The Highveld Plateau is dominated by grasslands and is largely devoid of native trees except along some rivers and sheltered hillsides. Extends across eastern Mpumalanga at an altitude of between 1400m and 1800m ASL. In its natural state, this habitat is dominated by Themeda triandra, with many other grass species including Eragrostis, Heteropogon and Cymbopogon.
Characteristic birds of this habitat include Long-tailed Widowbird, Southern Red Bishop, Cape Longclaw, Black-shouldered Kite, Blue Crane and Rufous-naped Lark. Prized endemics such as Rudd's Lard, Botha's Lark and Yellow-breasted Pipit occur in pristine pockets of this habitat.
Highveld Wetlands and Rivers
The Highveld plateau is sprinkled with pan systems which fill up during the wet summer season and typically hold water into winter. These ephemeral wetlands are a magnet for waterfowl, with ducks, geese, herons, cormorants and others often in abundance. Blue, Grey Crowned and Wattled Cranes breed in these natural wetlands, while plovers and migratory sandpipers forage on mudflats.
The Highlands & Wetlands Birding Route includes Wakkerstroom, Chrissiesmeer and Dullstroom.