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Geography of Benin

Benin is located in West Africa in the tropical zone between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer (between parallels 6 ° 30 'and 12 ° 30' North latitude and meridians 1° and 30° 40' East longitude). It is bounded to the north by the Niger River which separates it from the Republic of Niger; northwest by Burkina Faso, west by Togo, to the east by Nigeria and South by the Atlantic Ocean. The area of ​​Benin is 112,622 km2.From north to south, it extends over 700 km;

in width from 125 km (along the coast) to 325 Km (the Tanguiéta-Ségbana latitude) .The country is fairly flat. There are five (05) natural regions:A coastal strip, low and sandy, limited by lagoons (coconut);     

A central plain, hilly and monotonous, which rises gradually from 200 to 400 m from south to north around Nikki then drops to the Niger valley and Kandi basin;

  • The Kandi basin northeast is as a plain drained by Sota River and its tributaries, which flow in very flared valleys;   

  • The chain of Atacora northwest, where is the culmination of the country, Mount Aledjo (658m);    

  • The vast plains of Gourma in the extreme northwest, between Atacora and the border with Burkina Faso and Togo.     

  • The moist savannah occupies most of the country. Some primary forest patches remain in the south and center. Cultures, swamps and huge palm Lower Benin occupy the remaining territory.


The climate

 The Benin has two (02) types of climate: To the south, an equatorial climate with high humidity. Alternating dry season (November-March and mid-July to mid-September) and rainy seasons (April to mid-July and mid-September to October). In the center and north, a tropical climate. A dry season from November to April and a rainy season from June to September. The harmattan, a hot and dry wind from the Sahara, blows across the territory during the dry season. In Cotonou, temperatures have a low amplitude: the maximum range from 28-32 ° C and minimum of 23-26 ° C. Annual rainfall in this city is of 1245 mm. Benin's relief is slightly hilly and includes:

  • a coastal region, limited by low and sandy lagoons;     

  • a ferruginous clay Tray;     

  • a sand-clay plateau, interspersed with some underbrush;     

  • in the northwest, the massif of Atacora (800 meters);     

  • the Northeast, the Plains of Niger, silico-argillaceous fertile.


Hydrography of Benin

Several rivers cross the country. The Niger Basin including tributaries of the rivers Niger , which are:     

  • the Mekrou : 410 km ;     

  • the ALIBORI : 338 km ;     

  • the SOTA : 250 km ;     

  • and PENDJARI .

The Coastal Basin whose rivers meet the sea includes:     

  • the OUEME : 510 km ;     

  • the COUFFO : 190 km ,     

  • and MONO : 350 Km .

There are also several lakes in southern namely:     

  • Lake Nokoué : 138 km2 ;     

  • Lake Ahémé : 78 km2 ;     

  • and lagoon PORTO-NOVO : 35 km2.


The vegetation and fauna

Three (03) characterize the vegetation types Benin :   

  • wooded grassland in the northern Sudanese regions;     

  • Savannah Centre with species like Mahogany , Iroko , Samba ;    

  • and forests in the South and Middle Benin .


As for wildlife , there are two (02) national parks in the North :   

  • PENDJARI the park : 275,000 ha ;     

  • the Park "W" : 502 000 ha.


We meet elephants , buffalo , hippos , lions, cheetahs, caimans , antelopes , birds , monkeys , reptiles, leopards, insects, etc.

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