Savannah was once used restrictively to describe central South American grasslands in Spanish but is now used extensively in many nations to describe a vegetation type typified by a lower, herbaceous, often grass-dominated, component and an upper level woody plant community
Grasslands, or 'Grassveld' as it is sometimes colloquially known in South African vernacular, are found predominantly on the central high plateau, inland areas of the Kwa-Zulu Natal seaboard and other mountainous areas of the Eastern Cape. They cover a vast area of around 343,000 square kilometres.
The Forest biome occurring within the Biosphere Reserve is known as Northern Drakensberg Escarpment Forest. The combination of plants found in this forest is not encountered anywhere else in South Africa.
In Southern Africa seven biomes are found, namely Fynbos, Savannah, Grassland, Nama-Karoo, Succulent Karoo, Desert and Forest. Each of these biomes is classified according to rainfall, dominant life forms and other structural characteristics. The Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Reserve is a showcase of three of these biomes. The escarpment consists of Grassland and Forest biomes, while the Lowveld region is characterised by the Savannah biome