Terrain shapes and bedrock
Of the four natural regions that are discerned in Sierra
Leone, the southern coastal region is low-lying and
partly marshy, and consists mostly of sand and clay. Lagoons
and estuaries alternate here with long ridges. The highland
Sierra Leone Peninsula differs with its densely
forested mountains from the rest of the coast. The highest
point, Picket Hill, reaches 888 meters above sea level.
The Inner Plains is a region originally covered by
savannah in the north. As a rule, it is flooded during the
rainy season but dry and hard during the dry season. Further
south, isolated, wooded hills rise up to 200 m above sea
The bedrock consists mostly of granite, covered by a
thick and hard layer of laterite. A border zone in the west
consists of metamorphic rocks. At the far east is a
mountain region, where the Loma Mountains reach 1,948 m
above sea level. and Tingibergen 1,853 m asl Except for a
large number of small rivers in the coastal region, a dozen
larger streams flow down from the highlands and into the
Atlantic. Big and Little Scarcies, Rokel and Jong. The soil
cover is mostly leached and iron-rich laterite soils.
COUNTRYAAH, Sierra Leone has a tropical climate with a pronounced
rainy season and dry season. The average monthly temperature
is 24-28 °C. The rainy season falls in May - October, when
humid air masses from the Atlantic are brought in by the
southwest wind. The relative humidity can then reach 90% and
the temperature becomes 6 °C lower. The rainfall in the
high peninsula is 3,800 mm per year, furthest to the east of
2000 mm. The dry season is characterized by the harmattan, a
dry hot desert wind.
More than 2,000 species of higher plants occur in the
country, of which one genus and some 70 species are endemic.
Nowadays, Sierra Leone is dominated by secondary grass
vegetation. Over large areas spread earlier lowland
rainforest, where tall trees species Heritie'ra u'tilis
(mallow family), Cryptose'palum tetraphy'llum
(family legumes), Klainedo'xia gabone'nsis (family
simaroubaceae), Lophi'ra ala'ta (family
ochnaväxter) and Ua'paca guinee'nsis (family
Spurge) was typical elements.
In the rainforests there are still valuable tree species,
nine of which account for about 70% of the harvest volume,
but these are now forced into small isolated areas, mainly
in the eastern part of the country. At the coast there is
mangrove vegetation with, among other things. red mangrove.
The mountains in the interior of the country have mountain
vegetation which in some respects is similar to that of the
East African mountains.
Wildlife is strongly influenced by logging and other
biotoping. Hundreds of thousands of monkeys were killed
against state bullets in the 1940s and 1950s, and extensive
commercial hunting for monkeys and antelopes has continued
until recently. Of the country's 147 known mammal species,
18 are antelope and 15 are primates. Among the latter are
green markets, red baboons (Paʹpio paʹpio),
chimpanzees and a few species of colobus monkeys. The forest
elephant was formerly widespread, but now mostly a few
animals remain in the Golas forest in southeastern Sierra
Leone. Predators include leopard, lateral lizard (Caʹnis
aduʹstus) and spotted hyena.
About 615 species of birds have been observed in the
There are only a few nature reserves, but a number of new
reserves and national parks have been proposed. in the Loma
Mountains to the east. A program to protect the only
remaining major lowland rainforest, Gola in the southeast,
was established in 1990, but the plan had not yet been
implemented in 1996.