Terrain shapes and bedrock
COUNTRYAAH, Swaziland descends gradually from the slope of
Drakensberg in the west to the coastal plain near the Indian
Ocean in the east. The area to the west, Highveld,
is more than 900 m above sea level, and here a transition is
made between the volcanic rocks of Drakensberg and the
sedimentary rocks to the east. At the far north-west is the
country's highest point, Mlembe, 1,862 m above sea level.
To the east follows a transition zone, Middleveld,
of about 300–1000 m above sea level. with carbon-bearing
rocks. The lowland to the east, Lowveld, is mainly
sandstone. At the border with Mozambique lies the Lebombo
Mountains which reach up to 800 m above sea level. The
Komati, Umbeluzi and Usutu rivers flow east through the
The rainfall, which mainly falls during the period
November – April, varies between about 1,350 mm per year in
Mbabane in the west to about 750 mm on the coastal plain.
The average temperature in Mbabane is 12 °C in July and 20
°C in January.
Plant-and animal life
At Highveld in the west, grassy steppes with gallery
forests dominate the rivers. Locally there are shrubs with
acacias and some protea plants. To the east, follows
Middleveld, which is a transition zone to Lowveld's dry
shrubs and dry savannas with acacias and monkey bread trees.
There are about 2,700 species of flowering plants in the
country. However, the original flora has been depleted by
cultivation of, among other things. sugar cane and cotton in
the lowlands and large plantings of conifers and eucalyptus
higher up. In order to find original plant life one must
search for inaccessible ravines, especially in Drakensberg.
The wildlife was initially very rich, but through long
periods of uncontrolled hunting, larger mammals have
practically disappeared. There are now almost 50 species of
mammals, about 350 species of breeding birds and just over
100 species of reptiles. Among larger mammals, all uncommon,
are mentioned leopard, impala, larger kudu, rock antelope (Raphiʹcerus
campeʹstris) and anubis baby.
Swaziland had a national park in 2010, the grassy sands
Hlane in the northeast, with stubborn rhino, giraffe and a
rich antelope fauna. There were also nature reserves, among
other things. the Malolotja mountain area in the northwest
with stubborn rhinos and antelopes, and wildlife protection