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The River Basin
 Basins of Southern Africa
 The Kunene River Basin
Land Cover in the Basin
Climate and Weather
Water Quality
Ecology & Biodiversity



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Land Cover in the Basin  

Land cover in the basin is directly related to the prevailing climate and soil type. The headwaters on the highland plateau are characterised by grassland, scattered bush and fairly extensive areas of traditional shifting cultivation. Further south up to Matala, the basin is covered by Miombo woodland. In the Middle Kunene, a mosaic of Miombo woodland and wet grassland is found. The latter covers the valley floors which are characterised by impeded drainage and vertisols. Extensive commercial cultivated areas are found in this area. As the climate becomes drier to the south, the vegetation becomes more open woodland and bush. The semi-arid to arid area downstream of the Ruacana falls is dominated by Mopane bush land and woodland developed on thin lithosols and riparian vegetation belts along the water courses (PJTC 1993).

The distribution of the main land cover classes across the Kunene River basin are shown in the map, table and chart below.

Land cover across the Kunene River basin.
Source: AHT GROUP AG 2010, after GLCF 1998
( click to enlarge )

Summary of Main Generalised Land Cover for the Kunene River Basin

  Land cover
Area km²     Percentage of total  
Water 693  0.7
Woods 17 762 16.7
Wooded Grassland 58 144 54.6
Closed Shrubland 7 420 7.0
Open Shrubland 6 081 5.7
Grassland 7 200 6.8
Crop land 5 484 5.1
Bare ground 3 704 3.5
Urban 12 <0.1
106 500

Source: AHT GROUP AG/ GLCF 1998


Relative proportion of land cover in the Kunene River basin.
Source: AHT GROUP AG 2010
( click to enlarge )




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