What is the terrain and geography like in Senegal?
The Republic of Senegal is located on the bulge of West Africa and covers 196,000 square kilometers (76,000 square miles). The independent, English-speaking state of The Gambia, straddling the Gambia River, is a fingerlike enclave that protrudes more than 200 miles into Senegal.
Averaging less than 650 feet in elevation, Senegal is mostly flat or rolling plains with savanna-type vegetation. In the southeast, however, plateaus 1640 feet high form the foothills of the Fouta-Djallon Mountains. Marshy swamps interspersed with tropical rain forests are common in the southwest.
North of Dakar on the Cap Vert Peninsula, the coast forms almost a straight line; farther south it is indented by many estuaries and is often marshy. Four major rivers, The Senegal, Saloum, Gambia, and Casamance, flow almost parallel from east to west and each are navigable for a good distance inland.
Geography - note
westernmost country on the African continent; The Gambia is almost an enclave within Senegal
Senegal has two well-defined seasons: northeasterly winds produce the cool, dry winter season (November to June) and southwesterly winds produce the hot, humid summer (July to October). During winter, Dakar days are invariably sunny with temperatures between 63 and 80° F. During summer, the average temperature is 86° F to 96° F with high humidity. Beginning in January, the harmattan brings dust and sand from the Sahara Desert for 2 or 3 months. Between July and October, Dakar receives 16 - 20 inches of rainfall. Precipitation increases farther south, exceeding 60 inches in parts of the Casamance Region in the southern part of the country. Typically, Senegal is considered a dry, almost desert country with a pleasant climate along the coast and much higher temperatures inland.