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The North West Province of South Africa is bordered in the north by Botswana, in the south by the provinces of Free State and the Northern Cape, and on the northeast and east by Limpopo and Gauteng. Much of the province consists of flat areas of scattered trees and grassland. The Magaliesberg mountain range in the northeast extends about 130 km (about 80 miles) from Pretoria to Rustenburg. The Vaal River flows along the southern border of the province. Temperatures range from 17° to 31° C (62° to 88° F) in the summer and from 3° to 21° C (37° to 70° F) in the winter. Annual rainfall totals about 360 mm (about 14 in), with almost all of it falling during the summer months, between October and April.
Most of the province falls within the Savannah Biome with its associated Bushveld vegetation. The remainder falls within the Grassland Biome, which contains a wide variety of grasses typical of arid areas.
Ten different vegetation types are recognised, mostly belonging to the thornveld, bushveld or savannah grassland categories. With the east-west variation in climate and rainfall, there is a corresponding gradation in the vegetation types.
The vegetation of the arid and semi-arid western region largely comprises Kalahari thornveld and shrub bushveld, while the central region is dominated by dry cymbopogon-themeda veld and the eastern region is characterised by a number of mixed bushveld types.
The numerous non-perennial pans occurring in the Province provide important breeding and feeding habitat for many water birds.
The province has a total of 14 national parks and provincial reserves within its borders. The most well known are the Pilanesberg and Madikwe National Parks, which are administered by the North West Parks and Tourism Board. The Province also shares the Magaliesberg Protected Natural Environment with Gauteng.