Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone has four physical regions: the coastal-swamp region along the Atlantic, a flat, low-lying, frequently flooded plain 20 to 40 miles (32 to 64 km) wide; the Sierra Leone Peninsula, the site of Freetown and a region of thickly wooded mountains that rise from coastal swamps to an elevation of 2,913 feet (888 m) at Picket Hill; the interior plains, consisting of featureless grasslands, rolling wooded country, and a variety of landforms ranging from savanna-covered low plains to rocky scarp and hill country; and the plateau region, encompassing roughly the eastern half of the country and including several mountain masses such as the Loma Mountains, crowned by Mount Loma Mansa ( Bintimani Peak) at 6,391 feet (1,948 m; the highest peak in the country), and the Tingi Hills, which rise to 6,079 feet (1,853 m) at Sankanbiriwa Peak. Numerous rivers flow in a general northeast-to-southwest direction across Sierra Leone to empty into the Atlantic.
Sierra Leone has a tropical climate. Temperatures and humidity are high, and normal rainfall is quite heavy. Mean monthly temperatures range from 77 to 83 F (25 to 28 C) in coastal areas; inland the range can be from 73 to 82 F (23 to 28 C). Along the coast where rainfall is the heaviest, especially on the Peninsula Mountains, as much as 200 inches (5,080 mm) may fall annually. The dry season lasts from November to April, and the wet season constitutes the remainder of the year, with maximum precipitation from July to September. More than one-fourth of Sierra Leone is forest. Among many valuable timber species are African mahogany and African teak. The country’s animal life includes monkey, chimpanzee, tiger cat, porcupine, antelope, crocodile, and many species of birds. Elephant, leopard, lion, hyena, and buffalo are rarely seen.
Sierra Leone has some 1,160 square miles (3,000 square km) of forest reserve and about 50 square miles (130 square km) of protected forest. It is self-sufficie…