Cape Mountains

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cape Mountains


mountains in southern Africa, located in the Republic of South Africa between Port Elizabeth on the east and the mouth of the Olifants River on the west.

The Cape Mountains are approximately 800 km long and consist of several parallel ranges. The average elevation is 1, 500 m, with a maximum elevation of 2, 326 m. The Cape Mountains are composed of sandstones and quartzites. They run east to west for 600 km, from Port Elizabeth to Worcester, and they frame a longitudinal valley (the Little Karroo) from the north (the Swartberge) and south (the Langeberge and Outeniquaberge). From Worcester they turn west-northwest (the Olifantsrivierberge and the Sederberge).

The climate in the west is Mediterranean, with winter precipitation (more than 600 mm on the windward slopes). Precipitation is more uniform to the east (more than 800 mm a year). There is snow on the peaks in winter. The leeward slopes and the inner valleys are semidesert. Mainly secondary thickets of ever-green shrubs grow on the windward slopes to the west; mixed coniferous and deciduous forests grow on brown and mountain-forest-brown soils in the east.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
South Africa is the 25th largest country in the world with an extensive coastline and diverse geography that stretches from the sprawling Cape mountains to the semi-desert region of the beautiful great Karoo, lush forests of Mpumalanga, bushveld landscape of Limpopo and tropical beaches of KwaZulu Natal.
The Western Cape Mountains, south of Cape Town, are one of Southern Africa's richest and most beautiful natural botanical kingdoms, the Cape Floral Kingdom or Fynbos Biome.