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Ghana Geography
 
 
 

Situated on the southern coast of the West African bulge, Ghana has an area of 238,540 sq km (92,100 sq mi), extending 458 km (284 mi) north-northeast to south-southwest, and 297 km (184 mi) east-southeast to west-northwest.

Bordered on the east by Togo, on the south by the Atlantic Ocean (Gulf of Guinea), on the west by Côte d'Ivoire, and on the northwest and north by Burkina Faso, Ghana has a total boundary length of 2,633 km (1,635mi), of which 539 km (334 mi) is coastline.

Comparatively, the area occupied by Ghana is slightly smaller than the state of Oregon. Ghana's capital city, Accra, is located on the Gulf of Guinea coast.

The coastline consists mostly of a low sandy shore behind which stretches the coastal plain, except in the west, where the forest comes down to the sea.

The forest belt, which extends northward from the western coast about 320 km (200 mi) and eastward for a maximum of about 270 km (170 mi), is broken up into heavily wooded hills and steep ridges. North of the forest is undulating savanna drained by the Black Volta and White Volta rivers, which join and flow south to the sea through a narrow gap in the hills.

Ghana's highest point is Mount Afadjato at 880 m (2,887 ft) in a range of hills on the eastern border. Apart from the Volta, only the Pra and the Ankobra rivers permanently pierce the sand dunes, most of the other rivers terminating in brackish lagoons. There are no natural harbours. Lake Volta, formed by the impoundment of the Volta behind Akosombo Dam, is the world's largest man-made lake (8,485 sq km/3,276 sq mi).

The climate is tropical but relatively mild for the latitude. Climatic differences between various parts of the country are affected by the sun's journey north or south of the equator and the corresponding position of the intertropical convergence zone, the boundary between the moist southwesterly winds and the dry northeasterly winds. Except in the north, there are two rainy seasons, from April through June and from September to November. Squalls occur in the north during March and April, followed by occasional rain until August and September, when the rainfall reaches its peak. Average temperatures range between 21° and 32°C (70-90°F), with relative humidity between 50% and 80%. Rainfall ranges from 83 to 220 cm (33-87 in) a year.

The harmattan, a dry desert wind, blows from the northeast from December to March, lowering the humidity and causing hot days and cool nights in the north; the effect of this wind is felt in the south during January. In most areas, temperatures are highest in March and lowest in August. Variation between day and night temperatures is relatively small, but greater in the north, especially in January, because of the harmattan. No temperature lower than 10°C (50°F) has ever been recorded in Ghana.


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