What is the terrain and geography like in Burkina Faso?
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
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.