Nigeria consists of different ethnic groups each having its unique climate, landscapes, traditions, customs, culture, religion and wildlife. But in 1914, the structure and boundaries of the country were defined when Lord Luggard amalgamated the various parts of the country for easy governance. The above explains why there are diverse climates and landscapes in Nigerian geography which include savanna lands and Rain forests. This article will examine the geography of Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa.
Location and boundaries
Nigeria is located in West Africa. It is found within latitude 40 and 140 north of the Equator and longitudes 30 and 140 Greenwich Meridian’s east. It covers a total area of 923, 768.00 square kilometers. The country borders Cameroon and Chad in the East, Republic of Benin in the west and Niger in the north. But the coast of the southern parts of the country lies along the Atlantic Ocean known as the Gulf of Guineas. It shares boundary with Lake Chad in the northeast. Popular and remarkable geographical features in the country are Mambilla Plateau, Adamawa highlands, Obudu Plateau, Jos Plateau, River Niger, River Benue and Niger Delta.
Topography and landscapes
Nigeria has varied but beautiful elevations which include rolling hills, river valleys, mountains, plateaus, flat farming lands and others. Its topography is at the sea level near the seacoast. Though, there are no high mountain peaks like Mount Everest in Nigeria, it has few mountains of considerable heights. For example, the Vogel Peak which is the highest mountain in the southeast of the country is up to 2042 meters.
Rivers play a crucial role in defining the landscape of the country. The countries have several rivers but the two major ones are River Niger and River Benue. River Niger is rated the African third longest river. The two rivers form a confluence that divides the country into two main parts, the northern parts and southern part.
The northern and southern parts of the country as well its middle belt have different climates. There are four types of climates in Nigeria, namely, the tropical rainforest, the tropical savanna, the sale climate and the alpine climate. The tropical rainforest also known as the equatorial monsoon is the predominant climate in the southern part of Nigeria. Most parts of the western Nigeria experience the tropical savanna climate also known as the dry climate or tropical wet. The Sahel Climate which also known as the the Tropical dry climate is the prevalent climate in the northern part of Nigeria. The Alpine climate also known as the mountain climate or highland climate affects the highlands, plateau and mountain regions.
Flora and fauna
Nigeria is rich in flora and fauna of different species thanks to the availability of different kinds of climates, elevations and waters. Owing to the difference in climate, each parts of the country has its own vegetation type. The same is true of the wildlife. Some of the types of wildlife found in the country include snakes, hippopotami, crocodiles, monkeys, squirrels and many more. Trees of high economic importance such as Obeche, Mahogany, rubber, coco and palm tree grow in the tropical rainforest zones of the country.
There are basically two main seasons in Nigeria just as it is the case in the other West African countries. The main seasons are dry and rainy seasons. However, these two seasons are experienced differently in various parts of the country. The dry season for example is very severe in the northern parts of the country than in its south. In other words, temperature in various parts of the country varies depending on the season.