chapter  VIII
18 Pages

The Land Husbandry Act of Southern Rhodesia

WithG. Kingsley Garbett

The Colony of Southern Rhodesia comprises some 100 million acres divided into two distinct geographical regions. There is the ‘High Veld’ plateau – land from 4,000–5,000 feet above sea level, and the ‘Low Veld’ – land below 4,000 feet. The Low Veld areas together form the greater proportion of the Colony. Tsetse fly and other tropical hazards exist in these areas. The High Veld is a belt of land, about 50 miles broad, which extends from Salisbury to Bulawayo with two narrow protrusions, one extending northeastwards to the Zambesi valley; the other extending eastwards to the Portuguese border. The main soil type of the Colony is a coarse sandy detritus developed from granite. On the High Veld, however, there are pockets of dark red loams with a much higher fertility. In general rainfall decreases westwards from over 32 inches at the Mozambique borders to 20–24 inches at the western borders of the Colony. Most of the rainfall occurs during one quarter of the year. These environmental features have been important in determining patterns of human settlement.