African Montane Grassland

Montane grasslands are characterized by high elevations and relatively cool climates. The soils of these regions are most commonly derived from basalts. Two regions in Africa support montane grasslands, the mountains of southern Africa's Great Escarpment (the Drakensberg and Angolan grasslands) and the mountains of the Rift Valley System. The Escarpment grasslands are maintained by anthropogenic fires and exist in the northwestern (Angolan) and southern (Drakensberg) corner of the Escarpment. In Angola, the mountain grasslands extend 1,000 km (621 mi) and are the least well studied area in the Escarpment due to decades of civil war. By contrast, the Drakensberg mountain region is the most studied area and hosts the highest plant endemism of the Escarpment. The montane grasslands of the Rift Valley System occur in northern Mozambique and up through Malawi and Tanzania in a series of disjointed mountain ranges and are also maintained by frequent, extensive range fires.