Cameroon Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Cameroon?

Overview:

The Republic of Cameroon covers an area (184,000 square miles) slightly larger than the size of California and is located just north of the Equator at the hinge of the West African coastline. Shaped like an irregular triangle, Cameroon extends north-eastward from the Gulf of Guinea to Lake Chad, and borders six coastal and inland countries: Nigeria to the northwest; Chad and the Central African Republic to the north and northeast; and the Congo, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea to the south.

Cameroon has four distinct topographical regions. The low coastal plains in the south are blanketed with equatorial rain forests extending to the Sanaga River. In central Cameroon, the rain forest yields to the Adamaoua Plateau-a vast, sparsely vegetated region. Stretching northward from the foot of this plateau to Lake Chad are the great northern plains, where savannas contrast starkly with unusual rock formations in the Mandara Mountains. To the west and northwest are rolling hills and volcanic mountains cloaked in lush vegetation. Here lies Mt. Cameroon, the highest peak (13,428 feet) in sub-Saharan West Africa.

Geography - note:

sometimes referred to as the hinge of Africa; throughout the country there are areas of thermal springs and indications of current or prior volcanic activity; Mount Cameroon, the highest mountain in Sub-Saharan west Africa, is an active volcano

Climate:

Cameroon's climate is as varied as its geography. High humidity and temperatures with little seasonal variations characterize the coast and southern lowlands. In the north, extremely high temperatures and little or no humidity are normal, although seasonal fluctuations occur.


In Yaounde, humidity and temperatures are lower, but fluctuate daily. Two rainy seasons are interspersed with two relatively dry periods. April and May bring the "mango rains." These moderately heavy rains average 8 inches monthly, then taper off into the drier months of June and July. Rainfall then increases to more than 12 inches monthly for August through November and recedes to as little as 2 inches monthly during the dry season of December through March. During the dry season temperatures may peak above 100°F and dust is a serious problem.

Cameroon Use of Natural Resources

Cameroon Environment

Climate:

Cameroon's climate is as varied as its geography. High humidity and temperatures with little seasonal variations characterize the coast and southern lowlands. In the north, extremely high temperatures and little or no humidity are normal, although seasonal fluctuations occur.


In Yaounde, humidity and temperatures are lower, but fluctuate daily. Two rainy seasons are interspersed with two relatively dry periods. April and May bring the "mango rains." These moderately heavy rains average 8 inches monthly, then taper off into the drier months of June and July. Rainfall then increases to more than 12 inches monthly for August through November and recedes to as little as 2 inches monthly during the dry season of December through March. During the dry season temperatures may peak above 100°F and dust is a serious problem.

Terrain:

diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in center, mountains in west, plains in north

Natural Resources:

petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower

Natural Hazards:

volcanic activity with periodic releases of poisonous gases from Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun volcanoes

Irrigated Land:

99 Square Miles
257 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

water-borne diseases are prevalent; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; poaching; overfishing

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Cameroon Geography

Geographic Location Africa
Total Area 183,567 Square Miles
475,440 Square Kilometers
Land Area 182,513 Square Miles
472,710 Square Kilometers
Water Area 1,054 Square Miles
2,730 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 2,853 Miles
4,591 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 99 Square Miles
257 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Central African Republic 797 km, Chad 1,094 km, Republic of the Congo 523 km, Equatorial Guinea 189 km, Gabon 298 km, Nigeria 1,690 km
Coastline 250 Miles
402 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 6 00 N, 12 00 E
Terrain diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in center, mountains in west, plains in north
Highest Point 4,095 Meters
Highest Point Location Fako (on Mount Cameroon) 4,095 m
Lowest Point Location Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower
Time Zone UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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