Geography Senegal: An In Depth Study Senegal is a republic located in western Africa and has Dakar which is its largest city as capital. On the northern border is located Mauritania, on the east is Mali and on the Guinea. Senegal is also bordered by the Atlantic ocean on the west. Located in the center of the country is the small republic of Gambia. The county is pierced by the River Gambia. (see figure: 1) Figure 1 Senegal primarily is made up of a large plain. The only real exceptions to this are in the south east where relatively high elevations exist. There are only a few rivers of any reasonable size in Senegal, these include; the Saloum, Gambia, Casamance and of course the Senegal which runs along the northern border of the country. Like all rivers, these recess during dry seasons and surge forth during wet seasons. Like most other countries of this region in Africa, Senegal has a vast multitude of climatic regions. These range from dry desert to a wet tropical zone in the southern portion of the country leaving the dry region to the north. There are two distinct seasons; the dry season, and the rainy season. The latter lasts from July to October in the north. (see figure: 2) Figure 2 Here, the rainfall averages 350 mm . In the south the season starts a month later in June but ends as it does in the north in October. In the north the average yearly rainfall averages 1525 mm . In January the average temperature is 22 degrees centigrade and in July it averages at 28 degrees centigrade. In Senegal the citizens to indeed have to endure very diverse climatic conditions. Figure 3 Figure 4 As mentioned before the northern portion of the country is dominated by very dry desert like conditions while the south is a very wet region. The northern portion of the Country is part of the Sahal which is a buffer for the wetter southern part of the country against the Sahara which is located to the north of the country. In the Sahel the vegetation resembles that of the movie The Lion King in that it consists primarily of savanna grasses with random outcroppings of small stunted shrubs (see Figure: 3). As you move south towards the Gambia trees become more common. Further south still, there are actual swamps and dense forests. In these forests the typical tropical woods can be found including mahogany, palms and bamboo. In the Gambia and the others rivers as well crocodiles and hippopotamuses can be found. Other animals such as elephants can be found in the eastern portion of the country. Senegal's infamous varieties of snake include the cobra and the boa constrictor. Senegal possess many minerals and other natural resources. Among these is Senegal's principal exploited mineral resource, phosphates.( see figure:5) Iron ore is also present I but it has not yet been exploited due to a lack of accessibility. In the 1970's deposits of both natural gas and petroleum were located off the western coast of Senegal. Figure 5 Senegal's economy is based primarily on agriculture. The soul of the agricultural economy is based on peanuts, literally. Although this is the case Senegal has a growing industrial sector which is the largest in West Africa. Senegal receives aid from France and other European countries through the World Bank. Senegal is starting to learn to budget, and is now only spending $700 million more than the country brings in every year. About 27% of Senegal's land is arable which is very inproportionate to the 78% of the population which relies on subsistence farming. Because of French colonization, Senegal is now the leading producer of peanuts in the world. These peanuts are primarily grown in the north-west but are also grown in other parts of the country. Peanuts and peanut oils constitute a significant percent of the yearly export earnings ranging from 29% in the 80s to 12% in the early 90s . Most of the land is Figure 6 devoted to the production of peanuts and great strides have been made recently to diversify the types of crops grown. (see Figure:6) Among the crops to be grown are; rice, and tomatoes. This will allow the people