News & Tips
Royal Jozini Grasslands – nature’s treasure.
When you think of grass, do you groan inside as you think of having to mow that unruly lawn in your backyard?
Grab your mental remote, switch off that ‘home channel’ and spend a moment with us, poring over the sheer wonder of earth’s miracle cover: grass!
Did you know that there are around 12 000 grass species in the world?
An obvious use of grass is as a food source for grazers like cattle and sheep. Grass also prevents soil erosion, retaining surface water after rain downpours, and is a natural abode for countless insects and small mammals, seed and insect eating birds and those magnificent Secretary birds that love to eat snakes.
Grass naturally has aesthetic appeal … picture well-kept golf greens or even the low rolling hills of the Highveld – grasslands of note.
Grass is a food source for humans too … think grains like wheat, oats and barley. We can also charge our glasses with whiskey, the rice wine of the Far East and toast its origins after a hard day at the office. And let’s not forget that grass crop that feeds our sweet-tooth addiction: sugar cane!
Cast your mind to thatching grass, sports turf, woven baskets, and so many more wonderful applications.
Some trivia for you: did you know that the largest ‘grass’ is the giant bamboo, used for building scaffolding? What a fascinating planet we live on!
At Royal Jozini, much of the splendour plays out against a backdrop of amazing grasslands, dotted with gnarled and ancient marula trees, or laying the foreground for thickets of knob thorn forest.
After a good summer’s rain, Royal Jozini’s grassland stands waist high – but if left for too many years, only buffalo, rhino and zebra like to eat such woody stems. As we don’t have rhino, and not half enough buffalo or zebra to eat it, we need to manage this grass. So sometimes it is burnt back, and sometimes slashed, but only in winter, after the seeds have fallen to germinate and grow again. And then, with new summer rains, the sweet new grass shoots come up that all grazing animals just love.
Of particular importance is that Royal Jozini is mainly Arid Lowveld, which is now rare to find! Only found in Southern Africa, this vegetation type has a limited geographic range, as there are now only a few isolated patches of this type of veld left, occurring from the southern Kruger National Park to near Mkuze town. Found in the dry rain shadow valleys to the west of the Lubombo Mountains, the Arid Lowveld comprises Acacia woodland and a unique form of thicket vegetation. With no other ecologically viable thickets left in Eswatini, Royal Jozini Private Game Reserve plays a pivotal role in conserving and protecting these pristine and now quite rare thickets and rare and wonderful grass species.
At Royal Jozini, we’re all about the conservation of our magnificent earth treasure, be it trees, shrubs, succulents or grass and we’re passionate about spreading the word … and the experience!
So when you come to visit us, look at the grasslands with new eyes of wonder – and perhaps you will spot :
Eragrostas Racemosa Themeda Triandra
You can see the full list of the 46 types of grass species found at Royal Jozini
We invite you to join us, to come and get high on nature in the best possible way: the Royal Jozini way!