Miombo Woodland
rating: 0+x

Basic Information

Miombo is a particular genus of tree, native to Africa. The plant grows in nutrient-poor soil in dry climates, forming a terrain type known as Miombo Woodland. It is often found amidst or adjacent to the African savanna, and is smaller and less dense than the layered growth of the jungle.

Overgrazing of Cattle destroys the grassland, and provides opportunities for the miombo to take over. Miombo Woodland can also occur where man has burned back the jungle. When the ecosystem is in balance, the miombo is in turn consumed by African Elephants. These ravenous plant-eaters (who eat hundreds of pounds of vegetation a day) ensure a cycle where the wilds are constantly in transition from savanna to miombo and back again. (Other animals that live amidst the miombo include the African Wild Dog, the Sable Antelope, and Lichtenstein's Hartebeest.)

Miombo loses its leaves in the dry season. New fresh leaves grow back for the rainy season, but they aren't green. Instead they have a gold or red coloration. Unlike trees in temperate climates, that turn red for fall, the miombo is red in spring.


2. Book: World Without Us by Alan Weisman

Game and Story Use

  • Nice little detail to drop in if the adventure takes your game to Africa. It's not all jungle, savanna, and desert.
    • The red and gold leaves may fool Time Travelers and Westerner Greenhorns into thinking it's a different time of year than it is. Especially if they've been kidnapped, hospitalized, or otherwise incapable of tracking the passage of days.
  • If a disaster (or the PCs actions) burns away a large section of the Jungle, miombo will replace it.
    • After The End, with no human traffic or agriculture to trample the young trees, the Miombo will spread outward very quickly. It can replace fields, savanna, and even scortched earth much more quickly than the jungle can replace miombo. Elephants have been reduced in numbers, and take so long to reach maturity, that it'll be decades before they are populous enough to keep the miombo in check again.
  • You can add these or something similar as a bit of flavor in a sci-fi or fantasy setting.
  • A tree that grows where the forest is injured could have all kinds of interesting magical properties.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License