Working for birds in Africa

Geography

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 13:13 -- abc_admin
Farmbush_Ghana

Farmbush habitat, Ghana

Image Credit: 
Ben Phalan

Ghana has a total area of some 239,460 km2 and is bordered by Côte d’Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the south with a coastline of 539 km. The country is relatively flat, mostly lying between 100 and 300 m above sea level, though the south-western edge of Lake Volta from Akosombo to Mampong has hills reaching 600 m or more and several peaks in the Togo Hills at the north-eastern end of Lake Volta exceed 800 m. Lake Volta is the world's largest artificial lake.

In the south, rainfall peaks in June and October with a short dry spell in late July and August. In the north, there is a single wet season with rainfall at its peak in August and September. Daytime temperatures in the forest zone average about 30°C, and slightly higher in the north, though within closed canopy forest, the temperature rarely exceeds 22°C.

The northern part of the country is mostly covered by Guinea savanna woodland which looks superficially similar to miombo woodlands of southern and eastern Africa despite having an entirely different tree species population. In the extreme north-east, reduced rainfall transforms this to the dry Sudan zone woodland of the Sahel. Most of the southern part of Ghana is within the Upper Guinea forest zone lying within a triangular area roughly bounded by lines drawn from the southern end of Lake Volta to the southern end of the border with Côte d’Ivoire and to a point mid-way along that border. A coastal thicket zone extends from near Takoradi to Accra, and the area east of Accra contains the Accra-Akose-Keta grasslands (Accra-Ho-Keta plains).

The best time to visit the forest zone and the coast is during August when conditions are relatively cool and dry, though if a visit to the north is to be included, it is probably best to travel sometime in January or February.

The population is over 20 million people and the languages are English (official) and a number of African languages including Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, and Ga. Further information can be found at CIA Factbook.

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