Geography of Niger

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Geography of Niger
Niger sm03.png
Continent Africa
Region Western Africa
Coordinates 16°00′N 08°00′E / 16.000°N 8.000°E / 16.000; 8.000
Area Ranked 22nd
 • Total 1,266,700 km2 (489,100 sq mi)
 • Land 99.98%
 • Water 0.02%
Coastline 0 km (0 mi)

Land boundaries: 5,697 km
Algeria 956 km
Benin 266 km
Burkina Faso 628 km
Chad 1,175 km
Libya 354 km
Mali 821 km
Nigeria 1,497 km

Irrigated land 736.6 km² (2005)
Total renewable water resources 33.65 km3 (2011)
Highest point Mont Idoukal-n-Taghès, 2,022 m
Lowest point Niger River, 200 m
Climate desert to tropical
Terrain mostly desert plains and sand dunes, hills in the north
Natural Resources uranium, coal, iron ore, tin, phosphates, gold, molybdenum, gypsum, salt, petroleum
Natural Hazards recurring droughts
Environmental Issues overgrazing, soil erosion, deforestation, poaching
Satellite image of Niger

Niger is a landlocked nation in West Africa located along the border between the Sahara and Sub-Saharan regions. Its geographic coordinates are longitude 16°N and latitude 8°E. Its area is 1.267 million square kilometers, of which 1 266 700 km² is land and 300 km² water, making Niger slightly less than twice the size of France.

Political geography[edit]

Niger's cities, main towns and other centres

Surrounded by seven other countries, Niger has a total of 5,697 km of borders. The longest border is with Nigeria to the south, at 1,497 km. This is followed by Chad to the east (1,175 km), Algeria to the north-northwest (956 km), and Mali to the west (821 km). Niger also has short borders in its far southwest frontier (Burkina Faso at 628 km and Benin at 266 km) and to the north-northeast (Libya at 354 km).

Physical geography[edit]


Niger's climate is largely hot and dry, with much desert area. In the extreme south, there is a tropical climate on the edges of the Niger River Basin. The terrain is predominantly desert plains and sand dunes, with flat to rolling plains in the south and hills in the north. Lake Chad at the southeast corner of the country is shared between Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon.

Extreme points[edit]

Topography of Niger

Natural resources[edit]

Main article: Mining in Niger

Niger possesses the following natural resources:

Agricultural geography[edit]

Main article: Agriculture in Niger

Land in Niger is used as arable land (660 km² of land in Niger is irrigated) and as pasture. There are some forests and woodland. The table below describes the land use in Niger, as of 2011.

Land use
Use Percentage of Area
arable land 11.79[10]
permanent crops 0.05[10]
other 88.16[10]


Natural hazards[edit]

Main article: Sahel drought

Recurring droughts are a hazard in Niger.[11][12] The 2012 Sahel drought, along with failed crops, insect plagues, high food prices and conflicts is currently effecting Niger causing a hunger crisis.[13] Many families in Niger, still recovering from the 2010 Sahel famine, are being effect by the 2012 Sahel drought.[12]

Current issues[edit]

Current environmental issues in Niger include: overgrazing, soil erosion, deforestation, desertification and endangered wildlife populations (such as elephant, hippopotamus, giraffe, and lion), which are threatened because of poaching and habitat destruction.[citation needed]

International agreements[edit]

Niger is a party to the following agreements:

Niger has signed, but not ratified the Kyoto Protocol and Law of the Sea.[14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b CIA 2012 World Factbook
  3. ^ "France backs Niger in talks with Areva over uranium mining". The Guardian. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "THE MINERAL INDUSTRY OF OTHER COUNTRIES OF AFRICA". United States Geological Survey. 1994. p. 21. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "NIGER: Coal the new weapon to stop desert advance". Integrated Regional Information Networks. 1 July 2004. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "CROSS-BORDER DIARIES". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. June 2007. p. 52. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Els, Frik (19 June 2013). "Semafo up 4% after tracing new trend over 10 kilometers in Niger". Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  8. ^ Issa, Ousseini (15 May 2013). "Protecting Niger’s Desert Salt Pans". Inter Press Service. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "As refinery opens, Niger joins club of oil producers". Agence France-Presse. 28 November 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c "The World Factbook". Central Intelligence Agency website. Retrieved 2013-04-25. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b "West African food crisis 2012". 2013-01-22. Retrieved 2013-04-27. 
  13. ^ Fominyen, George (2012-05-24). "Coming weeks critical to tackle Sahel hunger ? U.N. humanitarian chief". Retrieved 2013-04-27. 
  14. ^
  15. ^

Further reading[edit]