Bananas and other crops have replaced natural vegetation in some areas. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Zimbabwe’s forests: Mountain forest and grassland

  • This is found in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.
  • Temperature are generally below 20°C while rainfall is over 1 500 mm.
  • The altitude is generally above 1 200metres above sea level.
  • The Highlands have a more equable climate than Zimbabwe’s central plateau,
  • with higher rainfall,
  • low cloud and heavy mists and dew as moisture moves inland from the Indian Ocean.
  • Many streams and rivers originate in these mountains
  • Vegetation varies with altitude but the main species found around areas like Chirinda forest near Mt Selinda are mahogany and musasa.
  • Some areas consists of rolling hills covered with grassland
  • The grass renews itself annually following the fires that occur at the end of the dry season
  • The east-facing slopes of valleys e.g. Honde Valley contain areas of tropical rainforest, with a high canopy, lianas, and a dense undergrowth
  • There are larger areas of dry forest at higher altitudes in places where the ground is well watered and on drier slopes patches of Brachystegia spiciformis (Musasa/Mutondo), Brachystegia tamarindoides (Mu’unze) and Uapaca kirkiana (mizhanje)
  • There are also areas of heathland at higher elevations
  • A lot of other flora and fauna also grow in this area
  • Howevever in some of the areas a lot of the natural vegetation in this zone has been replaced by:
  • coffee,
  • pines and
  • wattle.

 To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page