|Maputaland-Pondoland bushland and thickets|
|Biome||montane grasslands and shrublands|
|Area||19,400 km2 (7,500 sq mi)|
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.
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.
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.
- 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 peoplePages displaying wikidata descriptions as a fallback
- Wild Coast – Section of the coast of the Eastern Cape, South Africa
- "Maputaland-Pondoland bushland and thickets". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.