Burkina Faso Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Burkina Faso?

Overview:

Burkina Faso, a landlocked country, is located in the middle of West Africa’s "hump." Covering 274,000 square kilometers. Burkina Faso is bordered on the north and west by Mali, on the northeast by Niger, on the southeast by Benin and on the south by Togo, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire. Burkina is a savanna plateau, with an average elevation of 500 meters. The highest point is Tenakourou (747 meters), in the west. Burkina Faso’s three main rivers are the Mouhoun, the Nazinou, and the Nakambe, tributaries that form Ghana’s Volta River.

Much of Burkina lies in the Sahel, the fringe of the Sahara. The north gradually dries out into scrub and semi-desert, but comes to life during the rainy season, with green shrubs and thorn trees. Toward the south are areas of savannah and wooded savannah, including the shea and baobab trees that are of agricultural importance. Wildlife in Burkina’s eastern and southern areas includes elephants, antelope, hippos, monkeys, crocodiles, lions and buffalo. Bird and insect life is rich and varied.

Geography - note:

landlocked savanna cut by the three principal rivers of the Black, Red, and White Voltas

Climate:

Burkina Faso's climate is sunny, hot, dry, and dusty. The hot season is from mid-February to June, when maximum temperatures exceed 104°F in the shade. The rainy season typically lasts from June to September. The first rains, called the mango rains, usually begin in May/June and provide some relief from the heat and dust. Annual rainfall ranges from about 10 inches in the extreme north to nearly 40 inches in the south. Temperatures begin to moderate in late September/early October as the rainy season winds down. Mid-November to mid-February is the cool season with high temperatures in the 80s and lows in the 60s. The Harmattan, a hot, dust-laden wind from the Sahara, often blows in January and February, leading to reduced visibility and temporarily unpleasant living conditions.

Burkina Faso Use of Natural Resources

Burkina Faso Environment

Climate:

Burkina Faso's climate is sunny, hot, dry, and dusty. The hot season is from mid-February to June, when maximum temperatures exceed 104°F in the shade. The rainy season typically lasts from June to September. The first rains, called the mango rains, usually begin in May/June and provide some relief from the heat and dust. Annual rainfall ranges from about 10 inches in the extreme north to nearly 40 inches in the south. Temperatures begin to moderate in late September/early October as the rainy season winds down. Mid-November to mid-February is the cool season with high temperatures in the 80s and lows in the 60s. The Harmattan, a hot, dust-laden wind from the Sahara, often blows in January and February, leading to reduced visibility and temporarily unpleasant living conditions.

Terrain:

mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in west and southeast

Natural Resources:

manganese, limestone, marble; small deposits of gold, antimony, copper, nickel, bauxite, lead, phosphates, zinc, silver

Natural Hazards:

recurring droughts

Irrigated Land:

97 Square Miles
250 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

recent droughts and desertification severely affecting agricultural activities, population distribution, and the economy; overgrazing; soil degradation; deforestation

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Burkina Faso Geography

Geographic Location Africa
Total Area 105,869 Square Miles
274,200 Square Kilometers
Land Area 105,714 Square Miles
273,800 Square Kilometers
Water Area 154 Square Miles
400 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 1,984 Miles
3,193 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 97 Square Miles
250 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Benin 306 km, Cote d'Ivoire 584 km, Ghana 549 km, Mali 1,000 km, Niger 628 km, Togo 126 km
Geographic Coordinates 13 00 N, 2 00 W
Terrain mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in west and southeast
Highest Point 749 Meters
Highest Point Location Tena Kourou 749 m
Lowest Point 200 Meters
Lowest Point Location Mouhoun (Black Volta) River 200 m
Natural Resources manganese, limestone, marble; small deposits of gold, antimony, copper, nickel, bauxite, lead, phosphates, zinc, silver
Time Zone UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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