These lands and features included a vast deserted area and further into the Deep South was a vast forested or perhaps areas that covered many hundreds of miles.
The south was made up of plains and bottomlands from Far Harad, Umbar, to possibly further into the south, with some hills, and along the west coast just below Umbar was a mountain range. As for vegetation, Far Harad, at least the part closest to Gondor and Umbar consisted of scattered woodlands, and further into the south short grasslands until it ran into the desert. The deep southern region consisted of vast densely forested areas with some hills.
The climate was mostly warm and humid with parts of Far Harad and Umbar having mild winters, hot, dry summers with warm breezes coming from the sea. The farther south had a semi-arid to an arid climate as it proceeded into the desert regions. The deep southern region’s climate was unknown but was possibly mild compared to the others.
The south is inhabited by the tribes of the Haradrim or Southrons, Corsairs of Umbar, and Black Númenóreans. Animal life included monstrous Oliphaunts or Mumakil, which probably came from the Deep South and were exploited for use in warfare and probably hard labor as well. These elephants and Haradrim show up in the battle for Minas Tirith, mainly against Rohan. The population was densest in the region of Umbar and sparsest further into the south. The dominant language seemed to Westron and many of its people worshiped Sauron and the Darkness.
These lands existed back in the earliest days of Middle-earth but seemed to be much wider and much more connected as part of the greater continent during the early part of the Years of the Trees. After the Battle of the Powers, the Great Sea was widened and a Great Gulf was made between the southern part of the Beleriand and the rest of the continent, sundering the two parts from each other. The south could only be reached through two land corridors: a narrow strip that ran through the land just below the White Mountains were the Nandor passed through after separating from the main host of the journeying elves, and a larger corridor of land just below Cuiviénen and Hildórien.
After the War of Wrath, the gulf between the northern part of the continent and the southern part was widened with the loss of the Beleriand and part of the land in the south, leaving a coastal area that would once be called Umbar. The inland Sea of Helcar shrunk into the Sea of Rhûn and with this the south could now be approached by many ways, barring the forces of evil that would later rule these lands. Throughout the Second and Third ages, the south became populated with tribes of Men who never really became civilized and thus were easily swayed by the Dark Powers and were a constant threat to the Free Peoples of the West.
After the Fall of Númenor, the Black Númenóreans who worshiped the Dark Powers settled there and became rulers of Umbar and had a great influence on the Southrons. For a time, the south was ruled and influenced by the Dúnedain kingdom of Gondor but that was soon lost. Pirates known as the Corsairs ruled Umbar up onto the War of the Ring. The south from then on was populated by the enemies of the Free Peoples until pacified by King Aragorn II Elessar of the Reunited Kingdom after the War of the Ring.
- The Atlas of Middle-earth pgs. 4, 11, 38-9, 54-5, 180-89