From East to West the South African landscape changes from coastal plains, grassy wetlands, sub-tropical sand and temperate forests of Mozambique extending down into a narrow strip of coastal forests in the north-eastern parts of South Africa. Savannah covers the major part of the sub-continent and extends into Zimbabwe and South Africa, Botswana and parts of Namibia. This typical landscape is characterised by thorn trees and broadleaved woodland interspersed with grassland. The central highveld plateau and eastern mountain ranges are covered by true grassland. The eastern parts of the sub-continent are relatively wet, the landscape becomes systematically drier moving to the west until it eventually becomes true desert in the Namib of Namibia. South of the Namib desert and into the southern central plateau, the Karoo scrub landscape dominates. The Karoo vegetation changes into succulent vegetation and eventually, at the tip of Africa the unique Fynbos vegetation prevails. Each of these 'biomes' result from geology and climate and determine the vegetation and ultimately the fauna. Life on land is influenced by the availability of fresh water and therefore rivers and wetlands form an intrinsic part of each biome. The introduction to each chapter is a short summary of the main factors that determine the nature of each biome. Then follows a list of places for the traveller where the specific biome is evident.
Heinrich van den Berg is an international award-winning wildlife photographer, and is also an accomplished writer and publisher. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Van den Berg is well known for pushing the boundaries of photography to create explosive images that are as beautiful as they are emotive