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Location Zimbabwe, Masvingo Province,Midlands Province
Central coordinates 30o 47.00' East  19o 23.00' South
IBA criteria A1
Area 20,000 ha
Altitude 1,500 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife Zimbabwe

Site description The site is an isolated patch of Kalahari Sands on the watershed, a little to the east of the geographical centre of Zimbabwe. Within it lies the Driefontein Mission with the two Driefontein dams, and close by to the east is the commercial farming community of Felixburg. The vistas are flat and seemingly endless. Most of the landscape is under natural highveld grassland, dominated by the thatching grass Hyparrhenia which can grow to a height of 3 m. Soaks, seeps, and depressions collect water and form many dambos/vleis in the area, due to the flat terrain. There are a few streams, such as the Nyororo and Shashe, and scattered patches of miombo woodland. Due to the general sufficiency of rainfall, there are areas of rain-fed maize agriculture in summer and irrigated wheat in the austral winter. Temperatures are very equable, and frosts in winter are common. The area is largely divided into commercial ranches which specialize in cattle. There are several mines around Felixburg itself, and Driefontein Mission has a church, a hospital and school, and agricultural crops.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus resident  1996  25 breeding pairs  A1  Vulnerable 

Local conservation groups The local conservation groups below are working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Daviot Site Support Group 2004
Shashe Site Support Group 2004


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   17%
Shrubland   68%
Forest   13%
Grassland Grassland - edaphic, dry; Grassland - edaphic, wet  major
Wetlands (inland) Artificial wetlands; Ephemeral pools and wetlands; Rivers & streams  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
water management -
other -
Notes: Collection of thatching grass.

Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.

References Couto and Couto (2000), Francis (1990), Masterson and Parkes (1994), Mundy et al. (1984).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Driefontein grasslands. Downloaded from on 01/11/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife