South Africa’s biomes

South Africa’s climate varies greatly from west to east, from north to south and from the coast to the highveld.

  • The western parts of the country are drier than the east;

  • Rain falls in winter in the west but in summer in most other regions;

  • Temperatures in the mountains and on the highveld are more extreme than along the coast.

These different climatic zones give rise to different types of vegetation. In turn, these vegetation regions support different animals. These regions are called biomes.

Because the climate and natural resources of the biomes are different, people’s livelihoods and cultures also vary in different parts of the country.






South Africa's biomes (move your mouse over the links below to see each biome individually. Click on the map to find out more.)
  Nama Karoo
  Succulent Karoo
  All biomes









Which biomes have you seen?

Have you travelled to other parts of South Africa? Does your family come from another province or region like the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape or the Highveld? What is it like there? How does it differ from Cape Town?

Look at the map of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland and find out which parts of these countries members of your class have visited. What climates, landscapes, plants, animals, cultural practices and livelihoods did they observe in the different regions?

Add your own observations to the information on the map, and draw up a biome summary table.