Lebombo Mountains

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Lebombo Mountains (Lubombo / Libombos)
Ghost mountain mkuze sunset.jpg
Part of the Lebombo mountain chain, including Ghost Mountain; seen from Mkuze
Highest point
Peak Mount Mananga
Coordinates 26°15′0″S 32°0′0″E / 26.25000°S 32.00000°E / -26.25000; 32.00000Coordinates: 26°15′0″S 32°0′0″E / 26.25000°S 32.00000°E / -26.25000; 32.00000
Dimensions
Length 800 km (500 mi) N/S
Width 100 km (62 mi) E/W
Geography
Lebombo Mountains is located in South Africa
Lebombo Mountains
Countries Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland
Geology
Orogeny Gondwanian
Period Precambrian
Type of rock Rhyolite and basalt

The Lebombo Mountains, also called Lubombo Mountains (Portuguese: Montes Libombos), are an 800 km long, narrow range of mountains in Southern Africa. They stretch from Hluhluwe in KwaZulu-Natal in the south to Punda Maria in the Limpopo Province in South Africa in the north. Part of the mountains are found in South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland.

Description[edit]

Geologically, the range is considered a monocline; part of a rifted volcanic margin.[1] The Lebombo monocline strikes N-S and dips to the east. It is composed of a sequence of Jurassic age volcanic rock, both basaltic lavas and rhyolitic flows and tuffs. The sequence rests on essentially horizontal Karoo Supergroup sedimentary rocks of the Kalahari Craton to the west and is overlain by Cretaceous to recent sediments to the east. The alternating resistant rhyolite and easily eroded basalts produce a series of parallel sharp cuesta ridges separated by savanna plains.[2]

The range is relatively low with heights between 450 and less than 800 m. The highest peak is 776 m high Mount Mananga. The 480 m high Longwe is the highest point in the Lebombo Range north of the Letaba River.[3]

The mountains dominate Lubombo District in Swaziland. Towns in the area include Siteki in the centre, Lubhuku in the west and Mayaluka and Big Bend in the south with the Lusutfu River running past the southern region of the mountain range. At the north lie the towns of Simunye, Tambankulu and Namaacha, and the Mlawula Nature Reserve as well as the Mbuluzi River.

A number of rivers, including the Pongola, Mkuze, and Lusutfu, cross the mountains from west to east.

The name of the mountains is derived from the Zulu word ubombo meaning "big nose".

Protected areas[edit]

Kruger National Park and Phongolo Nature Reserve protect part of the range.

References[edit]

External links[edit]