Official name : Republic of Equatorial Guinea
Area: 28,051 square kilometers (10,831 miles)
Highest point on mainland: Santa Isabel Peak (Pico Basilé) (3,008 meters/ 9,869 feet)
Lowest point on land: Sea level
Hemispheres: Eastern, Southern, and Northern
Time zone: 1 P.M. = noon GMT
Longest distances: Río Muni: 248 kilometers (154 miles) from east-northeast to west-southwest; 167 kilometers (104 miles) from south-southeast to north-northwest; Bioko: 74 kilometers (46 miles) from northeast to southwest; 37 kilometers (23 miles) from southeast to northwest
Land boundaries: 539 kilometers (334 miles) total boundary length; Cameroon 189 kilometers (117 miles); Gabon 350 kilometers (217 miles)
Coastline: 296 kilometers (183 miles)
Territorial sea limits: 22 kilometers (12 nautical miles)
1 LOCATION AND SIZE
Equatorial Guinea is a country in West Africa. The mainland, called Río Muni (or sometimes Rio Mbini), is located south of Cameroon and north of Gabon, with a western coast on the Bight of Biafra in the Atlantic Ocean. The country includes five inhabited islands: Bioko, Annobón, Corisco, and the two Elobey Islands (Islas Elobey): Little Elobey (Elobey Chico) and Great Elobey (Elobey Grande). Annobón is the only part of the country located south of the equator. With a total area of about 28,051 square kilometers (10,831 miles), the country is slightly smaller than the state of Maryland. The country is divided into seven provinces.
2 TERRITORIES AND DEPENDENCIES
Equatorial Guinea has no other territories or dependencies.
As a result of its location near the equator, Equatorial Guinea has a warm, tropical climate that varies mainly by altitude. At Malabo (the capital city, located on Bioko Island), temperatures range from 16°C (61°F) to 33°C (91°F). In the city of Mbini, the average temperature is about 27°C (80°F).
Annual rainfall varies from 193 centimeters (76 inches) at Malabo to 1,092 centimeters (430 inches) at Ureka. The country often experiences violent windstorms and flash floods.
4 TOPOGRAPHIC REGIONS
The sandy coastal plain of Río Muni rises to the low hills and spurs of the Crystal Mountains. East of the mountains, most of the country is a large plateau covered by tropical rainforest. The islands are all volcanic in origin.
5 OCEANS AND SEAS
Seacoast and Undersea Features
The Bight of Biafra separates the mainland from the islands. The Bight is part of the broad Gulf of Guinea, from which the country takes its name. The Gulf is an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean.
Sea Inlets and Straits
Corisco Bay, located at the southernmost point of the coast, receives waters from the Mandiyani, Congüe, Mitong and Untamboni Rivers as they converge into the Muni estuary.
Islands and Archipelagos
The largest island, Bioko, is located 32 kilometers (20 miles) from the coast of Cameroon. It is a volcanic island roughly 2,018 square kilometers (779 square miles) in size. The other islands are also volcanic, but are much smaller than Bioko. For example, Annobón, which is located 350 kilometers (220 miles) from mainland Gabon, is about 18 square kilometers (7 square miles) in size.
Corisco and the Elobey Islands are all located near the southwest coast of Río Muni, off of Corisco Bay. Corisco covers 15 square kilometers (6 square miles) and the Great and Little Elobeys are each about 2.5 square kilometers (1 square mile). Bioko and Annobón are part of the volcanic chain that includes the Cameroon Highlands and stretches into the Atlantic Ocean as far as St. Helena.
Sandy shores and estuaries make up the coastal mainland. Near Río Muni's southern tip, Cabo San Juan protrudes into the sea to form the Corisco Bay. On Bioko, the coastline is high and rugged in the south but lower and more accessible in the north.
6 INLAND LAKES
Pot Lake (Lago á Pot) on the island of Annobón fills the central crater of the volcano, now inactive, that formed the island.
7 RIVERS AND WATERFALLS
The main rivers are the Mbini, the Ntem, and the Muni. The Mbini is the longest river with a length of 248 kilometers (155 miles). It runs east to west, dividing the mainland into two. It is not navigable except for a short stretch of about 20 kilometers (12 miles). The Ntem flows along part of the northern border with Cameroon. The Muni is not really a river at all—it is an estuary of several rivers, of which the Utamboni is the most notable. The islands contain several streams and brooks that are mostly filled by rainwater.
There are no desert regions in Equatorial Guinea.
9 FLAT AND ROLLING TERRAIN
Besides the sandy coastal plains of Rio Muni, there are no other significant plains regions in Equatorial Guinea.
10 MOUNTAINS AND VOLCANOES
Bioko has two large volcanic formations separated by a valley that bisects the island. In the north of the island is Santa Isabel Peak (Pico Basilé). It is the country's highest point and rises to 3,008 meters (9,869 feet). In the south is Gran Caldera, which has an elevation of 2,261 meters (7,416 feet). All of the other islands are also volcanic, but of much lower elevation. There are no active volcanoes in the country.
The Crystal Mountains on the mainland separate the coast from the inland plateau. The highest peaks are Mount Chocolate at 1,100 meters (3,609 feet) and Mount Chime at 1,200 meters (3,937 feet).
11 CANYONS AND CAVES
There are no significant caves or canyons in Equatorial Guinea.
12 PLATEAUS AND MONOLITHS
The tropical rainforest of the plateau region contains at least 140 species of trees, particularly palms and hardwoods.
13 MAN-MADE FEATURES
There are no significant man-made structures affecting the geography of Equatorial Guinea.
14 FURTHER READING
Fegley, Randall. Equatorial Guinea . Santa Barbara, CA: Clio Press, 1991.
Lingier-Goumaz, Max. Historical Dictionary of Equatorial Guinea . 3rd ed. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2000.
World Resources Institute and World Bank. Tropical Forests: A Call for Action. Washington D.C.: World Resources Institute and World Bank, 1985.