A low-lying coastal plain in Sierra Leone extends inland from the Atlantic Ocean for about 80 km (about 50 mi). The area closest to the ocean is a largely swampy region; however, the Sierra Leone Peninsula, where Freetown is situated, is dominated by hills. To the east the land rises from the coastal plain to a plateau in the north and to hilly terrain in the south. Several small mountain ranges are located near the northern and eastern borders and reach a maximum elevation of 1,945 m (6,381 ft) in Bintumani (Loma Mansa) in the Loma Mountains. Of the numerous short rivers that drain the country the most important are the Kolenté (Great Scarcies) and the Kaba (Little Scarcies), and the Rokel, Jong, Sewa, and Moa. Most are navigable only in the rainy season.
Sierra Leone has a tropical climate; the mean temperature in Freetown is about 27°C (about 80°F) in January and 26°C (78°F) in July. Annual rainfall averages more than 3,800 mm (150 in) along the coast, diminishing to about 2,000 mm (about 80 in) in the northern interior. Most rain falls from May to October.
5 million (UN, 2003)
71,740 sq km
Temne;30.0%, Mende:30.0%, Krio:10.0%, Other African (approx.17) :10.0%, Lebanese and Asian
English, Krio (a Creole language derived from English) and a range of African languages( M