Guinea Highlands

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Map of the Guinea Highlands Guinea Highlands map.png
Map of the Guinea Highlands

The Guinea Highlands is a densely forested mountainous plateau extending from central Guinea through northern Sierra Leone and Liberia to western Côte d'Ivoire. The highlands include a number of mountains, ranges and plateaus, including the Fouta Djallon highlands in central Guinea, the Loma Mountains in Sierra Leone, the Simandou and Kourandou massifs in southeastern Guinea, the Nimba Range at the border of Guinea, Liberia, and Côte d'Ivoire, and the Monts du Toura in western Côte d'Ivoire.

Guinea country in Africa

Guinea, officially the Republic of Guinea, is a west-coastal country in West Africa. Formerly known as French Guinea, the modern country is sometimes referred to as Guinea-Conakry in order to distinguish it from other countries with "Guinea" in the name and the eponymous region, such as Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea. Guinea has a population of 12.4 million and an area of 245,860 square kilometres (94,927 sq mi).

Sierra Leone republic in West Africa

Sierra Leone, officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa. It has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savanna to rainforests. The country has a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi) and a population of 7,075,641 as of the 2015 census. Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a directly elected president and a unicameral legislature. The country's capital and largest city is Freetown. Sierra Leone is made up of five administrative regions: the Northern Province, North West Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and the Western Area. These regions are subdivided into sixteen districts.

Liberia republic in West Africa

Liberia, officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the West African coast. It is bordered by Sierra Leone to its northwest, Guinea to its north, Ivory Coast to its east, and the Atlantic Ocean to its south-southwest. It covers an area of 111,369 square kilometers (43,000 sq mi) and has a population of around 4,700,000 people. English is the official language and over 20 indigenous languages are spoken, representing the numerous ethnic groups who make up more than 95% of the population. The country's capital and largest city is Monrovia.

Contents

Geography

In Guinea they are known as Dorsale Guinéenne. The highest peak in the region is Mount Bintumani in Sierra Leone, at 1,945 metres (6,381 ft). Other peaks include Sankan Biriwa (1,850 metres (6,070 ft)) in Sierra Leone and Mount Richard-Molard (Mount Nimba) (1,752 metres (5,748 ft)) on the border of Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire. The highlands mostly lie between 300 and 500 metres (980 and 1,640 ft) above sea level. [1]

Mount Bintumani mountain

Mount Bintumani is the highest peak in Sierra Leone and the Loma Mountains, at 1,945 metres (6,381 ft). It lies in the Loma Mountains and its lower slopes are covered in rainforests, home to a wide variety of animals. These include pygmy hippopotamuses, dwarf crocodiles, rufous fishing-owls and numerous primates.

Sankan Biriwa is a mountain massif in the east of Sierra Leone with two peaks, both over 1,800 metres, the northernmost is the second highest in Sierra Leone at 1,850 m. The mountain is part of the Tingi Hills Forest Reserve.

Mount Richard-Molard mountain

Mount Richard-Molard, also known as Mount Nimba, is a mountain along the border of Ivory Coast and Guinea in West Africa. The highest peak for both countries and the Nimba Range is at 1,752 m (5,748 ft). The mountain is a part of the Guinea Highlands, which straddles the borders between the two countries and Liberia. The nearest major settlements are the town Yekepa to the west in Liberia, Bossou and N'Zoo in Guinea.

The Guinea Highlands are the source of many of West Africa's rivers, including the Niger River, West Africa's longest river, the Senegal and Gambia rivers, and the rivers of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Maritime Guinea, and western Côte d'Ivoire.

Niger River river in West Africa

The Niger River is the principal river of West Africa, extending about 4,180 km (2,600 mi). Its drainage basin is 2,117,700 km2 (817,600 sq mi) in area. Its source is in the Guinea Highlands in southeastern Guinea. It runs in a crescent through Mali, Niger, on the border with Benin and then through Nigeria, discharging through a massive delta, known as the Niger Delta or the Oil Rivers, into the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. The Niger is the third-longest river in Africa, exceeded only by the Nile and the Congo River. Its main tributary is the Benue River.

