Bahrain is made up of 33 islands located off the west coast of the Persian Gulf (also known as the Arabian Gulf). Bahrain’s nearest neighbours are Qatar to the southeast and Saudi Arabia to the south and west. Bahrain is connected to Saudi Arabia by a 25-km causeway. The body of water between Bahrain and the mainland is called the Gulf of Bahrain. 

Bahrain Island (the largest of the islands) is 48 km from north to south and 16 km from east to west. The capital, Manama, is on the northern shore of Bahrain Island. Bahrain Island, Al-Muharraq (the second largest island, located to the northeast of Bahrain Island), and Sitra (the third largest island, located east of Bahrain Island) are the most populous islands. Most of the smallest islands are uninhabited. 

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The land area of Bahrain has expanded over time because of land reclaimed from the sea. Sand and stone dredged up from the sea bed to deepen the port at Manama has been deposited around the shoreline.

Although Bahrain is, for the most part, stony or sandy desert, the country has long been known for the lush greenery of its date palm groves. This has led some to believe that Bahrain was the original site of the Garden of Eden. Unfortunately, the date palms are not as plentiful as they once were. Many trees have been cut down, while others have died because of the increased demands placed by the growing population on the underground springs that water them. Some 200 species of desert plants can be found in Bahrain, as well as many animals such as gazelles, hares, jerboas (desert rats) and mongooses.

The terrain on the main island consists of coastal lowlands rising to gentle slopes farther inland. These slopes end at the rim of a large valley known as the Central Depression. In the heart of this depression is the Tree of Life, an acacia tree that is famous because it is the only tree in a stretch of barren desert. Its source of water is a mystery. The highest point on Bahrain island, Jabel Dukhan, rises out of the crater at 130m above sea level. Jabel Dukhan means “Mountain of Smoke.” The mountain acquired its name from the misty haze that surrounds it on hot and humid days. Most of Bahrain’s oil wells are located near this mountain.

Bahrain is extremely hot and humid from May to September, and temperatures often reach a high of 36°C during the day. From November to March, the climate is milder, with warm days and cool nights, and temperatures ranging from 10 to 20°C. Little rain falls in Bahrain. It rains about 10 days a year, usually between December and April.

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Bahrain has one of the only wildlife conservation areas in the Persian Gulf. Al-Areen Park, which covers 10 square kilometres on Bahrain Island, is home to indigenous species, including the Arabian oryx, zebras and gazelles.