Benin is located in the west of Africa. In the south, the country borders on the Atlantic Ocean, which is called the Gulf of Guinea here. The stretch of sea off Benin’s coast is called the Bay of Benin. The country is long and narrow in the south, and then widens. It may look a bit like a broccoli head or a flower.
To the west, Benin borders Togo. In the north there are borders with Burkina Faso and Niger. In the east there is a long border with Nigeria. If you want to drive from the north to the coast, you have to drive 650 kilometers. The largest extension from west to east is 320 kilometers, but in the south it is only 120 kilometers.
On the coast there are many lagoons, that is, shallow lakes that have been separated from the sea. River valleys, swamps and lakes also make the area very rich in water. The capital Porto Novo is also located here.
To the north there is a plain on which agriculture is practiced. The landscape is a mixture of forest and savannah, which stretches in one band from Senegal to Nigeria. In Benin, this landscape begins behind the coast and extends further north than in the adjacent lands (Dahomey depression).
Approximately in the middle of the border with Togo rises the Atakora mountain range (which in Togo is still called the Togo Mountains). This is a low mountain range, that is, it reaches only medium heights, in the Atakora Mountains this is about 600 meters. The highest mountain, Mont Sokbaro, is 658 meters high. It is located on the border with Togo.
The longest river flows from north to south and is called Ouémé. It has many tributaries. The Niger River forms the border with the country of Niger in the northeast for a long distance.
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