Senegal River river in West Africa

The Senegal River is a 1,086 km (675 mi) long river in West Africa that forms the border between Senegal and Mauritania.

Gambia River river

The Gambia River is a major river in West Africa, running 1,120 kilometres (700 mi) from the Fouta Djallon plateau in north Guinea westward through Senegal and the Gambia to the Atlantic Ocean at the city of Banjul. It is navigable for about half that length.

Geology

Geologically the composition of the sediments in the highlands are the same as in Upper Guinea and include granites, schists, and quartzites. [2]

Upper Guinea is a geographical term used in several contexts:

  1. Upper Guinea is one of the four geographic regions of the Republic of Guinea, being east of Futa Jalon, north of Forest Guinea, and bordering Mali. The population of this region is mainly Malinke.
  2. In a larger sense, it refers to a large plain covering eastern Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and extending into north western Côte d'Ivoire. Mostly forming the upper watershed of the River Niger, it is sparsely populated and is home to the Haut Niger National Park.
  3. Upper Guinea can also refer to the interior part of the wider Guinea region, bordering the Sahel. The interior regions are largely defined by the watersheds of rivers that arise from Fouta Djallon, including the Niger, Senegal, Faleme and others. The term was widely applied during the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries to describe a coastal region and its related hinterland with which Europeans traded.
  4. In biogeography, Upper Guinea refers the region of tropical rainforest extending from southwestern Guinea through Sierra Leone, Liberia, southeastern Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, and southwestern Ghana. The Dahomey Gap, a drier region of Ghana, Togo, and Benin where the Guinean forest-savanna mosaic extends to the Gulf of Guinea, separates Upper Guinea from the tropical rainforests of Lower Guinea further east. The Upper Guinea forests are also recognized as an endemic bird area.
Granite A common type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock with granular structure

Granite is a common type of felsic intrusive igneous rock that is granular and phaneritic in texture. Granites can be predominantly white, pink, or gray in color, depending on their mineralogy. The word "granite" comes from the Latin granum, a grain, in reference to the coarse-grained structure of such a holocrystalline rock. Strictly speaking, granite is an igneous rock with between 20% and 60% quartz by volume, and at least 35% of the total feldspar consisting of alkali feldspar, although commonly the term "granite" is used to refer to a wider range of coarse-grained igneous rocks containing quartz and feldspar.

Schist Medium grade metamorphic rock with lamellar grain

Schist is a medium-grade metamorphic rock. Schist has medium to large, flat, sheet-like grains in a preferred orientation. It is defined by having more than 50% platy and elongated minerals, often finely interleaved with quartz and feldspar. These lamellar minerals include micas, chlorite, talc, hornblende, graphite, and others. Quartz often occurs in drawn-out grains to such an extent that a particular form called quartz schist is produced. Schist is often garnetiferous. Schist forms at a higher temperature and has larger grains than phyllite. Geological foliation with medium to large grained flakes in a preferred sheetlike orientation is called schistosity.

Ecology

The Guinea Highlands form the transition between the Western Guinean lowland forests, moist tropical rainforests that lie to the south between the Guinea Highlands and the Atlantic Ocean, and the Guinean forest-savanna mosaic to the north.

Western Guinean lowland forests

The Western Guinean lowland forests are a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion of West Africa. The ecoregion includes the lowland forests extending from the Atlantic Ocean a few hundred kilometers inland, and from western Côte d'Ivoire across Liberia, southeastern Guinea, most of Sierra Leone, and into southwest Guinea.

Guinean forest-savanna mosaic

The Guinean forest-savanna mosaic is an ecoregion of West Africa, a band of interlaced forest, savanna, and grassland running east to west and dividing the tropical moist forests near the coast from the West Sudanian savanna of the interior.

The Guinean montane forests ecoregion covers the portion of the highlands above 600 meters elevation. It includes montane forests, grasslands, and savannas, with a distinct flora and fauna from the surrounding lowlands.

Guinean montane forests

The Guinean montane forests are a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion of West Africa

People

Yomou is the chief market town for the densely forested region of the Guinea Highlands. Main commodities sold in the town include rice, cassava, coffee, palm oil and kernels. [3] The region is mainly inhabited by the Guerze (Kpelle) and Mano (Manon) peoples.

