Geography in Senegal
Senegal is a coastal state on the Atlantic coast around Cap Vert in the far west of Africa. In the north and northeast, Senegal borders with the border river Senegal on Mauritania and in the east the left Senegal tributary Falémé forms the border with neighboring Mali. In the south, a land border running almost exactly in an east-west direction with the neighboring states of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau leads back to the Atlantic. An approx. 300 kilometer long strip of land on both sides of the mouth and the navigable lower reaches of the Gambia River from the Atlantic to central Senegal forms the state territory of Gambia enclosed by Senegal.
The landscape of Senegal consists of plains that slowly rise to the mountain foothills in the southeast.
The highest point in the country is the 645 meter high summit of the Nepen Diakha Mountains in the Kédougou region on the border with Guinea. In the south of the country – near Vélingara – the approximately 48 km diameter basin structure of the Vélingara crater spreads out.
The Senegal Current is the country’s most important river. Other major rivers in the country are the Casamance, Gambia and its tributaries Koulountou, Sine and Saloum, all of which flow into the Atlantic.
The largest lake in the country is the shallow Lac de Guiers with a north-south extension of 80 km and an east-west extension of up to 12 km. During the rainy season the lake can expand considerably to the south into the Ferlo. The Lac Retba salt lake not far from Dakar is famous for its pink color due to the activity of organisms in the water and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is important for both salt production and tourism.
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Flora and fauna in Senegal
The landscape and vegetation in Senegal are very different depending on the region. Due to the regional differences in rainfall, the country lies in the transition from the barren vegetation of the Sahel zone in the north to the more fertile tropics in the south.
In the north there are therefore predominantly thorn bush savannas, while the landscape in central Senegal is more characterized by dry savannas. There you can find the typical baobab tree. In the south of Senegal, the landscape is more dominated by tamarind, flamboyant trees and tall elephant grass, because the south is much more rainy than the north of the country. The animal world is, at least as far as the bird world is concerned, still very species-rich. Due to the population growth, the habitat for water buffalo, hippopotamus and crocodiles is slowly declining. Giraffes and elephants can only be found in animal protection parks. In the Sahel, however, one can find a large number of wild animals such as donkeys and cows.
National parks and nature conservation in Senegal
There are 6 large national parks in Senegal. Among other things, they are home to our migratory birds that overwinter there. Over 80 species of mammals live in the Niokolo-Koba National Park, the oldest park in Senegal. Among them are the last elephants.
- Basse-Casamance National Park
- Delta du Saloum National Park, with swamps and mangrove forests; Birds and also mammals
- Djoudj National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site; one of the largest bird reserves in West Africa with around 330 bird species; from November to April residence of European migratory birds
- Iles de la Madeleine National Park
- Langue de Barbarie National Park, located at the Senegal estuary; Waterfowl and European migratory birds
- Niokolo-Koba National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site; 9500 square kilometers; 80 species of mammals including the last elephants in Senegal and 300 species of birds