NASA picture of the Blouberg (dark shape) and the Magkabeng Plateau right south of it
|Elevation||2,040 m (6,690 ft)|
|Length||36 km (22 mi) E/W|
|Width||10 km (6.2 mi) N/S|
|Period||Neoarchean to early Paleoproterozoic|
|Type of rock||Bushveld igneous complex, sandstone|
The Blouberg has traditionally been an important place for the Tswana people in the area. This rocky mountain range rises over a plateau averaging 900 m to the west of the western end of the Soutpansberg range. The Blouberg is topped by massive rocky outcrops resembling castles or fortifications with sheer walls. Its highest point reaches 2,040 m and is also the highest point of the entire Soutpansberg/Blouberg system. The Brak River (also known as Hout River), a tributary of the Sand River, flows diagonally along the southeastern edge of the Blouberg, separating it from the Soutpansberg further east. Although both ranges are clearly delimited from the geographical point of view, geologically the Blouberg is homonymous with the Soutpansberg.
The Blouberg is part of the 'Vhembe Biosphere Reserve', named a biosphere reserve by UNESCO since 2009. The reserve includes also the neighboring Makgabeng Plateau, the Soutpansberg, the northern part of the Kruger National Park, the Makuleke Wetlands and the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape.
The vegetation of the Blouberg ranges from sub-tropical veld or savanna at the base, to a kind of Afro-montane vegetation related to the Cape Fynbos near the summits. The rocky cliffs are a haven for birds of prey such as the Cape vultures.
The Blouberg, like its larger neighbor further east, the Soutpansberg, is known for a high level of endemism of its invertebrate fauna, such as the Swanepoel's widow butterfly that is found on the southern slopes of the range. The Waterberg flat lizard and a subspecies of the common flat lizard are found in this range.
The Blouberg is one of the most spectacular rock climbing areas in South Africa. As a rock climbing destination it is famous for its sheer 350 m "Moonshadow" wall.
- Seraki Blouberg Route - South Africa - Open Africa
- Soutpansberg - Introduction
- About Blouberg
- Ecoport Soutpansberg
- Vhembe Region named UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve
- UNESCO - Biosphere Reserve Information
- Blouberg Nature Reserve, Limpopo
- Schönhofer, A.L. (2008). "On harvestmen from the Soutpansberg, South Africa, with description of a new species of Monomontia (Arachnida: Opiliones).". African Invertebrates 49 (2): 109–126. doi:10.5733/afin.049.0206.
- Haddad, C.R. (2009). "Vendaphaea, a new dark sac spider genus apparently endemic to the Soutpansberg Mountains, South Africa (Araneae: Corinnidae).". African Invertebrates 50 (2): 269–278. doi:10.5733/afin.050.0204.
- New Blouberg RD by Hector Pringle