Zambezian BioProvince

This vast African BioProvince (as defined by Armen Takhtajan) extends between 3 and 26 degrees south and stretches from the Atlantic almost to the Indian Ocean. It includes Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, southern Zaire (Shaba), most of Angola, much of Mozambique, Tanzania, northeastern Botswana, the eastern part of the Republic of South Africa, Lesotho and most of Swaziland. Much of the underlying geology is complex but consists largely of Precambrian volcanics, granite, serpentine and sandstones. The tropical climate is characterised by three seasons one wet and two dry. The wet season occurs in summer and is followed by a cool dry season and a hot dry season. The flora is extremly rich with some 8500 species of which about 54% are endemic. However, there are no endemic families and the comparatively few endemic genera include Aframmi, Pseudoselinum, Spuriodaucus (Apiaceae), Ageratinastrum, Rastrophyllum (Asteraceae), Aizoanthemum (Aizoaceae), Bolusanthus (Fabaceae), Cleistochlamys (Annonaceae), Colophospermum (Fabaceae), Diplorhynchus (Apocynaceae), Gonioma (Apocynaceae), Heteromma (Asteraceae), Mischogyne (Annonaceae), Platylophus (Cunoniaceae), Pseudolachnostylis (Phyllanthaceae), Rhodohypoxis, Saniella (Hypoxidaceae), Richardsiella (Poaceae), Seemannaralia (Araliaceae), Strobilopsis (Scrophulariaceae), Triceratella (Commelinaceae) and Viridivia (Passifloraceae). The genera Androstachys and Xanthoceris otherwise occur only in Madagascar, and the Zambezian BioProvince is the centre of diversity for the genera Brachystegia and Monotes.

The following accounts for this BioProvince have been written or will be written with particular reference to endemic and locally important species. Accounts available are displayed in green or yellow. Those displayed in red are either in the pipeline or awaiting expert contributions.


Major Ecosystems
Endemic Vascular Plant Flora
Bryophyte Flora
Fungus Flora
Lichen Flora
Invertebrate Fauna
Amphibian Fauna
Reptile Fauna
Bird Fauna
Mammal Fauna
Conservation Status


Rhodohypoxis baurii (Rhodohypoxidaceae) endemic to the Drakensberg Mountains where it forms colourful carpets. The genus includes six species all endemic to high altitudes in East Africa. (Copyright © 2010 Peter Martin Rhind).