At around 92100 square kilometres, KwaZulu-Natal is roughly the size of Portugal and has three distinct geographic areas. First a lowland region along the Indian Ocean which is extremely narrow in the south, widening in the northern part of the province. The central Natal Midlands forms another distinct area with an undulating hilly plateau rising towards the west. Finally, two mountainous areas, the western Drakensberg Mountains and northern Lebombo Mountains, form, respectively, a solid basalt wall rising over 3000m (9800ft) beside the Lesotho border, and low parallel ranges of ancient granite run southward from Swaziland. The area’s largest river, the Tugela River, flows west to east across the centre of the province.
The coastal regions typically have subtropical thickets and deep ravines; steep slopes host some Afromontane forest. The midlands have moist grasslands and isolated pockets of Afromontane forest. The north has a primarily moist savanna habitat, whilst the Drakensberg region consists of mostly alpine grassland.
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