Africa > West Africa > Togo > Togo Geography Profile

Togo: Togo Geography Profile

2015/10/06


Togo - Location, size, and extent

Situated on the west coast of Africa, Togo has an area of 56,785 sq km (21,925 sq mi), extending 510 km (317 mi) N – S and 140 km (87 mi) E – W . Comparatively, the area occupied by Togo is slightly smaller than the national of West Virginia. Togo is bounded on the N by Burkina Faso, on the E by Benin, on the S by the Gulf of Guinea, and on the W by Ghana, with a total boundary length of 1,703 km (1,058 mi), of which 56 km (35 mi) is coastline.

Togo's capital city, Lomé, is located on the Gulf of Guinea coast.

Togo - Topography

Togo is traversed in the center by a chain of hills, the Togo Mountains, extending roughly southwest into Ghana and northeastward into Benin and averaging about 700 m (2,300 ft) in height. The highest elevation is Mt. Agou (986 m/3,235 ft). To the north and west of these hills, the Oti River drains in a southwesterly direction into the Volta River, which constitutes a part of the upper boundary with Ghana. To the north of the Oti River Valley lies gently undulating savanna country. From the southern spurs of the central hills, a plateau stretches gradually southward to a coastal plain. The coastline consists of a flat sandy beach thickly planted with coconut trees and partially separated from the mainland by lagoons and lakes that are the former estuaries of several rivers.

Togo - Climate

Togo has a humid, tropical climate, but receives less rainfall than most of the other nations along the Gulf of Guinea. In the south there are two rainy seasons, from March to early July and in September and October. The heaviest rainfall occurs in the hills of the west, southwest, and center, where the precipitation averages about 150 cm (60 in) a year. North of the Togo Mountains there is one rainy season, lasting from April to August. Rainfall in this region averages 100 cm (40 in) a year. The coast gets the least rainfall, about 78 cm (31 in) annually. The average maximum and minimum temperatures are 30° C (86° F ) and 23° C (73° F ) at Lomé, on the southern coast, and 35° C (95° F ) and 15° C (59° F ) at Mango, in the north.

Togo - Flora and fauna

Natural vegetation is chiefly of the savanna type, luxuriant in the rainy season, brittle grass and shrub during the dry season. Dense belts of reeds are found along the coastal lagoons. Much of the major wildlife has been exterminated in the southern area, but in the north, elephants and lions still can be found. Hippopotamuses and crocodiles live in and along the rivers, and monkeys are fairly common. The coastal swamps abound in snakes.

Togo - Environment

The dense tropical rain forests that once covered much of the country are presently found only along the river valleys and in isolated pockets of the Atakora Mountains. Slash-and-burn agriculture and the cutting of wood for fuel are the major causes of forest depletion. Between 1990 and 1995, Togo lost an average of 1.44% of its forest and woodland each year. Soils are generally of poor quality, requiring intensive fertilization and cultivation to be productive. The soil and water supply are threatened by pesticides and fertilizers. The country's land is as well threatened by desertification. Water pollution is a significant problem in Togo, where only 85% of urban dwellers and 38% of the people living in rural areas have pure drinking water. Contamination of the water supply contributes to the spread of disease. Responsibility in environmental matters is vested in the Ministry of Rural Development and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. The government of Togo has tried to protect the country's environment through a comprehensive legislative package, the Environmental Code of 1988. The country's wildlife people is at risk due to poaching and the clearing of land for agricultural purposes. As of 2001, 7.6% of Togo's total land area was protected. Eight mammal species and one bird species are listed as threatened. Threatened species include the African elephant, Diana monkey, and West African manatee.

 

Location: 

Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Benin and Ghana

Geographic coordinates: 

8 00 N, 1 10 E

Map references: 

Africa

Area comparative: 

slightly smaller than West Virginia

Land boundaries Total: 

1,647 km

Land boundaries Note: 

Climate: 

tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north

Terrain: 

gently rolling savanna in north; central hills; southern plateau; low coastal plain with extensive lagoons and marshes

Natural resources: 

phosphates, limestone, marble, arable land

Natural hazards: 

hot, dry harmattan wind can reduce visibility in north during winter; periodic droughts

Environment - current issues: 

deforestation attributable to slash-and-burn agriculture and the use of wood for fuel; water pollution presents health hazards and hinders the fishing industry; air pollution increasing in urban areas

Geography note: 

the country's length allows it to stretch through six distinct geographic regions; climate varies from tropical to savanna