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Gambia, The Geography

    Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal

    Geographic coordinates: 13 28 N, 16 34 W

    Map references: Africa

    Area:
    total: 11,300 sq km
    land: 10,000 sq km
    water: 1,300 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Delaware

    Land boundaries:
    total: 740 km
    border countries: Senegal 740 km

    Coastline: 80 km

    Maritime claims:
    contiguous zone: 18 nm
    continental shelf: not specified
    exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: tropical; hot, rainy season (June to November); cooler, dry season (November to May)

    Terrain: flood plain of the Gambia River flanked by some low hills

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: unnamed location 53 m

    Natural resources: fish

    Land use:
    arable land: 18%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 9%
    forests and woodland: 28%
    other: 45% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 150 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: rainfall has dropped by 30% in the last 30 years

    Environment—current issues: deforestation; desertification; water-borne diseases prevalent

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

    Geography—note: almost an enclave of Senegal; smallest country on the continent of Africa

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)