Senegal Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Senegal?

Overview:

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

Climate:

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.

Senegal Use of Natural Resources

Senegal Environment

Climate:

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.

Terrain:

generally low, rolling, plains rising to foothills in southeast

Natural Resources:

fish, phosphates, iron ore

Natural Hazards:

lowlands seasonally flooded; periodic droughts

Irrigated Land:

462 Square Miles
1,197 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

wildlife populations threatened by poaching; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; overfishing

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, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Senegal Geography

Geographic Location Africa
Total Area 75,954 Square Miles
196,722 Square Kilometers
Land Area 74,336 Square Miles
192,530 Square Kilometers
Water Area 1,619 Square Miles
4,192 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 1,640 Miles
2,640 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 462 Square Miles
1,197 Square Kilometers
Border Countries The Gambia 740 km, Guinea 330 km, Guinea-Bissau 338 km, Mali 419 km, Mauritania 813 km
Coastline 330 Miles
531 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 14 00 N, 14 00 W
Terrain generally low, rolling, plains rising to foothills in southeast
Highest Point 581 Meters
Highest Point Location unnamed feature near Nepen Diakha 581 m
Lowest Point Location Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources fish, phosphates, iron ore
Time Zone UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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