Introduction to the Drakensberg’s Vegetation Belts
The Drakensberg has three vegetation belts: Montane or Mountain, Sub-Alpine and Alpine. These belts are determined by altitude. The Montane Belt occurs roughly below 1,600 metres; the Sub-Alpine Belt is between some 1,600 metres and 2,600 metres; and the Alpine Belt at higher altitudes. There is a strong correlation between the geology of the Drakensberg and its vegetation belts. The Alpine belt is found in the basalt band, Sub Alpine above the Cave Sandstone deposits and Montane below the Cave Sandstone deposits.
The vegetation belts’ vegetation is determined by slope and orientation (aspect) to the sun (north facing or south facing), as illustrated in the following table.
|Montane||North||1300m to 1800m||Protea Savanna|
|South||Podacarmus or temperate Forest|
|Parallel||Boulder bed scrub
|Sub-Alpine||North||1800m to 2800m||Thermeda (temperate) & Festuca Grassland|
|Parallel||Thermeda (temperate) Grassland|
Source: Kilick, 1963
Home | Site Map