THE LEBOMBO MOUNTAINS.
The Lebombo Mountains are a long, narrow mountain range extending through South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique. They stretch for about 800 km long and consists of two basic rock types, Basalt and Rhyolite lavas. They are a contemporary of our Drakensberg range, but are slightly older in age, indicative of the first stages of movement during the breakup of Gondwanaland.
The name is derived from a Zulu word, Ubombo, that means "big nose.".
In South Africa, the mountains extend from south of the Mkuze River and north into the Kruger National Park.
The Lebombo Mountains form the boundary between the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Swaziland, as well as Mpumalnga and Limpopo in the Kruger National park with Mozambique.
The average elevation of the range is about 600 metres above sea level. Mount Mananga, on the border between Mpumalanga province and Swaziland, rises to about 760 metres.
A number of rivers, including the eastward-flowing Mkuze, Olifants, Pongola, Ingwavuma and Usutu, cut their way through the range, and the latter two have formed especially spectacular gorges. An immense storage dam, Jozini Dam, has been built in the Pongola gorge which can be admired when crossing the dam wall on the way to Ndumo Game Reserve.
The vegetation on the range is mostly tropical forest and savanna, with ironwood and ebony on the better-drained slopes. In the narrow ravines, tree growth is dense and includes the large khoya tree, which resembles a mahogany.
The most common tree species are Lebombo lronwood Androstachys johnsonii, Red Bushwillow Combretum apiculatum, Shepherd's Tree Boscia albitrunca, Cassia abbreviate, Acacia nigrescens, Albizia harveyi, Kirkia acuminata, Croton gratissimus, Euphorbia confinalis, Terminalia phanerophlebia, Pterocarpus rotundifolia, Ozoroa engleri and Sterculia rogersii.
The grass layer is moderately well developed, depending on the rockiness of the area, and includes such species as Annual Redtop Brachiaria xantholeuca, Common Nine-awn Grass Enneapogon cenchroides, Speargrass Heteropogon contortus, Pogonarthria squarrosa, Andropogon gayanus, Brachiaria nigropedata, Aristida congesta and Digitaria eriantha.
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
Convenor of the AIKONA Group.
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
Done 142 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.