West Africa geography
- Physical Geography of West Africa. The 8 million square kilometers and 17 countries covered by this atlas encompass a wide range of landscapes from alluvial valleys in Senegal and Ghana, sandy plains and low plateaus across the Sahel , and rolling hills of Togo to rugged mountains with summits reaching over 1,500 m in Guinea and 1,800 m in Niger.
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Physical Geography of West Africa. The 8 million square kilometers and 17 countries covered by this atlas encompass a wide range of landscapes from alluvial valleys in Senegal and Ghana, sandy plains and low plateaus across the Sahel, and rolling hills of Togo to rugged mountains with summits reaching over 1,500 m in Guinea and 1,800 m in Niger. Covering approximately one quarter of Africa, West Africa contains a broad range of ecosystems, bioclimatic regions, and habitats from rain forest ...
- Niger. The former French colony of Niger is landlocked, with the Sahara Desert making up its largest portion. Niger is a land of subsistence farmers, and most of the population lives in the southern regions.
- Mali. To the west of Niger is Mali, another landlocked Muslim country dominated by the Sahara Desert. Mali was home to various ancient empires. Wealth was historically gained from the mining of gold, salt, and copper.
- Mauritania. Mauritania is also dominated by Islam and the Sahara Desert. Niger, Mali, and Mauritania are the largest of the West African states and together would cover the area of the United States east of the Mississippi River.
- Guinea and Guinea-Bissau. Freeing itself from the grip of Portuguese colonial rule was a hard-fought battle for Guinea-Bissau, which became independent in 1974.
Jun 04, 2020 · What is the geography of West Africa? West Africa is west of an imagined north–south axis lying close to 10° east longitude. The Atlantic Ocean forms the western as well as the southern borders of the West African region. The northern border is the Sahara Desert, with the Ranishanu Bend generally considered the northernmost part of the region.
Western African Geography The West African region is mostly made up of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. The western side of Chad can also be counted as part of Western Africa.
Geography and climate. West Africa, broadly defined to include the western portion of the Maghreb (Western Sahara, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia), occupies an area in excess of 6,140,000 km 2, or approximately one-fifth of Africa. The vast majority of this land is plains lying less than 300 meters above sea level, though isolated high points exist in numerous states along the southern shore of West Africa.
The coastal countries of West Africa are also vulnerable to sea level rise resulting from global warming, leading to flooding and coastal erosion. Climate variability and change have impacted, and are continuing to impact, land cover in West Africa by changing the amount and timing of water availability to vegetation cover.
Dec 02, 2013 · The Savannah • The central part of West Africa is covered by the savannah or tropical grassland • Very flat and grassy with scattered trees called acacia trees • The savannah is good for farming. Crops such as millet, and peanuts are grown there. The land is also good for cattle grazing. 6.
- The Historic Coasts
- Up North, in The Sahel
- The Highs and Lows in West Africa
- Waterways of West Africa
- A Few Great Destinations in West Africa
West Africa’s coastline plays a huge role in Africa’s story. It’s here one finds the Slave Coast, the Ivory Coast, the Gold Coast, and the Pepper Coast. Sitting under Europe and with the Suez Canal not yet built, from the 1400s on this region was Europe’s go-to for exotic trade – a landscape where one found gold, peppers and other coveted spices, elephants for ivory and, sadly, yes, slaves too. Of the West African nations, only Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali are landlocked, and the rest meet the Atlantic Ocean. The coasts frequently have sandy beaches, backing up onto low cliffs and rock forms. Its oceans can be as azure as the Mediterranean Sea. And, notably, Senegal is considered to have some of the continent’s best surfing spots. Where there’s coast, there’s fish. West Africa’s are still generally working beaches, where fishermen row out to sea every morning for the catch of the day. But you’ll find these lush African coasts offer plenty of sport fishing for travellers in countries...
The start of the Sahara is the northern border for West Africa, and just below it is the Sahel, a transitional semi-arid landscape that separates the desert from the savanna grasslands. Unfortunately desertification is happening here, due to land overuse, drought and deforestation, which means the land is slowly turning from semi-arid to arid and joining the inhospitable Sahara. But for now it’s a landscape that comes alive in the rainy season, turning verdant and fresh. Soon after, it’s consumed by wildlife and locals. Trees that thrive here include the acacia and what is one of the world’s most interesting trees, the drought- and fire-resistant baobab tree, whose trunks can be 50 feet wide and tops look like broccoli crowns. While the Sahel is narrow north to south, the east-west path of this transitional terrain extends 3,300 miles across the continent, from Senegal to West Sudan.
The entire West African region is fairly low, and most of its high points are around 5,000 feet, but the highest mainland mountain is 6,381 feet, in Senegal. However, most of the landscape is below 1,500 feet altitude. It gets higher offshore where, on the tiny island nation of Cape Verde, Pico do Fogo is a volcano popular with trekkers, which reaches 9,281 feet. On the southwestern edge, West Africa meets the Cameroon Highlands. Throughout the southeastern West African nations near Cameroon are some mountains and solitary high plateaus in Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo. Most of the region is largely underlain with crystalline rock, making it a hot spot for the diamond and salt industries.
The Niger is the dominant river of West Africa. This boomerang-shaped river is Africa’s third-longest, after the Nile and Congo, running a distance of 2,600 miles through Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Mali, and Guinea. Its source is found in the Guinea highlands and it ends in the sprawling Niger Delta. In the delta, an area the size of Belgium forms marshes, braided streams, and small lakes, making this a terrific destination for fishing. The Benue is the largest tributary of the Niger River. Two other notable river systems include the Senegal River, which serves as a 675-mile marker for the border between Senegal and Mauritania. You can do a 7-day cruise on the Senegal with an old French colonial steamer called the Bou El Mogdad.Finally, the Volta is a 1,600-mile river originating in the highlands of Burkina Faso and spilling down into Ghana.
If looking for unique experiences in West Africa, any trekker must consider visiting the Dogon country in Mali, famous for the incredible tiny mud brick houses, some dating back to the 1400s, stacked impossibly on cliff faces. Hire a guide for the trek of a lifetime, which can be between 2 and 10 days. In Sierra Leone, sign up for a guided trek to the “roof of West Africa,” Mount Bintumani, which hits 6,381 feet in the Loma Mountains. A safari is one of the ultimate African experiences, and Yinkari National Park in Nigeria is filled with savannas, rolling hills, and wild animals in their natural habitat – one of the few remaining West African places to see animals where they really belong. It’s here where you’ll find Africa’s largest herd of elephants -- over 350 – and warthogs too! If all that adventuring wears you out and you need a few days at a beach resort, consider ending your adventure at Cap Skirring in Gambia, a popular getaway spot with sandy beaches, palms, and resorts of...