7 of the 10 Hottest Countries in the World Are on 1 Continent

By: Desiree Bowie  | 
Landscape view of a desert village with trees far in the distance
The average annual temperature in the hottest country on the planet is roughly 84.6 degrees Fahrenheit (29.21 degrees Celsius). Atlantide Phototravel / Getty Images

Did you know that some places on Earth can get so hot that local wildlife has evolved specifically to survive the extreme conditions? In these regions, the heat isn't just a summer wave; it's a constant presence.

This survival strategy is not an isolated phenomenon but a common trait among the flora and fauna in the hottest countries in the world.


There are many ways to measure the heat and average annual temperatures in these scorching-hot regions. But focusing on the mean surface air temperature — which averages daily highs and lows over a period to provide a consistent measure of warmth — offers a reliable way to compare the relentless heat affecting both deserts and rainforests.

1. Mali

The title of the hottest country in the world goes to Mali. The West African country experiences a predominantly hot desert climate, particularly in the northern regions, while the southern parts have a semi-arid climate that receives very little rainfall.

The average annual temperature in Mali is approximately 84.6 degrees Fahrenheit (29.21 degrees Celsius).



During Mali's hot season, which spans from April to June, its extreme temperatures can soar, occasionally reaching or surpassing 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius). Such severe heat poses considerable challenges to daily life and agriculture, particularly in Mali's vast northern territories.

Climate Change

The West African nation faces significant challenges due to climate change. Rising temperatures exacerbate droughts, desertification and water scarcity, impacting agricultural productivity and food security.

The country's vulnerability to climate-related hazards underscores the importance of implementing adaptation measures, such as sustainable land management practices, water conservation efforts and community resilience-building initiatives.


2. Burkina Faso

In West Africa, Burkina Faso is a landlocked country characterized by a varied climate that transitions from a Sahelian semiarid region in the north to a more humid tropical savanna in the south. It has an average yearly temp of 84.7 degrees Fahrenheit (29.26 degrees Celsius)

Temperatures across Burkina Faso can vary significantly, with the north experiencing more extreme heat. During the hot season, which spans from March to May, temperatures in some parts of the country can climb to over 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).


Climate Change

The country's vulnerability to climate change is evident in the increasingly irregular rainfall patterns and more frequent extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, which pose significant risks to food security, water resources and the well-being of its people.

Burkina Faso has embarked on various adaptation and mitigation strategies, including large-scale reforestation projects, promoting sustainable agricultural practices and investments in renewable energy to reduce reliance on biomass and improve energy security.


3. Senegal

Senegal, located at the westernmost point of Africa, experiences a tropical Sahelian climate, marked by distinct dry and wet seasons due to its positioning on the fringe of the Sahara Desert to the north and the more humid West African coast to the south.

Despite a piping-hot yearly average temperature of 84.02 degrees Fahrenheit (28.9 degrees Celsius), the country's climate experiences fluctuating rainfall and temperature, influenced by its diverse geography, which includes arid deserts, fertile plains and a verdant southern region.



The country's rainy season spans from June to October, with the majority of the annual rainfall occurring during this period. The dry season, from November to May, is characterized by the hot and dry harmattan winds blowing from the northeast. These winds can carry fine dust from the Sahara, reducing air quality and visibility.

Climate Change

Climate change has significantly impacted Senegal, leading to higher temperatures, unpredictable rainfall and higher sea levels, endangering coastal areas and Dakar. These shifts intensify drought, land degradation and biodiversity loss, affecting agriculture and food stability.

In response, Senegal has implemented various adaptation and mitigation strategies to combat climate change, including promoting sustainable agriculture practices and implementing coastal protection measures.

The Great Green Wall initiative, aimed at tackling desertification across the Sahel region, includes Senegal in its efforts to plant a vast belt of trees from Senegal in the west to Djibouti in the east.


4. Mauritania

In the heart of Northwest Africa, Mauritania's climate is sculpted by its expansive deserts, which push the average yearly temperature to 83.9 degrees Fahrenheit (28.82 degrees Celsius).

Mauritania's vast interior, encompassing regions like the Adrar and Tagant, endures the brunt of this heat, thanks to the Sahara Desert.


Seasonal Harmattan winds offer a fleeting chill, albeit with a haze of dust and sand that challenges air quality and visibility. The Atlantic Ocean provides some cooling along the coast, but its effort is barely enough against the prevailing heat.

The architecture here, designed for maximum ventilation and shade, mirrors the community's resilience, as does the adaptive flora and fauna.

Climate Change

As with other countries on this list, the trend of increasing temperatures in Mauritania over recent decades signifies the impact of climate change.

With hotter months becoming more common in recent years, this warming trend reflects a global pattern of rising temperatures attributed to anthropogenic factors like pollution and deforestation.


5. Tuvalu

Tuvalu, a small island nation in the Pacific Ocean, experiences a tropical climate with relatively consistent temperatures throughout the year and high humidity levels.

The archipelago is situated just south of the equator, which contributes to its warm and stable climate, with an average annual temperature of 83.5 degrees Fahrenheit (28.6 degrees Celsius), making it warm but comfortable due to the oceanic breezes.



The climate in Tuvalu is characterized by two main seasons: a wet season from November to April, marked by heavier rainfall and occasional tropical cyclones, and a dry season from May to October, with less precipitation and more moderate conditions.

The annual rainfall varies across the islands but typically ranges from 79 to 118 inches (about 2,000 to 3,000 millimeters), essential for replenishing freshwater supplies and supporting local agriculture and subsistence fishing practices.


6. Djibouti

With an average yearly temp of 83.3 degrees Fahrenheit (28.49 degrees Celsius), this small country in the Horn of Africa is characterized by its arid and semi-arid climates.

