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Geography of Togo

Table of contents
1 Location
2 Relief
3 Climate
4 Land Use
5 Environment

Location

Togo lies in Western Africa, and is bounded by Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin, and the Gulf of Guinea. It stretches 579 kilometers (360 mi.) north from the gulf and is only 160 kilometers (100 mi.) wide at the broadest point. The country consists primarily of two savanna plains regions separated by a southwest-northwest range of hills (the Chaine du Togo).

Togo's climate varies from tropical to savanna. The south is humid, with temperatures ranging from 23C to 32C (75F to 90F). In the north, temperature fluctuations are greater-from 18oC to more than 38C (65F-100F).

Geographic coordinates: 8 00 N, 1 10 E

Map references: Africa

Area: total: 56,785 sq km
land: 54,385 sq km
water: 2,400 sq km

Land boundaries: total: 1,647 km
Border countries: Benin 644 km, Burkina Faso 126 km, Ghana 877 km
Coastline: 56 km

Relief

Togo is commonly divided into six geographic regions. In the south lie low-lying sandy beaches. The coastal region is narrow and followed by tidal flats and shallow lagoons. There are also a number of lakes, the largest of which is Lake Togo.

Further north lies the Ouatchi Plateau. This plateau is about 30 kilometres wide and located at an altitude of 60 to 90 metres above sea level. Terre de barre is another name for this region, in use because of the reddish leached soil which is rich in iron.

Northeast of the Ouatchi Plateau lies a tableland. At its highest this region os about 500 metres above sea level. The area is drained by the River Mono and tributaries, including River Ogou.

To the west and the southwest of the tableland lie the Togo Mountains. These mountains run across the centreal region of Togo, ranging from the southwest to the northeast. The mountain range reaches into Benin where it is known as the Atakora Mountains and Ghana where it is known as the Akwapim Hills. The highest mountain of Togo is the Mount Baumann (Agou) with a height of 990 metres.

North of the Togo Mountains lies a sandstone plateau through which the River Oti flows. The vegetation is characterized by savanna. The River Oti which drains the plateau is one of the main tributaries of the River Volta.

In the far northwest of Togo lies a higher region which is characterized by its rocks: granite and gneiss. The cliffs of Dapaong (Dapango) located in this part of Togo.

Climate

Togo has a tropical climate. The rainy season occurs between April and June as well as between September and October in the southern regions.

The coastal regions are the driests parts of the country, with an annual rainfal of only 890 milimetres. Further inland twice this amount is not uncommon.

The northern half of Togo only has one rainy season lasting from June to September. The average rainfall in these areas is about 1200 millimetres. Most of this rain falls during the short rainy season. The rest of the year is mostly dry and warm. A warm and dust-laden wind called harmatten predominates during the dry times.

The annual mean temperatureas vary. Along the coast and in the Togo Mountains they are around 26 celsius, whilst in the north they are about 28 C. In August temperatures between 20 C and 38 C can be measured.

Land Use

Environment

Current issues: International agreements: Togo is party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands