The Bushveld

The Bushveld area

The Bushveld refers to the wild, open and unpopulated areas of Southern Africa. It offers a variety of game species as well as rich bird life.

The origin of the word “bushveld” is from the Afrikaans word “bosveld”- the word “bos” meaning “bush”, and “veld” meaning “field”. The area is characterized by thornbushes, tall grasses and trees such as acacia and baobab. Bushveld has become a generic term to refer to the wild, open and unpopulated spaces of Sub-Saharan Africa

Location

The Bushveld is a sub-tropical eco-region of Southern Africa at an elevation of about 800–1,200 metres. It covers the southeast corner of Botswana, southern Zimbabwe and northern South Africa.

The Limpopo province, South Africa, is in the centre of the Bushveld.

Mountains include the Waterberg, and the Soutpansberg Range. The Soutpansberg Range reaches an elevation of 1,700 meters before dropping off into the Limpopo River Valley and the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Climate

It is moderately dry, with annual rainfall of about 380–640 mm.

Flora and fauna

 The Bushveld’s well-grassed plains are dotted by dense clusters of trees and tall shrubs. The grasses found here are generally tall and turn brown or pale in winter, which is the dry season throughout most of Southern Africa. The undisturbed portions of this habitat, such as much of the Waterberg Biosphere, offer many large mammal species including white rhino, black rhino, giraffe, blue wildebeest, kudu, impala and a variety of further antelope species and other game as well as rich bird life typical of African savannas

Geology

 The Bushveld is one of the most mineral-rich regions of the world. This is due to the Bushveld igneous complex, an extremely rich saucer-shaped geological formation that stretches over more than 50,000 square kilometers. This formation contains most of the world’s reserves of minerals such as andalusite, chromium, fluorspar, platinum and vanadium. The complex includes the Merensky Reef, which is the world’s biggest source of platinum as well as platinum-group metals.

Farming

Herding is the principal economic activity; large-scale cultivation is possible only in irrigated areas. As most of the region is dry it mostly beef cattle and game farming. A few drought-resistant crops such as sorghum and millet are being farmed, usually under irrigation.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushveld

http://www.worldwildlife.org/ecoregions/at0717 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_South_Africa

http://www.thesafariguide.net/safari-guide/the-bushveld

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