Timber Plantations in Southern Africa
Timber plantations in southern Africa are concentrated in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, but they are also expanding in Mozambique. There are smaller areas in Angola, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania. In South Africa, the largest areas are in the provinces of Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, covering 1.5 million hectares of land. Additionally, an estimated 1.6 million hectares have been invaded by plantation species such as acacias (wattle), eucalyptus (gum) and pines. Although the area planted in Swaziland is much smaller (100,000 hectares) it occupies a large percentage of the country’s land area (9%), and is aggravated by the fact that these plantations occupy the best agricultural lands. In the case of Mozambique, major plantations are still at the initial stage, but there are plans to establish large areas of pulpwood, sawlog and agrofuel plantations.