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The Kruger to Canyons Biosphere contains widely diverse landscapes, ranging in altitude from 300 metres above sea level in the east to in excess of 2,000m in the Drakensburg Escarpment where the plateau basin begins.

As the geography and geology vary, the average rainfall differs significantly across the Biosphere region, averaging 368mm per annum in the plains, but increasing to up to eight times the quantity (3,000mm) on the plateau. These two factors in combination lead to a wide variety of habitats and niches for flora and fauna to exploit.

The Kruger to Canyons Biosphere is of particular ecological importance. It contains three major biomes (distinctive biogeographic regions), namely dry savannah woodlands, Afromontane forest and Afromontane grassland.

As the altitude (and consequently rainfall) increases from east to west, a great biodiversity can be witnessed progressing from scrub and savannah upwards into South Africa’s unique fynbos floral system, rainforests, and climax grasslands on the top of the Escarpment where water is more abundant.

The dry savannah woodlands contain the richest distribution of large mammal species found in any sub region in the world. This is due to the high nutritional value provided in this vegetation and the extensive range supporting large populations of ungulates (hooved mammals) and their associates.

Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion and Leopard, together with rare Antelope such as Tsessebe, Sable, Roan and Hartebeest are found here. This is also one of the last remaining viable habitats for the African Wild Dog in South Africa. The highest concentrations of Giraffe in Southern Africa are found in this central region between the Letaba and Sabie rivers with the main concentrations in the Klaserie valley.

In the Biosphere, a mere 1.4% of the country’s total land surface contains this unique, free ranging distribution of mammals together with a remarkable 55% of the total terrestrial biodiversity found in South Africa. This low percentage is accounted for by the wholesale destruction of game and the massive transformation of habitat which has taken place over the last three hundred years, most recently with the the introduction of fences.

The total number of species in the Lowveld is greater than exists in many whole countries in the world. The relatively small fraction of the South African flora is simply a reflection of the enormously rich plant diversity in this country (Cape Town's whole fynbos kingdom in particular) as a whole.

The Escarpment region, consisting of the Blyde River catchment, the Valley of the Olifants, Legalametsi Nature Reserve and Wolkberg Wilderness Area contains 140 endemic species of plant, reptile, amphibian and invertebrate found to date. It is interesting to note that Mariepskop contains well over 2,000 plant species- more than the whole of the Kruger National Park and far exceeding Table Mountain’s plant diversity.

The whole region holds up to 75% of all terrestrial bird species, 80% of all raptor species (all the vulture species have been recorded) and 72% of all mammals found in South Africa

If you would like to VISIT our wonderful region, please see www.kruger2canyons.com for up to date advice, specials and to make bookings

A Region of Strength & Vulnerability

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Information Links

Statistical Information: - Sizes of zones, temperature, rainfall etc

Maps - Zonation, location, geological maps on the K2C BR

Funders & Funding: - K2C Biosphere Region relies largely on voluntary contributions as welll as support funding from various sources

Newsletters: - The K2C produces a quarterly newsletter updating  on all activities and developments.  To see a pdf copy of these, follow link below.

WNBR (World Network of Biosphere Reserves): - There are over 590 Biospheres in over 115 different country.

Visit Us: - Want to visit the region?.

Background to the K2C Logo design

The logo for the K2C Biosphere Region comprises three mopani leaves (Colophospermum mopane). This tree is only found in specific areas in central Africa, and is the only universally representative species of the lowveld. However it has regional value and has therefore been used in our logo.

The two leaflets, compound leaves, on each of the three leaves used in the logo, have been arranged so that the space between the leaflets creates an image of a human - thus symbolising a person surrounded by their environment (the leaves and the spaces beyond). Secondly the three leaves represent the three main functions of a biosphere region: Conservation, Development and Logistics. Thirdly, the mopani leaves represent the value of the environment to humans and other animals, especially when used sustainably. The leaves and pods are a valuable food source to both domestic cattle and wild animals, often being one of the few plants with browse still available in the dryer months. Large caterpillars of the moth, Gonimbrasia belina, feed on the mopani leaves. These caterpillars are highly sought after by local communities as a protein supplement. The caterpillars are collected when abundant and dried and stored for the months to come. Lastly the three leaves also represent the three biomes encompassed by the Biosphere Reserve; the Grassland, Forest and Savanna.

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