Geography of Mali


Terrain shapes and bedrock

According to COUNTRYAAH, northern Mali is part of the Sahara, while the southern part of the country belongs to the Sudan region. The oldest bedrock is found in the Iforasberg rounded granite cliffs in the northeast. Otherwise, the bedrock is covered by younger sandstones and loose deposits. The Iforas Mountains, which reach up to 890 m above sea level, are an outlet of the Ahaggarm Massif in Algeria.

The Niger River makes a strong bend in Mali and develops a vast inland west of the Dogon Plateau. The plateaus in the southwest reach up to 800 m above sea level. and have deep cut river gorges, while in the southeast they form a more scenic landscape with levels between 300 and 600 m above sea level. Highest of the plateaus is the Dogon Plateau, which in Hombori Tondo reaches up to 1,155 m above sea level.

In the Fouta Djallon massif on the border with Guinea, several of the Senegal’s tributaries are rising.

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The location at the northern turnaround gives Mali a dry and hot high-pressure weather. The most precipitation receives the Sudan region in the south, with an annual average rainfall of 500–1 400 mm. The northern part of the country is desert and is characterized by large differences in temperature, both between summer and winter and between day and night.

Plant-and animal life

Mali Wildlife

At the far south are sparse forests with, among other things. acacias and Isoberliʹnia (the pea family). Further north, the landscape becomes more open with grassy hills and collections of, among other things. doumpalm. Further north, grass water takes over and finally the desert. In total, about 1 750 flowering plants have been noted. The drought of recent decades, in combination with overgrazing, has depleted vegetation and degraded the soil.

Most large mammals have disappeared and many breeding areas for birds are threatened as the fields become drier. More than ten mammal species are endangered. Today there are about 140 species of mammals, about 400 species of breeding birds and 16 species of reptiles. Of large mammals there are lions, spotted hyena and several species of antelope, in the desert e.g. Addax. South of Bamako is a protected area with 50-150 chimpanzees. In the inland delta of the Niger River, bird life is rich, and here also many migrating ducks from the northern hemisphere rest.

Nature conservation

Mali had a national park in 1996, Boucle du Baoulé northwest of Bamako, a dry saw, sometimes with dense gallery forest along the rivers. lion, leopard, giraffe and hippo. In addition, there were 15 fauna reserves or other types of protection.