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History of Sierra Leone

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Sierra Leone (country), independent nation in western Africa, bounded on the north and east by Guinea, on the southeast by Liberia, and on the southwest and west by the Atlantic Ocean. The total area of the country is 71,740 sq km (27,699 sq mi). Freetown is the capital and largest city.

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Africa Guide: Sierra Leone more... A low-lying coastal plain in Sierra Leone extends inland from the Atlantic Ocean for about 80 km (about 50 mi). The area closest to the ocean is a largely swampy region; however, the Sierra Leone Peninsula, where Freetown is situated, is dominated by hills. To the east the land rises from the coastal plain to a plateau in the north and to hilly terrain in the south. Several small mountain ranges are located near the northern and eastern borders and reach a maximum elevation of 1,945 m (6,381 ft) in Bintumani (Loma Mansa) in the Loma Mountains. Of the numerous short rivers that drain the country the most important are the Kolenté (Great Scarcies) and the Kaba (Little Scarcies), and the Rokel, Jong, Sewa, and Moa. Most are navigable only in the rainy season.

A Climate

facts and figures facts and figures Sierra Leone (country)

Sierra Leone has a tropical climate; the mean temperature in Freetown is about 27°C (about 80°F) in January and 26°C (78°F) in July. Annual rainfall averages more than 3,800 mm (150 in) along the coast, diminishing to about 2,000 mm (about 80 in) in the northern interior. Most rain falls from May to October.

B Mineral Resources

Much of Sierra Leone’s wealth is derived from rich mineral resources, including diamonds, chrome, bauxite, iron ore, and rutile. Small amounts of gold and platinum are also mined.

C Vegetation and Animal Life

A savanna vegetation, comprising grasses and bushes, dominates northern Sierra Leone. Forests are densest in the southeast and contain varieties of palm and, to a lesser extent, mahogany and teak. Among the numerous small animals are bush pigs, chimpanzees, monkeys, and porcupines. Crocodiles and hippopotamuses are often found in the rivers.

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