Geography

Togo

The Togolese Republic lies on the edge of the Gulf of Guinea between latitudes 6° 10´ and 11° 10´ N and longitudes 0° and 1° 40´ E. It has an Atlantic seaboard of 56 km, then stretches inland to the north for 540 km, covering a total area of 56 785 km2. It is bounded on the north by Burkina Faso, on the east by Benin, on the south by the Gulf of Guinea (an arm of the Atlantic Ocean) and on the west by Ghana.

In the south of Togo is a narrow, low-lying coastal belt containing a series of inland lagoons. To the north lies a plateau region that increases in elevation from about 60 m in the south to about 425 m and becoming more rugged in the north-east. The Precambrian Atakorian chain (the Togo Mountains, the Atakora massifs and the Fasao chains) stretch from south-west to north-east and cover much of western Togo. Mont Agou (Pic Baumann) in the south-west (986 meters) is Togo's highest point. To the north of the hills lies a plateau drained by the Oti River. The Mono River and its tributaries drain much of the southern part of the country.

Although Togo is situated near the centre of the southern coast of West Africa, it has a very particular climate. Although it is tropical, with temperatures averaging 27° C, the cooling effect of cold ocean currents severely reduces convection, which in turn has a major effect on the water cycle of the region. The configuration of the mountains also has a marked effect on annual rainfall, which varies from 850 mm (in the coastal zone) to 1 500 mm (at Bafilou and Badou). Temperatures are fairly constant, but seasonal variations, which are very low in the coastal zone (with high humidity), increase farther north (the continental aspect of the climate). Daily variations of 15° to 20° C can occur in the north during the harmattan season. Two zones can be distinguished on the basis of geography and relief, a sub-equatorial zone with two rainy seasons (March to July and October to November), confined to the coastal area, and a tropical zone with one rainy season of varying length (usually from April to July), covering most of Togo.

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