The Phalaborwa Gate is just outside the town of Phalaborwa. Because of the drier climate, the Northern parts of Kruger is dominated by mopaneveld and therefore animal sightings and the sizes of animal herds is smaller, and very different to the Southern region of the Park.
The gate leads you directly into woodlands of mopane trees, mixed with bushwillows and acacias. Mopaneveld attracts lots of elephants, and for that reason, half of Kruger's elephants can be found in the Northern areas.
The underlying geology is a mixture of granite and gneiss. In the Phalaborwa Gate area the granite juts out of the landscape in a series of distinctive koppies that have been used as navigational landmarks for centuries. There are remains of many Iron-Age settlements at the base of these koppies.
The grass on the granite soils in this region is a mixture of sweet and sourveld, but it does not grow in abundance due to the low rainfall.
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