Working for birds in Africa

Geography

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 14:22 -- abc_admin
Robertsport_Beach_ Liberia

Robertsport Beach, Liberia

Image Credit: 
Alan G. Johnston

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 kilometres (43,000 sq miles) and has a population of around 4,900,000. English is the official language, but 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.

Liberia is characterised by lagoons, mangrove swamps and narrow sandbars. The climate is tropical and has dry winters with hot days and in the interior cool nights, and the summers are wet and cloudy with frequent heavy showers mainly from April to November. Dust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara from December to March. The terrain is mostly flat to undulating coastal plains rising to rolling plateaux and low mountains in the north-east. The land elevation rises from sea level to the highest point Mount Wuteve at 1,380 m. 

Conservation government and non-governmental organizations serve as contact points for visiting birders, and provide access to the more remote areas where they work. Access is difficult due to poor roads, but is not impossible, and some options for birders exist within a few hours of Monrovia. Facilities (accommodation and restaurants) have become available in many surrounding cities.

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