Ecoclimatic and biogeographic transition zone in Africa
Camels trample the soil in the semiarid Sahel as they move to water holes, such as this one in Chad
The Sahel region in Africa: a belt up to 1,000 km (620 mi) wide that spans 5,400 km (3,360 mi) from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea
Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands
South Saharan steppe and woodlands
East Saharan montane xeric woodlands
West Saharan montane xeric woodlands
Inner Niger Delta
Lake Chad flooded savanna
Sudd flooded grasslands
East Sudanian savanna
West Sudanian savanna
Ethiopian montane forests
Oryx, Gazelles, African buffalo
3,053,200 km2 (1,178,800 sq mi)
Central African Republic
200 and 400 meters (660 and 1,310 ft)
Senegal, Niger, Nile
The Sahel (/səˈhɛl/; Arabic: ساحلsāḥil[ˈsaːħil], "coast, shore") is a region in Africa. It is defined as the ecoclimatic and biogeographic realm of transition between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian savanna to the south. Having a hot semi-arid climate, it stretches across the south-central latitudes of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea.
The Sahel part of Africa includes – from west to east – parts of northern Senegal, southern Mauritania, central Mali, northern Burkina Faso, the extreme south of Algeria, Niger, the extreme north of Nigeria, Cameroon and Central African Republic, central Chad, central and southern Sudan, the extreme north of South Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Historically, the western part of the Sahel was sometimes known as the Sudan region (bilād as-sūdānبلاد السودان "lands of the Sudan"). This belt was located between the Sahara and the coastal areas of West Africa.
There are frequent shortages of food and water due to the dry harsh climate. This is exacerbated by the population increasing rapidly due to very high birthrates across the region; Niger has the world's highest fertility rate.
Jihadist insurgent groups including Boko Haram, Islamic State and al-Qaeda frequently carry out major attacks.
^"Definition grid different of Sahel (British and World English)". Oxford Dictionaries. Archived from the original on August 3, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
^"Sahel: $1.6 billion appeal to address widespread humanitarian crisis". United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.