Image: Felix Koenig:
The Sahel region: a belt up to 1,000 km (620 miles) wide that spans the 5,400 km in Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea

What is the Sahel Region of Africa?

The Sahel Region of Africa is "a belt up to 1,000 km (620 miles) wide that spans the 5,400 km in Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara Desert to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south. Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the southernmost extent of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea. The Arabic word...literally means 'shore, coast', describing the appearance of the vegetation found in the Sahel as being akin to that of a coastline delimiting the sand of the Sahara. The Sahel covers parts of (from west to east) the Gambia, Senegal, southern Mauritania, central Mali, Burkina Faso, southern Algeria and Niger, northern Nigeria and Cameroon, central Chad, southern Sudan, northern South Sudan and northern Eritrea.

The Sahel spans 5,400 km (3,360 mi) from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east, in a belt that varies from several hundred to a thousand kilometers (620 miles) in width, covering an area of 3,053,200 square kilometers (1,178,850 sq mi). It is a transitional ecoregion of semi-arid grasslands, savannas, steppes, and thorn shrublands lying between the wooded Sudanian savanna to the south and the Sahara to the north. The topography of the Sahel is mainly flat, and the region mostly lies between 200 and 400 meters (660 and 1,310 ft) in elevation. Several isolated plateaus and mountain ranges rise from the Sahel, but are designated as separate ecoregions because their flora and fauna are distinct from the surrounding lowlands. Annual rainfall varies from around 100 mm (4 in)-200 mm (8 in), in the north of the Sahel, to around 600 mm (24 in) in the south.

Over the history of Africa, the region has been home to some of the most advanced kingdoms, benefiting from trade across the desert. Collectively, these states are known as the Sahelian kingdoms...." Sahel

See Also:

Sahel West Africa Horses Mules
First posted: Dec 20, 2014
Last update: Dec 20, 2014