From the phytogeographical standpoint it belongs to a transitional area between the Sudanese and Sudano-Guinean phytochoria (White 1983). The vegetation is made up of three main formations: wooded grassland, woodland, and transitional woodland on the plateaus, with vegetation types Combretum nigricans-Prosopis africana woodland, Bombax costatum-Pterocarpus erinaceus woodland, Piliostigma thonningii-Dichrostachys cinerea thicket turning in humid valleys to Erythrophleum suaveolens-Dialium guineense gallery forests (Lawesson 1995).
The, Forêt de Fathala‘ vegetation is also influenced by fire. Only so called early fires are started, which stimulate fresh biomass growth for the animals. In the part of the reserve that is, for the moment, unused (800 ha) fires are not started at all. The entire reserve is also protected from external wildfires by an 8 meter wide fire belt around the entire reserve.