Topography of Mauritania

Topography of Mauritania Last updated on Wednesday 21st April 2010

Mauritania's southern boundary is Senegal. It joins Mali on the southeast and east, and Algeria forms its northeastern border.

The country's Atlantic coastline runs for some 700km. Its northwestern border is the disputed territory known as the Western Sahara or Moroccan Sahara.

The capital is Nouackchott, and other principal towns include Nouadhibou, Atar, Kaedi, Zouerate, Rosso and Kiffa.

The country covers an area of just over one million square kilometres, and its population is 2.3 million (1995 estimate).

The Great Sahara desert, a region of shifting sand dunes, forms the northern two thirds of the country. In fact some 40% of the country is covered by sand. Towards the south, the Sahara loses its intensity to the Sahelian steppes, which receive a fairly low annual rainfall. There is a region of Savannah to the south-east along its border with Mali. On the southwest boundary of the Senegal River is a 400km strip of fertile land called the Chemana, where most of the country's food crops are grown. The average altitude in this region is about 91m (300 ft). Mauritania's rivers, all tributaries of the Senegal River, are located in the southwestern part of the country.

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