Approximately 31 % of vegetation cover is sandveld savanna (Figure 6), which varies in structure from closed woodland to open parkland. Common trees include Terminalia sericea, Guibourtia conjugata, Sclerocarya birrea, Pteleopsis myrtifolia, Balanites maughamii, Strychnos madagascariensis and Pterocarpus lucens. The herbaceous layer is dominated by Eragrostis pallens, with Digitaria eriantha, Urochloa mossambicensis, Brachiaria nigropedata, Panicum maximum, Eragrostis rigidior and Aristida spp. also being common. Deep red sands are characterised by tall (trees >5m) mopane woodlands (approximately 4 % of the area), which have a dense shrub layer dominated by Guibourtia conjugata. From a conservation perspective these vegetation types are important because they add an additional dimension to the Kruger ecosystem, where they have a very limited distribution. Where the sand mantle is shallow, growth of tall trees is hampered by the close proximity of gravel beds and a low sandveld thicket forms (approximately 14 % of the area). Woody plants (2 – 3 m tall) are very closely spaced, making access difficult. A cursory inspection revealed a diverse botanical composition, with Guibourtia conjugata, Ochna barbosae, Grewia bicolor, Hugonia orientalis, Hippocratea crenata, and Margaritaria discoidea being common woody species. Grass cover is very sparse or absent. Although this vegetation is unsuitable for game viewing, it has high conservation importance because of its limited distribution in southern Africa (possibly restricted to southern Mozambique). Lower lying areas within the sandveld (approximately 13 % of the area) are characterised by soils with slightly higher clay content, leading to elevated moisture and nutrient levels in the upper horizons. Characteristic trees of this open drainage line sandveld include Acacia welwitschii, Cleistanthus schlechteri, Terminalia sericea and Spirostachys africana. Pans, which are common, add additional interest to this vegetation type. Where calcareous gravel is exposed, short (3-5 m high) mopane woodland dominates (approximately 15 % of the area). Other common woody species in this vegetation type include Combretum apiculatum, Terminalia prunioides, Commiphora mollis, and Grewia bicolor. Herbaceous cover is reasonably well developed, with Eragrostis superba, Brachiaria deflexa, Enneapogon scoparius and Urochloa mossambicensis being common grass species. This vegetation type is best represented in the Massingir property. Heavy clay soils derived from basalt and mudstones support an open Acacia savanna (approximately 3 % of the area), with Acacia tortilis, Combretum hereoense, and Combretum imberbe being the dominant tree species. Common shrubs include Capparis sepiaria, Anisotes formosissimus and Slavadora persica. The herbaceous layer is reasonably well developed, with Urochloa mossambicensis and Panicum maximum being the most abundant grass species. This vegetation type appears to have had a long history of human use (cropping and grazing cattle), and is in various stages of recovery depending on the time since the last disturbance. On the Lebombo Range, shallow, rocky soils are characterised by open mixed Combretum woodland (approximately 9 % of the area), with Combretum apiculatum and Combretum hereoense being common woody species. Where the soils are deeper, the vegetation changes to tall Acacia nigrescens/ Kirkia acuminata woodland with dense a shrub layer (approximately 6 % of the area). Patches of well-developed Ironwood (Androstachys johnsonii) forest occur on the Lebombo rhyolites on the protected slopes leading into the Olifants and Nuanetsi River gorges. The paleo-alluvial fan on the Nuanetsi property appears to have had a long history of cropping, with the boundaries of old agricultural fields being easily recognisable from the air. This area was not visited on the ground, but disused fields appear to have recovered to a Dichrostachys cinerea/ Salvadora persica shrubland. Reasonably large patches of Acacia welwitschii/ Euphorbia confinalis/ Aloe marlothii thicket are also present. These may be remnants of the original vegetation on the fan. A thin strip of riverine forest occurs along the banks of the Nuanetsi River. Aerial surveys have established the presence of a great many species on Karingani, and also estimated that the area is currently below its carrying capacity. This suggests that as the threat of poaching continues to decline, wildlife will be naturally drawn to Karingani. Alternatively, there is scope (from an ecological point of view) to translocate wildlife of various species to increase populations in a more managed way. All five large predator species have been seen within Karingani, namely lion, leopard, cheetah, hyaena and wild dog. Organic growth of existing populations of all species may be boosted by recruitment from populations with Kruger.