Maputaland–Pondoland bushland and thickets

Coordinates: 30°40′S 29°24′E / 30.667°S 29.400°E / -30.667; 29.400
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Maputaland-Pondoland bushland and thickets
Map of the Maputaland-Pondoland bushland and thickets
Biomemontane grasslands and shrublands
Area19,400 km2 (7,500 sq mi)
CountriesSouth Africa
Conservation statusCritical/endangered

The Maputaland-Pondoland bushland and thickets is one of the ecoregions of South Africa. It consists of the montane shrubland biome.[1]


The ecoregion occupies the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains, covering an area of 19,500 square kilometers (7,500 sq mi) in South Africa's Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. It is bounded on the east by the KwaZulu-Cape coastal forest mosaic, which lies in the humid coastal strip along the Indian Ocean; to the west it is bounded by the higher-elevation Drakensberg montane grasslands, woodlands and forests. To the south, it transitions to the drier Albany thickets, which are characterized by more succulent and spiny plants.


The ecoregion experiences a dry subtropical climate characterised by varying rainfall levels, ranging from 800 mm to 450 mm per year. The majority of rainfall, approximately three-quarters, occurs during the warm summer months between October and March. Frosts are infrequent due to the moderating influence of the nearby Indian Ocean.[citation needed]


Euphorbias in valley bushveld

The typical vegetation is sclerophyll evergreen shrubs, which form dense, closed canopy thickets up to six meters in height. The ecoregion, which is in a transition between moist and dry, montane and lowland, and temperate and tropical, has a rich diversity of species, although with few endemics.[citation needed]


The ecoregion is home to a variety of animal species, including endangered black rhinos (Diceros bicornis) and white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum).[citation needed]

Protected areas[edit]

A 1994 survey found that about 7.5% of the ecoregion is in protected areas. Protected areas include the Great Fish River Nature Reserve, Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve, and Thomas Baines Nature Reserve.[2]

See also[edit]

  • Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot – Southern Africa biodiversity hotspot
  • Maputaland – Natural region in South Africa in northern KwaZulu-Natal
  • EmaMpondweni, also known as Pondoland – natural region of South Africa, formerly occupied by the Pondo Kingdom and Pondo people
  • Wild Coast – Section of the coast of the Eastern Cape, South Africa


  1. ^ Ecoregions of South Africa Archived 2011-11-16 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Maputaland-Pondoland bushland and thickets". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.

External links[edit]

30°40′S 29°24′E / 30.667°S 29.400°E / -30.667; 29.400