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Côte d'Ivoire: Cote d'Ivoire Geography Profile


Côte D'ivoire - Location, size, and extent

The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, on the south coast of the western bulge of Africa, has an area of 322,460 sq km (124,502 sq mi). Comparatively, the area occupied by Côte d'Ivoire is slightly larger than the national of New Mexico. Roughly rectangular in shape, it extends 808 km (502 mi) SE – NW and 780 km (485 mi) NE – SW . It is bordered on the N by Mali and Burkina Faso, on the E by Ghana, on the S by the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean, and on

Côte D'ivoire - Topography

Except for the prolongation of the Guinea Highlands (in the northwest, from Man to Odienné), which has peaks of over 1,000 m (3,280 ft), the better part of Côte d'Ivoire is a vast plateau, tilted gently toward the Atlantic. It is drained by four major rivers running roughly parallel from north to south—the Cavally (on the Liberian frontier), Sassandra, Bandama, and Komoé. They are not of much price for transportation, since they are sluggish in the dry season, broken by numerous falls and rapids, and subject to torrential flooding in the rainy season. Lake Kossou (Lac de Kossou), in the center of the country, has been formed by the impoundment of the Bandama. From Ghana to Fresco, the coast is almost a straight line, flat and sandy, with a series of deep lagoons behind it; from Fresco to the Liberian frontier, it is additional broken, with small cliffs and rocky outcrops.
the W by Liberia and Guinea, with a total boundary length of 3,110 km (1,932 mi) and a coastline of 515 km (322).

In 1983, Côte d'Ivoire's capital was moved to Yamoussoukro, about 225 km (140 mi) northwest of the former capital, Abidjan, in the southcentral part of the country.

Côte D'ivoire - Climate

The greatest annual rainfall, about 200 cm (79 in), is along the coast and in the southwest. The coastal region has a long dry season from December to April, followed by heavy rains from May to September. Farther north, there is only one wet and one dry season, with rainfall heaviest in summer, culminating in September, and lightest in January. The country's lightest rainfall is in the northeast, averaging 109 cm (43 in) annually. Average temperatures along the coast range from 24° to 32° C (75° to 90° F ) in January and from 22° to 28° C (72° to 82° F ) in July. At Bouaké, in the center of the country, minimum and maximum temperatures in November, the hottest month, average 21° and 35° C (70° and 95° F ); the range is from 20° to 29° C (68° to 84° F ) in July, the coolest month. At Ferkéssédougou, in the far north, temperatures range from 21° to 36° C (70° to 97° F ) in March and from 17° to 30° C (63° to 86° F ) in November.

Côte D'ivoire - Flora and fauna

The southern Côte d'Ivoire forest is a typical rain forest; it has a canopy at around 21–24 m (70–80 ft), with isolated trees pushing up above 37 m (120 ft). Farther north, the rain forest gives way to scattered stands of deciduous trees, and mahogany is widespread. Still farther north, oil palm, acacia, breadfruit, and baobab characterize the transition to authentic savanna, where shea nut and traveler's palm are common.

The jackal, hyena, panther, elephant, hippopotamus, numerous monkeys, and a lot of other mammals are widely distributed. Crocodiles and chameleons, inclunding venomous serpents (horned vipers, mambas, and a lot of others) and pythons, are numerous. Part indigenous birds are vultures, cranes, pigeons, turtle doves, parrots, and herons. Venomous spiders and scorpions abound.

Côte D'ivoire - Environment

Most of Côte d'Ivoire's forests, once the major in West Africa, have been cut down by the timber industry, with only cursory attempts at reforestation. During the initial half of the 1980s, deforestation averaged 290,000 ha (717,000 acres) per year, while reforestation was only 6,000 ha (15,000 acres) per year. Between 1983 and 1993, the country's forest and woodland was reduced by nearly 25%. The land is as well affected by savanization and climate changes, inclunding decreased rainfall. In 2000, Côte d'Ivoire had 76.7 cu km of renewable water resources, of which 67% was used for farming and 22% for urban and domestic use. Water pollution is a significant environmental problem in Côte d'Ivoire due to chemical waste from agricultural, industrial, and mining sources: about 92% of the country's city dwellers and 72% of the rural people have safe water. Reports indicate that in the mid-1990s, the country was using approximately 6,000 tons of pesticides and 78,000 tons of fertilizers per year. The country's lack of sanitation facilities as well contributes to the pollution problem. Only 39% of the people has access to sanitation systems.

As of 2000, 16 of the country's 230 mammal species and 12 of its 535 breeding bird species were endangered, inclunding four reptiles. In addition, 42 of the country's 3,660 plant species were threatened with extinction.


Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia

Geographic coordinates: 

8 00 N, 5 00 W

Map references: 


Area comparative: 

slightly larger than New Mexico

Land boundaries Total: 

3,110 km

Land boundaries Note: 


tropical along coast, semiarid in far north; three seasons - warm and dry (November to March), hot and dry (March to May), hot and wet (June to October)


mostly flat to undulating plains; mountains in northwest

Natural resources: 

petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, gold, nickel, tantalum, silica sand, clay, cocoa beans, coffee, palm oil, hydropower

Natural hazards: 

coast has heavy surf and no natural harbors; during the rainy season torrential flooding is possible

Environment - current issues: 

deforestation (most of the country's forests - once the largest in West Africa - have been heavily logged); water pollution from sewage and industrial and agricultural effluents

Geography note: 

most of the inhabitants live along the sandy coastal region; apart from the capital area, the forested interior is sparsely populated