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Bangladesh is nestled in the crook of the Bay of Bengal, surrounded by India. It shares a border in the south-east with Myanmar and fronts onto the Bay of Bengal. The country is flat, flat, flat, and dominated by the braided strands of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Jamuna delta. Where Bangladesh ends and the sea begins is a murky zone of shifting sediments, watercourses, flood waters and silt. Over 90% of the country is composed of alluvial plains less than 10m above sea level, making it an inviting proposition to flood-prone rivers and tidal waves. The only relief from these low-lying plains occurs in the north-east and south-east corners where modest hills rise to an average height of around 240m (787ft) and 600m (1970ft) respectively.

Roughly two-thirds of Bangladesh is fertile arable land and a little over 10% remains forested. The country is home to the Royal Bengal tiger, leopards, Asiatic elephants (mostly migratory herds from Bihar), and a few remaining black bears. There are also plenty of monkeys, langurs, gibbons (the only ape on the subcontinent), otters and mongooses. Reptiles include the sea tortoise, mud turtle, river tortoise, pythons, crocodiles and a variety of bloody unpleasant poisonous snakes. There are more than 600 species of birds: the best known is the mynah but the most spectacular are the kingfishers and fishing eagles.

The climate of Bangladesh is subtropical and tropical with temperatures ranging from an average daytime low of 21C (70F) in the cold season to a top of 35C (95F) in the hot season. Bangladesh has three main seasons: the monsoon or 'wet' season from late May to early October; the 'cold' season from mid-October to the end of February; and the 'hot' season (known in Bangladesh as the 'little rainy season') from mid-March to mid-May. There is also a 'cyclone season' - May to June and October to November.