As the Sahara races southwards towards Central Africa, it begins to see more moisture and becomes a veritable grassland. By the time it reaches the Gulf of Guinea, marking the very Tropic of Cancer, it has now become a jungle. This central region is known as Sahelia, named after the very grassland belt which stretches across Africa and separates the camel-riding nomads of the north from the tribal farming societies of Central Africa. Even so, however, Sahelia isn't entirely a grassland — massive deserts cover the very girth of territories to the east like Sudan and the Horn of Africa.
As with most parts of Africa, Sahelia has been sparsely penetrated by the major powers of the world, and only North Guinea has been colonised, with factories strung out here by the Dutch as part of their waystations from Europe to Batavia. The Sahelia has a strategic significance, as it borders North Africa to the north, the Middle East to the east and Southern Africa to its south, with extensive water routes forming shortcuts to different parts of the world.
The climate of Sahelia as well as local diseases limit any use of your own home-bred cavalry — although camels as well as elephants might still be of use, so you need to remember this should you find yourself doing any fighting in this part of the world. Supply-wise, most of Sahelia tends to be sparsely populated, although the territories of Tchad and Benin host two supply centres which you can use.
European powers seeking access to the Indian Ocean and slaves for the New World have all left their mark here, but the war in Europe has rendered all but the busiest of them into forgotten ruins. Nevertheless, there is still much trade that can be done here. North Guinea is also vital as a hub of transport across the Gulf of Guinea to Angola — or across the Atlantic Ocean to Recife for that matter.
Although the ivory trade has long since dwindled in importance, this part of Western Africa has proven ideal for the procurement of another more useful commodity for a demographic boom: bananas. The many tribes which settle this region are also at loggerheads with one another, giving rise to an ideal climate for diplomatic intrigue and espionage.
This forested and marshy riverland is sparsely occupied, yet hosts forests in which valuable timber can be harvested.
Benin and DahomeyEdit
At the heart of this territory is the mighty kingdom of Benin, which has exercised power over the smaller tribes of this land for centuries past. The locals however have never divulged anything about the lay of the land — it will be up to you to confirm what is true regarding this territory, although sailors remark that it is possible to reach Angola from its ports.
Horn of AfricaEdit
The loss of revenues from trade has rendered the Horn of Africa into a lawless desert land for many centuries. Even so, magnates and men of the cloth are advised not to shun this territory — aside from its strategic location on the Arabian Sea linking the Sahelian region to Zanzibar to the south, as well as Aden and the Empty Quarter to the north-east, it is also one of the few places on earth where incense, prized as perfume ever since biblical times, still thrives and grows.
In the wake of emancipation in Europe, slavers caught off the coast of Africa have been forced to disgorge their human traffic here. Not all of life is happy for the freed slaves settled here, however — their activities have brought them into conflict with the original tribesmen of this place.
The northern half of Ethiopia is broken by a fair deal of hilly and wooded terrain. Vast canyons form valleys which stretch across the land well into Oromia to the south.
Deceptively arid and treacherous, the arid plains of Oromia yield a prize appreciated by many — coffee. This is, after all, the birthplace of coffee itself.
Cut in half by the mighty Nile, the sunbaked plains of Sudan are ideal for one cash crop — cotton. Additionally, Sudan also forms a vital land bridge between the African territories and the Middle East, linking the Arabian Hejaz to other important areas, such as Upper Egypt.
This coastal plain has long been colonised by warring tribes since time out of mind, and is an important source of recruits for military and police duty to the Abyssinian kingdom centred around Oromia. Besides this, Ethiopian interests in this region are also due to Eritrea cutting off Ethiopian territory from the sea passage to the Empty Quarter of the Arabian Desert.
Although covered by desert and mountains to the north, Tchad's border with neighbouring Niger and Gabon in the west is dominated by Lake Tchad, a massive body of water with fertile wetlands surrounding it.
This territory is dominated by the Komo river, which flows from the north-east to the west. Hills and heavy forest dominate the topography of this place, making it difficult to navigate and explore.