Atakora Department

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Atakora
Skyline of Atakora
Map highlighting the Atakora Department
Map highlighting the Atakora Department
Coordinates: 10°18′N 1°22′W / 10.300°N 1.367°W / 10.300; -1.367Coordinates: 10°18′N 1°22′W / 10.300°N 1.367°W / 10.300; -1.367=inline,title
Country Benin
CapitalNatitingou
Area
 • Total7,899 sq mi (20,459 km2)
Population
 (2006)
 • Total601,537
 • Density76/sq mi (29.4/km2)
Time zoneUTC+1 (WAT)

Atakora is the northwestern department of Benin. It borders Togo to the west and Burkina Faso to the north. It is the most mountainous area of Benin. It is where the president, Mathieu Kérékou, was born.

It is a much drier area of the country than the south. There are 3 major seasons, a rainy season that runs from May or June to September or October, a Harmattan season of cool, dry winds that runs from October or November to February, and a hot, Famine season that runs from February to April.

Atakora is divided into the communes of Boukoumbé, Cobly, Kérou, Kouandé, Matéri, Natitingou, Pehonko, Tanguiéta, and Toucountouna.

In 1999 the southern part of Atakora was split off to form the new Donga Department.