Terrain shapes and bedrock
COUNTRYAAH, Senegal is for the most part an even and low lying
country which is part of a basin area, which extends from
the north into Senegal. Exceptions include the Cape Verde
Peninsula, which consists of a number of small plateaus with
a bedrock of hard, volcanic rocks. Southeast Senegal is also
highland with peaks of 400–500 m above sea level. This part
is part of a mass with main distribution in Mali and Guinea.
The coast of northern Senegal is smooth and sandy, in the
south there are mangrove coasts with submerged valleys,
so-called rias. Among the rivers, Senegal is the most
important. It flows into the Fouta Djallon in Guinea and
forms a border river in the north. Its slope in the lower
part is so small that salt water can penetrate 200 km up the
river. Other streams are Saloum, Gambia and Casamance.
The land cover in the river valleys is alluvial, near the
coast saline or muddy.
Senegal's climate is determined by the country's location
within the tropical zone. Impacting winds are partly the dry
pass winds and partly damp winds from the high pressure over
the sea to the west. Along the coast, winter is cool, 17 °C
as the average temperature in January and 27 °C in the
The interior of the country has in the northern rainy
season July - October, which gives about 350 mm of rainfall.
In the south, the climate is humid and hot, 24–38 °C, with
a rainfall of up to 1,500 mm per year.
Northern Senegal belongs to the Sahel region and is
dominated by open dryland forests of e.g. the genus Acacias,
Balaniʹtes and Commiʹphora. Among the
grass are a number of Ariʹstida species. In the
Senegal River delta is salt steppe with half bushes from
mållväxtsläktena Arthrocne'mum and Sa'lsola.
To the south of the Sahel area are wilderness
forests of silk cotton trees, Stercuʹlia and
Combreʹtum species, and grasses of Andropoʹgon,
Cymbopoʹgon and Hyparrheʹnia species,
which belong to the Sudanic flora.
Farthest to the southwest there are foothills of the
Guinean flora area, where lowland rainforests with species
such as Parinaʹri exceʹlsa (the coconut plum
family), Khaʹya senegaleʹnsis and
Erythrophleʹum suaveʹolens (the pea family) alternate
with secondary grasslands. Only in the southwestern corner
of Senegal is mangrove vegetation, mainly red mangrove.
About 155 mammal species and 625 species of birds are
known from Senegal. However, wildlife is partly poorly
accessed due to human behavior. In the southeast, however,
there are lions, leopards, African elephants, African
buffalo and giant land. In the forest areas of southern
Senegal there are some chimpanzee flocks. More prevalent are
the red baboon (Paʹpio paʹpio), house monkey, green
markata, ground pigs and several species of antelope.
Hippopotamus, Senegal Manatee (Tricheʹchus
senegaleʹnsis) and all three African crocodile species
occur in Senegal.
Many northern birds, especially waders and ducks, winter
or rest in the country during the spring and autumn
migration. Many native birds include many birds of prey,
pink-backed pelicans (Peleca rnus rufeʹscens),
kingfishers, glossaries and weavers. Among the reptiles are
rock python, king python, green mamba and mock cobra.
In 2011, Senegal had six national parks as well as some
major nature reserves. The largest national park is Niokolo
Koba in the southeast, a savannah area with interesting
plant and animal life.