Geography

Liberia

The Republic of Liberia lies along more than 500 kilometers of the Atlantic coast with the Ivory Coast on the east and Sierra-Leone on the west, between approximately 4° 30´ N and 8° 30´ N latitude. Total land area is 111 370 km2, corresponding to an average width along the coast of slightly less than 200 km.

There are three main physiographic regions:

  • The belt of rolling hills over 80 km along the coast, up to 100 m high;
  • The dissected table lands in central and south-eastern parts with a slightly undulating plateau 200 -250 m high and mountains between 350 m to 600 m; and
  • The highlands in the north-western and northern parts culminating at Mount Wutivi (1 380 m) and the Liberian part of Mount Nimba (1 385 m, before iron ore extraction started).

The climate is determined, as for the rest of West Africa, by the movement of the so-called Inter-tropical Front. There is a main rainy season from May to September and a main dry (or relatively dry) season from October to April. There is also a mid-dry season in July-August that varies according to the region. Annual rainfall decreases from 4 000 mm or more along the central and northern parts of the coast to 2 000 mm or slightly less along the northern border (with the exception of Mount Nimba were rainfall reaches 3 100 mm). Monrovia is the station with higher rainfall (4 638 mm for 16 years observation) and Tappita and Suakoko in the north central part receive around 1 900 mm. All the country is within the rainfall range of the humid or wet evergreen or semi-deciduous climax forest. . The average temperature in Monrovia is about 26° C in January and 24° C in July.

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

last updated:  Monday, May 28, 2012