The history of Southern Africa cannot be written as a single narrative.
The Kalahari desert forms the central depression of the Southern African plateau. Its elevation rises to the Great Escarpment, which flanks the plateau in an almost unbroken line from the Zambezi River to Angola. Southern Zimbabwe and much of South Africa are within a region of scrublands and grasslands known as the veld (field). To the southeast of the veld is the Drakensberg range, which includes the region’s highest peak—Lesotho’s Mount Ntlenyana, at 11,424 feet (3,482 meters). In Namibia, the coastal margin includes the extremely dry Namib desert, which, in the south, merges eastward into the great sandy expanse of the Kalahari.