Geography of Guinea-Bissau

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A map of Guinea Bissau
Location of Guinea Bissau

This article describes the geography of Guinea-Bissau.

Terrain and ecology[edit]

Guinea-Bissau's topography.

The terrain of Guinea-Bissau is mostly low coastal plain with swamps of Guinean mangroves rising to Guinean forest-savanna mosaic in the east.[1]

The lowest point on Guinea-Bissau is at sea level at the Atlantic Ocean.[1] The highest point on Guinea-Bissau is 300 metres above sea level at an unnamed location in the northeast corner of the country.[1]

Natural resources found in Guinea-Bissau include fish, timber, phosphates, bauxite, clay, granite, limestone and unexploited deposits of petroleum.[1] 10.67% of the land is arable and 235.6 square kilometres is irrigated.[1]

Natural hazards include a hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze that may reduce visibility during the dry season and brush fires.[1] Severe environmental issues include deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing and overfishing.[1]

Near the Senegal border there have been historic sightings of the Painted Hunting Dog, Lycaon pictus, but that endangered canid may now be extirpated in that locale.[2]


Guinea-Bissau's climate is tropical. This means it is generally hot and humid. It has a monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds and a dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds.[1]

Guinea-Bissau is warm all year around and there is little temperature fluctuation; it averages 26.3 °C (79.3 °F). The average rainfall for the capital city Bissau is 2,024 millimetres (79.7 in) although this is almost entirely accounted for during the rainy season which falls between June and September/October. From December through April, the country receives very little rainfall.


Bissagos Islands[edit]

Main article: Bissagos Islands

Information from the CIA World Factbook[edit]

Typical scenery in Guinea-Bissau.
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Senegal
Geographic coordinates
12°00′N 15°00′W / 12.000°N 15.000°W / 12.000; -15.000
Map references
  • Total: 36,125 km²
  • Land: 28,120 km²
  • Water: 8,005 km²
Slightly less than three times the size of Connecticut
Land boundaries
350 km
Maritime claims
  • Territorial sea: 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 mi)
  • Exclusive economic zone: 200 nmi (370.4 km; 230.2 mi)
Mostly low coastal plain rising to savanna in east
Elevation extremes
  • Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
  • Highest point: Unnamed location in the northeast corner of the country 300 m
Natural resources
Fish, timber, phosphates, bauxite, unexploited deposits of petroleum
Land use
  • Arable land: 10.67%
  • Permanent crops: 8.89%
  • Other: 80.44% (2012 est.)
Irrigated land
223.6 km² (2003)
Total renewable water resources
31 km3
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
  • Total: 0.18 km3/yr (18%/6%/76%)
  • Per capita: 135.7 m3/yr (2005)
Natural hazards
Hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season; brush fires
Environment—current issues
Deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; overfishing
Environment—international agreements

Extreme points[edit]

This is a list of the extreme points of Guinea-Bissau, the points that are farther north, south, east or west than any other location.

  • Northernmost point – the northern section of the border with Senegal*
  • Easternmost point – unnamed location on the border with Guinea immediately south-west of the Guinean village of Sofan, Gabú Region
  • Southernmost point – unnamed headland on Ilha Cataque, Tombali Region
  • Westernmost point - Cap Roxo at the point where the border with Senegal enters the Atlantic Ocean, Cacheu Region
  • *Note: Guinea-Bissau does not have a northern-most point, the border here being formed by a straight horizontal line

See also[edit]

Line notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h [1]
  2. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2009. Painted Hunting Dog: Lycaon pictus,, ed. N. Stromberg

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