AskDefine | Define bushveld

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

Direct translation from Afrikaans bos: bush + veld: veld.

Noun

bushveld
  1. (South African) A terrain of thick scrubby trees and bush in dense thickets, with grassy groundcover between.

Extensive Definition

The Bushveld is a tropical savanna ecoregion of Southern Africa that encompasses most of Limpopo Province and part of the North West Province of South Africa and extends into western Botswana and southern Zimbabwe.

Geography

The elevation of this region varies from 750 to 1,400 m and the annual rainfall from 350 mm in the west to 600 mm in parts of the northeast. There are three significant mountain ranges in this region: the Drakensberg escarpment that forms the eastern border of the Bushveld and runs from Tzaneen in the north to Belfast in the south; the Waterberg range that stretches from Mokopane in the east to Thabazimbi in the west; the Soutpansberg range just north of Louis Trichardt. The latter is the northernmost mountain range in South Africa.

Flora and Fauna

As implied by the region's name, the Bushveld's well-grassed plains are dotted by dense clusters of trees and tall shrubs. The grasses found here are generally tall and turn yellow or brown in winter, which is the dry season throughout most of South Africa. The undisturbed portions of this habitat, such as much of the Waterberg Biosphere, offer many large mammal species including white rhino, black rhino, giraffe, Blue Wildebeest, kudu, impala and a variety of further antelope species and other game.

Geology

The Bushveld is one of the most mineral-rich regions of the world. This is due to the Bushveld igneous complex, an extremely rich saucer-shaped geological formation that stretches over more than 50,000 square kilometers. This formation contains most of the world's reserves of minerals such as andalusite, chromium, fluorspar, platinum and vanadium. The complex includes the Merensky Reef, which is the world's biggest source of platinum as well as platinum-group metals.

Farming

As most of the region tends to be dry, the Bushveld is mostly cattle and game farming country, with only a few drought-resistant crops such as sorghum and millet being farmed, usually under irrigation.

Towns and cities

See also

bushveld in Spanish: Sabana arbolada de África austral
bushveld in Lithuanian: Bušveldas
bushveld in Finnish: Bushveld
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