Situated at the junction of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, Djibouti experiences extremely high temperatures, particularly in its inland areas, where conditions are predominantly desert.


The country's climate can be broadly categorized into a hot desert climate (BWh) in most of the country — including the coastal areas — and a semi-arid climate (BSh) in the northwest and parts of the highlands.

Temperatures in the interior desert regions can soar above 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) during the day for much of the year, with some of the highest recorded temperatures exceeding 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius) in the summer months, particularly in places like the Danakil Depression, one of the lowest and hottest areas on Earth.

The high temperatures and scarcity of rainfall in Djibouti pose significant challenges to water resources, agriculture and overall sustainability. The country's limited arable land and freshwater resources restrict agricultural productivity, making it heavily reliant on imported food and water for its population.


7. The Gambia

The Gambia in West Africa boasts a tropical climate characterized by a distinctly hot dry season and a rainy season influenced by the African monsoon. Coastal areas enjoy moderated temperatures due to the proximity of the ocean, while the interior experiences higher heat levels.

The country maintains consistently warm conditions throughout the year, with an average yearly temperature of 83.1 degrees Fahrenheit (28.38 degrees Celsius).



The tropical climate of The Gambia is marked by two primary seasons: dry and rainy.

During the dry season, typically from November to May, the weather is characterized by hot and arid conditions, minimal rainfall and clear skies. Inland regions experience particularly high temperatures, often exceeding 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius).

However, humidity levels remain relatively low, providing respite, especially along the coast where the ocean breeze offers relief.

On the other hand, the rainy season, lasting from June to October, brings heavy rainfall and increased humidity. Monsoon rains are vital for agriculture and replenishing water sources.

Rainfall varies across the country, with coastal areas receiving less precipitation compared to inland regions. The heightened humidity during this period amplifies the perception of heat, particularly in the interior.

Perks of the Coastal Region

The country's coastal areas benefit from the tempering influence of the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in slightly milder temperatures and less extreme weather conditions compared to inland regions.


8. Maldives

The Maldives occupy the eighth spot on the list of scorching hot countries, with an average temperature of around 82.6 degrees Fahrenheit (28.11 degrees Celsius).

This temperature is relatively consistent due to the region's tropical monsoon climate, with minimal variation in maximum and minimum temperatures throughout the year.


Climate Change

Climate change poses significant challenges to the archipelago state known for its low-lying islands, including increased coastal erosion, more intense and frequent weather events like storms and coral bleaching affecting marine biodiversity.

The nation has been proactive in addressing these challenges, with former President Mohamed Nasheed highlighting the urgency by stating that the country could be submerged if carbon emissions continue at their current rate.

In 2009, Nasheed held an underwater cabinet meeting to highlight the threat of climate change and rising sea levels to the country. The meeting, conducted with officials in scuba gear under the sea, aimed to draw global attention to the urgency of addressing climate change.


9. Benin

This West African country exhibits a climate ranging from humid in the south to arid in the north. While the average yearly temp is approximately 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius), there is some fluctuation throughout the region.

The tropical climate in Benin fluctuates between 82 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (28 and 32.2 degrees Celsius). In the north, temperatures from February to May often spike to around 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).


Coastal areas like Cotonou benefit from the moderating influence of the sea, which leads to more consistent temperatures year-round due to cooling sea breezes. This results in a prolonged rainy season, enriching the region's biodiversity.

From November to February, rainfall decreases during the dry season, but the climate remains relatively mild compared to inland areas, thanks to the ocean's stabilizing effect. This creates a distinct weather pattern for coastal regions, contrasting the harsher climates found further inland.

As with most places on Earth, climate change has intensified temperature fluctuations and altered rainfall patterns in Benin, impacting agriculture and water resources.


10. Palau

Nestled in the western Pacific Ocean, this archipelago is distinguished by its equatorial climate, which is marked by high temperatures and humidity throughout the year.

The average annual temperature in Palau hovers around 82.2 degrees Fahrenheit (27.9 degrees Celsius), with little fluctuation between the warmest and coolest months. This stable temperature is characteristic of Palau's tropical rainforest climate, which also brings about significant rainfall annually.


The islands experience a wet season from May to November, characterized by heavier rainfall and occasional storms, including the risk of typhoons, particularly from June to December. Monthly rainfall can exceed 18 inches (457 millimeters) during this period.

From December to April, the dry season sees a reduction in rainfall, making it an ideal time for tourism.

Threats to a Tropical Paradise

Palau's oceanic surroundings contribute to its moderate climate, with sea temperatures consistently around 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius), providing ideal conditions for marine life and coral reefs.

These reefs, crucial to Palau's biodiversity and economy are sensitive to changes in sea temperature and acidity.

Climate change poses a significant threat to Palau, primarily due to rising sea levels and the increasing intensity of weather events. Palau's low-lying islands are vulnerable to flooding, coastal erosion and habitat loss.

Disputes Around the Record for Highest Temperature

Libya once held the record for the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth, with a reading of 136.4 degrees Fahrenheit (57.8 degrees Celsius) in 'Aziziya in 1922. However, this record was decertified by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 2012 due to evidence suggesting it was an erroneous reading made by an inexperienced observer.

The current official highest recorded temperature is 134.1 degrees Fahrenheit (56.7 degrees Celsius), measured on July 10, 1913, in Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley, in the United States.

This revision followed a detailed investigation that concluded the El Azizia record could be inaccurate by as much as 44.6 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius), due to factors such as the asphalt-like surface over which the measurement was taken, which did not represent the native desert soil accurately.

We created this article in conjunction with AI technology, then made sure it was fact-checked and edited by a HowStuffWorks editor.