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Inner Niger Delta on Border of Sahara and Sahel, Mali

14.9N 4.2W

October 28th, 2011 Category: Deserts, Rivers, Wetlands

Mali - October 28th, 2011

The orange and golden sands of the Sahara Desert (above) gradually give way to the less arid Sahel (below) in western Africa. Visible at the right edge in the semi-arid Sahel area of central Mali, just south of the Sahara desert, is the Inner Niger Delta.

The delta, also known as the Macina, is a large area of lakes and floodplains that consists of the middle course of the Niger River. Most of the year the area has a hot and dry climate, with hot winds from the nearby Sahara raising the temperature up to 40° C. During the wet season, which lasts from July to September but lasts longer the further south one goes, the swamp floods into a lake and naturally irrigates the land. When the dry season comes, the Macina turns into a network of lakes and channels.

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