The northernmost mountain range in South Africa, the Soutpansberg, lies at 23°05'S-22°25'S, and 29°17'E-31°20'E. Altitude is 300-1,719 m, at Hanglip, and 1,748 m at Letjuma. The Soutpansberg's geology developed cl,700 million years ago during an east-west faulting of the Limpopo Mobile Belt, which caused dipping to the north and rising to the south. The mountains end north of Thohoyandou, between the Luvhuvhu and Mutale rivers. Forest is prominent on south-facing slopes in the south of the range, but is not aspect-dependent at high altitudes. Rainfall is seasonal, falling mostly in the summer ( October-March). Entabeni receives highest rainfall (cl,800 mm/year), with the Drakensberg rainshadow causing Louis Trichardt, to the west, to receive c540 mm/year. Rainfall decreases to the east, with Punda Maria, at c200 m, receiving c620 mm/ year. Temperatures are hot in summer, but cooler with increased altitude in the mountains.
The Luvhuvhu River originates east of Louis Trichardt and flows west-east along the south of the range. East of the Soutpansberg it turns north-east, meeting the Limpopo River at Crooks Corner in northern Kruger National Park. The Mutale River originates at Thathe Vondo, flows north-east and joins the Luvhuvhu in north-west Kruger National Park, near Pafuri Gate. Although the geological features of the Soutpansberg extend as far north-east as Pafuri, it is in the region between these rivers, in the east, where altitude decreases, that the Afromontane elements of Soutpansberg begin to decrease.
African Broadbill Smithornis capensis is an uncommon endemic resident in Africa[2,10,11]. It is the only broadbill in the southern African subregion and inhabits a variety of habitats, including dense woodland, riparian forest, miombo woodland, lower storeys of evergreen forest, and deciduous thickets[10-12]. In southern Africa its range extends from the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, north into Mozambique and through the Zambezi Valley to the western Caprivi of Namibia [3,4,10,12,15,17]. It is a rare resident in Swaziland  and very scarce in the former Transvaal . In the south its range extends to Port Shepstone (30°45'S 30°20'E), where it inhabits evergreen forest and coastal scrub;. In Mozambique a southern population, in coastal woodland and forest, is disjunct from those in the north, which largely occur in Androstachys johnsonii forest[5,14]. Throughout the Zambezi Valley it occurs in dry scrub-bush associated with riverine forest, and in the Eastern Districts in rain forest at the Haroni-Lusitu confluence and lower Pungwe River areas. It may be an overlooked resident of riverine forest in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. It is usually silent and inactive in low vegetation, and consequently easily overlooked.
While bird ringing at a site near Levubu a female African Broadbill was captured. Additional sightings were made at nearby Ratombo, a dry lowland semi-deciduous forest. The South African Bird Atlas Project did not record the species in this region, the nearest occurrences being in south-east Zimbabwe, c250-300 km distant . Several subspecies are recognised and our records are probably of conjunctus. These records prompted an investigation into the presence of African Broadbill in the region.