The Sahel region of Africa, a belt of Savannah Ecoregion south of the Sahara desert, stretched from coast to coast. This region is not only known for long spells of drought (and desertification), but also for housing some of the World’s poorest countries.
Niger lies in one of the hottest regions of the world. Temperatures rise from February to May and drop during the “winter” rainy season, rising again somewhat before falling to their annual minimum averages in December or January. During May (the hottest month), afternoon temperatures are high everywhere, ranging from a low of about 108 °F (42 °C) at Nguigmi on Lake Chad to 113 °F (45 °C) at Bilma and Agadez, both in the northern desert.
The vegetation of the desert zone clusters around the oases; it includes the date palm and cultivated corn (maize). Animal life, which must be able to endure hunger and thirst, includes the dromedary.
In the Sahel zone, where the doum palm and the prickly grass appear, the vegetation has a short life cycle and is principally used for grazing. Animal life is preserved in the “W” National Park, where antelope, lions, buffalo, hippopotamuses, gazelle, and elephants may be seen and ostrich.
In the cultivated zone the vegetation includes acacia trees, doum palms, and Palmyra palms, as well as baobabs. Wildlife, which has partially disappeared, includes antelope, elephants, and warthogs; giraffes are found in the Zarmaganda and Damergou regions, and hippopotamuses and crocodiles on the banks of the Niger. The extreme southwest is a savannah region where baobabs, kapok trees, and tamarind trees occur.
Areas along the Niger River are a little bit greener and some larger parts of W national park still have river Rhine forest and the vegetation of Niger is threatened due to the desert and increasing population pressure on the little left areas due to the pastoralists.