Sierra Leone/Geography

< Sierra Leone

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Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia

Geographic coordinates: 8 30 N, 11 30 W

Map references: Africa

Area:
total: 71,740 sq km
land: 71,620 sq km
water: 120 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than South Carolina

Land boundaries:
total: 958 km
border countries: Guinea 652 km, Liberia 306 km

Coastline: 402 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate: tropical; hot, humid; summer rainy season (May to December); winter dry season (December to April)

Terrain: coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Loma Mansa (Bintimani) 1,948 m

Natural resources: diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite

Land use:
arable land: 7%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 31%
forests and woodland: 28%
other: 33% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 290 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: dry, sand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (November to May); sandstorms, dust storms

Environment - current issues: rapid population growth pressuring the environment; overharvesting of timber, expansion of cattle grazing, and slash-and-burn agriculture have resulted in deforestation and soil exhaustion; civil war depleting natural resources; overfishing

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification