the territory of Sudan,
Population. – Given the uncertainty of its limits and its extension and the fact of the lack of correspondence between these limits and those of the political-administrative districts to which the demographic data refer, the population of Sudan cannot be fixed in any other way. largely approximate. Considering that the colonies of French Sudan and Niger (French West Africa) and those of Chad and Ubanghi-Sciari (French Equatorial Africa) together with the northern part of British Nigeria and Anglo-Egyptian Sudan are totally within its borders, which altogether cover an area of over 5 million square kilometers, the total population would be 19 million residents with an average density of less than 4 residents per sq. km, almost the average density of the continent, density that reaches its maximum with 16 ab. per sq. km. in northern Nigeria, while it is just 1 residents in the colony of Chad. The population of Sudan lives thickened in villages and cities, some of which represent notable urban clusters although they have nothing of the characteristics of European cities and are nothing more than vast areas, enclosed by beaten earth walls, with huts of straw and mud. The occupation by European powers, which took place in the last decades, has given rise to neighborhoods, or at least buildings, of a European type alongside the ancient indigenous centers. Apart from Khartoum, which is now a European city, the most important Sudanese city is Kano, which has 90,000 residents, already the metropolis of a vast and industrious kingdom, followed by Kuka, or Kukawa, near Chad, both in northern Nigeria. But also in French West Africa there are considerable centers, such as Bamako (18,000 residents), Mirriah (15,000), Kayes (12,000). Timbuktu, once celebrated as the metropolis of Sudan, is no more than a large village of less than 6,000 residents
Economic conditions. – The climatic conditions of the region in which the steppe vegetal formation prevails immediately give us an idea of what its economic activities can be: agriculture, that is, for areas where the presence of considerable watercourses allows irrigation and cattle breeding. Among the irrigated crops that of cotton has taken a particular development. But the extension of the European colonization work, which dates back to only a few decades, will allow for greater development, contributing in particular to facilitated communications by river, where these are possible, or by rail. The railway constructions to which the possibilities for enhancing the immense region are mainly linked, which can be said to have no maritime borders, they are the object of particular interest on the part of the dominating colonial powers. A large penetration line, pushed up to Kano for some years, is close to reaching the shores of Lake Chad. The upper course of Niger is already connected to the Atlantic port of Dakar, while for some time it has been thought to connect Niger itself with the Mediterranean by means of a trans-Saharan railway.
Political order. – Sudan, in whose vast territory already strong and powerful autonomous states arose that exercised considerable action in the affairs of central Africa, today is in its entirety an immense colonial domain divided between France and Great Britain. It belongs to the former with the colonies of West Africa and precisely with those of French Sudan, Niger and with those of Chad and Ubanghi Sciari belonging to Equatorial Africa; it belongs to Great Britain with Northern Nigeria and the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan Condominium. The ancient Sudanese states of Timbuktu, Masina, Mandingo, Mossi, etc, therefore remain in French West Africa; in Equatorial Africa the realms of Kanem, of Wadāi. In northern Nigeria the kingdoms of Bornu, of Kano and Sokoto; in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Kordofdn, Darfur.