Central African Republic Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Central African Republic?

Overview:

The Central African Republic, formerly known as the territory of Oubangui-Chari, was one of four territories of French Equatorial Africa. It became an autonomous republic within the newly established French Community on December 1, 1958, and was renamed the Central African Republic 2 years later. It transformed itself into the Central African Empire on December 4, 1976, and again became a republic (Republique Centrafricaine) on September 20, 1979.

The Central African Republic is a landlocked country on a broad plateau in the heart of the African Continent. With an area of 238,000 square miles. It is bordered on the north by Chad, on the east by Sudan, on the south by the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) and the Republic of Congo, and on the west by Cameroon. Most of the country is between 1,300 and 3,600 feet above sea level, with an average altitude of about 2,000 feet.

The country is a watershed for the Lake Chad/Chari River Basin to the north and the Congo River Basin to the south. Although rivers are numerous, they are small and do not lend themselves to heavy commerce. The Oubangui River is commercially navigable only downstream from Bangi, and usually only between the months of July and January.

Vegetation varies from tropical rain forest in the extreme southwest to semidesert in the northeast. The bulk of the country is wooded savanna.

Geography - note:

landlocked; almost the precise center of Africa

Climate:

Average monthly temperatures range from a low of around 66°F to a high of about 93°F. Most of the precipitation in the area of Bangui occurs between May and October, usually characterized by short, violent thunderstorms. Although it rains hard at times, the sun shines almost every day. Dust, generally sunny skies, and warm weather are the forecast for the dry season (November to April).

Central African Republic Use of Natural Resources

Central African Republic Environment

Climate:

Average monthly temperatures range from a low of around 66°F to a high of about 93°F. Most of the precipitation in the area of Bangui occurs between May and October, usually characterized by short, violent thunderstorms. Although it rains hard at times, the sun shines almost every day. Dust, generally sunny skies, and warm weather are the forecast for the dry season (November to April).

Terrain:

vast, flat to rolling, monotonous plateau; scattered hills in northeast and southwest

Natural Resources:

diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil, hydropower

Natural Hazards:

hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds affect northern areas; floods are common

Irrigated Land:

1 Square Miles
1 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

tap water is not potable; poaching has diminished the country's reputation as one of the last great wildlife refuges; desertification; deforestation

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Central African Republic Geography

Geographic Location Africa
Total Area 240,534 Square Miles
622,984 Square Kilometers
Land Area 240,534 Square Miles
622,984 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 3,233 Miles
5,203 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 1 Square Miles
1 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Cameroon 797 km, Chad 1,197 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,577 km, Republic of the Congo 467 km, Sudan 1,165 km
Geographic Coordinates 7 00 N, 21 00 E
Terrain vast, flat to rolling, monotonous plateau; scattered hills in northeast and southwest
Highest Point 1,420 Meters
Highest Point Location Mont Ngaoui 1,420 m
Lowest Point 335 Meters
Lowest Point Location Oubangui River 335 m
Natural Resources diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil, hydropower
Time Zone UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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