Location: Bangweulu Swamps- Makuku bridge

General Information

Quarter degree square: 1230A1

Country: Zambia

Habitat: A vast area of lakes, swamp, floodplain, termitaria and woodland

Altitude range: 1162 m

Annual rainfall: 851-950 mm

Location (short): Luapula Province

Location (detailed): Total area 12840 sq km. Situated in the Bangweulu basin. Mukuku; Luapula Bridge. The area along the main Serenje-Samfya road where it crosses the Luapula river (Mukuku bridge) provides an interesting and very accessible taste of the Bangweulu basin.


The vegetation in the permanent swamps is dominated by Cyperus, Phragmites, Typha, Limnophyton and Thalia spp. and in the flooded grassland dominant genera include Acroceras, Leersia, Sacciolepsis and Setaria. During flood periods, thick mats of aquatic vegetation may form 'floating meadows'. The extent and timing of the annual flood depends on rainfall, but water levels usually begin to rise in January and reach their peak in March. From April onwards the water recedes and the floodplain tends to be dry by late May, although in wetter years pools may persist until August. Fringing the fioodplain is termitaria and many trees and shrubs grow on the larger termite mounds thus creating a surprisingly rich ecosystem. Furthest from the wetland areas there is woodland of various types such as lake basin chipya dominated by Erythrophleum, Parinari and Pterocarpus. Isangano contains a lot of woodland, particularly in the east and there are also areas of watershed plain grassland. Further west are floodplains and along the Chambeshi are patches of riparian forest.

Useful links

View a list of records for Bangweulu Swamps- Makuku bridge

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Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Botswana: Location details: Bangweulu Swamps- Makuku bridge.
https://www.botswanaflora.com/speciesdata/location-display.php?location_id=112, retrieved 22 June 2024

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