The southern-most Scandinavian country, Denmark consists of the Jutland peninsula and over
400 islands, some of which are linked to the mainland by bridge. Almost all of Denmark is low and
flat, but there are many low hills as well. Windmills and traditional thatched cottages can be seen
everywhere. Note that the Faroe Islands and Greenland both belong to the Kingdom of Denmark.
Official language: Danish. Capital: Copenhagen.
Also called "The Land of Vikings, and the Midnight Sun," Norway is the northernmost country in
Europe. Norway has a jagged expanse of islands and fjords. The maritime industry sustains the
Official language: Norwegian. Capital: Oslo.
Sweden offers numerous lakes and is the largest of the Scandinavian countries - both in land size
and population. Volvo and Saab both originated here and are a big part of the Swedish industry.
Swedish citizens are independently minded and highly regard their people-oriented social
programs, especially in women's rights.
Official language: Swedish. Capital: Stockholm.
With a surprisingly mild climate, Iceland is Europe's westernmost country, the second largest
island in the North-Atlantic ocean. Flight time to Iceland is only 3 1/2 hours from the European
mainland. Iceland has a strong economy, low unemployment and low inflation, and its per capita
income is among the highest in the world.
Official language: Icelandic. Capital: Reykjavik.
Finland is another country where the weather is better than many tourists expect. Finland also has
one of the lowest immigration rates in the world. Official language: Finnish (aka Suomi). Take a
look at the weather in Finland, and learn more about the travel destination Finland and its
interesting capital Helsinki.
LAKE CHAD -
Lac and Chari Baguirmi, Chad; Nord, Cameroon; Borno, Nigeria; and Diffa, Niger.
12:20-14:20N, 13:00-15:20E; 280 m above sea level.
Being on the southern fringe of the Sahara Desert in north-central Africa, Lake Chad
extends over the territories of four countries: Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon. Owing to the
supply of river water from the highlands to the south, it remains a freshwater lake under the
prevailing arid climate. Apparently no river flows out from the lake, though some water is said to
percolate along the dry bed of the Gazal River to feed the oases of the Bodele Depression about
40 km to the northeast.
The water level is variable as it is influenced by the rainfall fluctuation both seasonally and
annually. The lake size was five times its present size (ca. 20,000 km ) several thousand year ago,
while the drought years in the 1970's made the northern half of the lake (Northern Basin)
completely dry and turned the Southern Basin into a densely vegetated area with scattered
swamps and open pools (Fig. AFR-02-01).
L. Chad is very shallow even in normal years, averaging 1.5 m in depth. It is fringed by a
zone of swampy vegetation dominated by reeds (Phragmites spp.), papyrus (Cyperus papyrus)
and cattail (Typha australis). These water plants often form dense thickets or floating mats even in
the centre of the lake. Local inhabitants use the stems of papyrus as material for canoe making.
There are many small islands formed by the invasion of moving sand dunes near the northeastern
coast; some of them are inhabited and utilized as bases for fishing.
Besides the products of agriculture, livestock grazing and fishery, the drainage basin of L.
Chad is known for its yield of natural soda, an activity that contributes to keeping the lake water