North East of Shingwedzi Drained by Hlamalala, Nwaswitsumbe, Nkulumbeni Spruits
Mixed Combretum spp. Colophospermum mopane Woodland
Location and Geomorphology
Where the white sand of quaternary origin mixes with the gravel and basalt, a landscape occurs that is reasonably flat and the altitude varies between 230 and 475 metres. This area is located north-east of Shingwedzi and is drained by the Hlamalala, Nwaswitsumbe and Nkulumbeni spruits. The landscape covers 329 km/2 or 1.9 percent of the KNP.
Rainfall in this area varies between 450 and 500 mm annually. Temperature data is comparable to that of Shingwedzi (Table 6).
The soil is of a mixed origin and consists of weathered products of basalt and Quaternary sand and gravel. The soils are deep and sandy at places, but normally well drained. Van Rooyen (1978) states that the soils are neutral (pH between 6.1 and 7.2) and up to 15 percent of the surface is covered with stone or gravel. Dominant Forms are Hutton, Shortlands, Bonheim, Valsrivier, Swartland, Glenrosa, Mispah and Mayo.
The landscape is an open tree veld with a large quantity of medium shrubs (Fig. 61). Van Rooyen (1978) classifies it as an open tree savanna. Dominant woody species in the tree and
Fig. 61. Landscape 27. Mixed Combretum spp.Colophospermum mopane Woodland. – page 94
Shrub layers are: Colophospermum mopane, Sclerocarya caffra, Combretum apicilatum, Grewia bicolor, Dichrostachys cinerea subsp. africana, Acacia nigrescens, Boscia albitrunca, Combretum mossambicense, C. zeyheri, Euclea divinorum, Markhamia acuminate, Securinega virosa, Commiphora mollis, Sterculia rogersii, Lonchocarpus capassa, Dalbergia melanoxylon, Combretum hereroense, Bridelia mollis, Maytenus heterophylla, Grewia flavescens and Ziziphus mucronata. Van Rooyen (1978) describes this landscape as one community viz. the Colophospermum mopane/Combretum apiculatum/Digitaria eriantha-open treeveld.
The field layer is moderate to dense and the dominant grasses are: Digitaria eriantha var. pentzii, Schmidtia pappophoroides, Panicum maximum, Aristida congesta subsp. congesta, Heteropogon contortus, Aristida congesta subsp.barbicollis, Fingerhutia africana, Urochloa mosambicensis and Brachiaria xantholeuca. Forbs commonly occurring are: Vigna unguiculata, Tephrosia polystachya, Phyllanthus pentandrus, Hibiscus micranthus, Solanum panduraeforme, Neuracanthus africanus, Indigofera vicioides, Cyphocarpa angustifolia, Crotalaria virgulata, Euphorbia tettensis, Cassia mimosoides, Commelina bengalensis, Merremia tridentata and Lantana rugosa.
This landscape supports a low density of game. Elephant and kudu occur regularly and sable antelope are characteristic. Other species of game which occur regularly but in low densities are zebra, buffalo, giraffe, eland, impala and steenbok.