Geography of Sierra Leone


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 level.

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.


According to 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.

Plant Life

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.


Sierra Leone Wildlife

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 country.

Nature conservation

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.