Peaks

Related Research Articles

Geography of Guinea

Guinea is a country on the coast of West Africa and is bordered by Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Geography of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is located on the west coast of Africa, between the 7th and 10th parallels north of the equator. Sierra Leone is bordered by Guinea to the north and northeast, Liberia to the south and southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.

Guinée forestière

Guinée forestière is a forested mountainous region in southeastern Guinea, extending into northeastern Sierra Leone. It is one of four natural regions into which Guinea is divided and covers 23% of the country. It includes all of the Nzérékoré administrative region.

In West Africa, the forest zone refers to the southern part of the region once covered by tropical rainforest. Sometimes this region is referred to as Guinea to distinguish it from the grassland-covered Sudan, drier Sahel and per-arid Sahara.

Mano River river in west Africa

The Mano River is a river in West Africa. It originates in the Guinea Highlands in Liberia and forms part of the Liberia-Sierra Leone border.

Nzérékoré Region Region in Guinea

The Nzérékoré Region is a region in the southern part of Guinea. Its capital and largest city is Nzérékoré. It is one of the eight regions of Guinea. It is bordered by the countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast, and the Guinean regions of Kankan and Faranah.

Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve nature reserve in Guinea

Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve is a protected area and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in both Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire, extending over a total of area of 17,540 hectares, with 12,540 hectares in Guinea, and 5,000 hectares in Côte d'Ivoire. The reserve covers significant portions of the Nimba Range, a geographically unique area with unusually rich flora and fauna, including exceptional numbers of single-site endemic species, such as viviparous toads, and horseshoe bats. Its highest peak is Mount Richard-Molard at 1,752 m (5,750 ft), which is the highest peak of both countries.

The Guinean forests of West Africa is a biodiversity hotspot designated by Conservation International, which includes the belt of tropical moist broadleaf forests along the coast of West Africa, running from Sierra Leone and Guinea in the west to the Sanaga River of Cameroon in the east. The Dahomey Gap, a region of savanna and dry forest in Togo and Benin, divides the Guinean forests into the Upper Guinean forests and Lower Guinean forests.

The Upper Guinean forests is a tropical seasonal forest region of West Africa. The Upper Guinean forests extend from Guinea and Sierra Leone in the west through Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana to Togo in the east, and a few hundred kilometers inland from the Atlantic coast. A few enclaves of montane forest lie further inland in the mountains of central Guinea and central Togo and Benin.

The Lower Guinean forests is region of coastal tropical moist broadleaf forest in West Africa, extending along the eastern coast of the Gulf of Guinea from eastern Benin through Nigeria and Cameroon.

Simandou

Simandou is a 110 km long range of hills located in Calmonz and Kankan regions of southeastern Guinea, in the country's mountainous, forested Guinée Forestière region. At the southern end of the range the site of a large iron ore deposit is currently being developed.

The Nimba flycatcher is a small passerine bird of the genus Melaenornis in the flycatcher family Muscicapidae. It is native to the West African countries of Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The Sankan Biriwa No or Non - Hunting Forest Reserve is found in Sierra Leone. It was established in 1947. This site is 118km².

Nimba Range

The Nimba Range forms part of the southern extent of the Guinea Highlands. The highest peak is Mount Richard-Molard on the border of Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea, at 1,752 m (5,750 ft). "Mount Nimba" may refer either to Mount Richard-Molard or to the entire range. Other peaks include Grand Rochers at 1694 m (5558 ft), Mont Sempéré at 1682 m (5518 ft), Mont Piérré Richaud at 1670 m (5479 ft), Mont Tô at 1675 m (5495 ft), and Mont LeClerc 1577 m (5174 ft), all of them are located in Guinea. Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve of Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire covers significant portions of the Nimba Range.

Maritime Guinea, also known as Lower Guinea, is one of the four natural regions of Guinea. It is located in the west of the country, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Fouta Djallon plateau. Conakry, Guinea's capital and largest city, is located in the region.

References

  1. Encyclopædia Britannica, Retrieved on June 18, 2008
  2. Africa Travel Guide, Retrieved on June 18, 2008
  3. Encyclopædia Britannica, Retrieved on June 18, 2008