Landscape 33. Soils: Hutton, Glenrosa, Makatini, Marikana, Hardap, Dithole, Ponda
Location and Geomorphology: Pterocarpus rotundifolius Combretum collinum Woodland
This landscape occurs as isolated spots between the Shingwedzi River and Punda Maria in the northwest of the KNP. The underlying material is classified by Schutte (1974) as andesite and tuff of the Waterberg System in the northern sub –regions, and schist and banded ironstone, amphibolite and undifferentiated metamorphic formations of the Swaziland System in the southern sub-regions. The terrain is flat to undulating and is drained by the Timatoro, Bububu, Dothole and, Phugwane. The Boshahuka ridge and Busizi koppies are outstanding points in this landscape. The altitude of this landscape varies between 400 and 450 metres a.s.l. and covers 180 km or 0.9 percent of the area of the KNP.
According to Gertenbach (1980) this area receives between 500 and 600 mm of rain annually. The longterm average rainfall for Shangoni is 573 mm. Regarding temperature, this landscape experiences a climate similar to Punda Maria ( Table 7).
The soils of this landscape are dark, reddish brown in colour and are relatively deep in comparison to soils originating from the surrounding granite. The most important soil Forms that occur here are Hutton and Glenrosa, with Makatini, Marikana, Hardap and Dithole, Ponda Respectively as the dominant Series. The soils are very clayey (between 35 and 55% clay) in the B – horizon and has a massive apedal structure. Shallow lithosols occur on the above- mentioned koppies.
The vegetation of this landscape is a sparse shrub savanna with a few small trees ( fig. 75). The dominant woody species are Pterocarpus rotundifolius and Combretum collinum subs. Suluense. The higher the clay content of the soil, the denser the stands of Pterocarpus rotundifolius. Other woody species that occur are: Combretum imberbe Combretum apiculatum Combretum hereroense Cissus cornifolia Neorautanenia amboensis Lannea discolor Lonchocarpus capassa Ozoroa engleri Maytenus hererophylla Combretum molle Acacia nigrescens Dichrostachys cinerea subsp. Nyassana Dombeya rotundifolia Albizia harveyi Ximenia caffra Acacia gerrardii Lannea stuhlmannii Tephrosia sericea Cassia abbreviate, the Sjambok Pod Securinega virosa and Colophospermum mopane Although the list of plants is a long one, not all occur together and when a species does occur it is usually an individual. This landscape is interesting considering that it is situated as an island in the mopane veld with very few mopane’s in the landscape itself. Fig. 74 Landscape 32 . Nwambia Sandveld , Shirombe pan Fig. 75 Landscape 33. Pterocarpus rotundifolius/ Combretum collinum Woodland The field layer of this landscape is dense with definite differentiating species. Such species are: Setaria holsstii. Urochloa brachyura and Oxalis latifolia Other grass species that are usually present are: Themeda triandra Digitaria eriantha var. pentzii Panicum coloratum Cymbopogon plurinodis Brachiaria nigropedata Panicum maximum Aristida congesta subsp. Barbicollis Rhynchelytrum repens Heteropogon contorius Urochloa mosambicensis Cenchrus ciliaris and Eragrostis rigidior Forbs occurring are the following: Cassia mimosoides Vernonia fastigiata Indigofera rhytidocarpa Indigofera vicioides Kohautia virgata Corchorus asplenifolius Ipomoea obscura Hermannia glandiligera Rhynchosia minima Aspilia mossambicensis Jatropha zeyheri Striga asiatica and Crabbea velutina An example of the vegetation composition on one of the koppies is as follows: Woody species Combretum apiculatum Acacia nigrescens Elephanttorrhiza burkei Grewia monticola Pterocarpus rotundifolius Cissus cornifolia Ozoroa engleri Combretum collinum Combretum hereroense Maytenus heterophylla Bauhinia kirkii Dombeya rotundifolia Lantana rugosa Diplorhynchus condylocarpon
Panicum maximum Andropogon gayanus Urochloa mosambicensis Heteropogon contortus Urochloa brachyuran Brachiaria xantholeuca Digitaria eriantha var. pentzii Hermannia glandiligera Strylosanthus fruticosa Jasminum stenolobum Vigna triloba Cucumis africanus Asparagus plumosus Dyschoriste rogersii Vernonia fastigiata Solanum panduraeforme Ipomoea obscura Aspilia mossambicensis Tragia dioica Commelina bengalensis
This landscape is apparently ideal habitat for roan antelope, because a herd occurs in every sub –unit. Zebra, sable, eland, kudu, impala and buffalo are generally present but only elephant bulls stay in the vicinity. The largest “ tusker” in the world, an elephant bull known as Mafunyane, was also regularly seen in this area. Tsessebe are often observed in this landscape. Smaller antelope such as steenbok and Sharpe’s grysbok are well represented.