The veld or veldt (both spellings are fairly common in English, but "veld" seems to be more used in South African English) is a name for the grassy plateaus of South Africa, Zimbabwe, and other southern African countries. Various sources equate it with the pampas of South America or even the outback of Australia (outside the desert). The word comes from the Dutch and Afrikaans for "field."

The plateaus have different elevations, but the open grassland was once a great habitat for wildlife and has since become high-yielding farmland and cattle pasture in many regions. There are, however, some nature preserves. The veld can be divided into various types, most commonly Acocks' Veld types, which are "delimitations of vegetation types in South Africa carried out by John Acocks in 1953, in which he designated 'veld types' based on areas of similar agricultural land-use potential."

Sources:
http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/v1/veld.asp
http://wordsmith.org/awad/archives/0503
http://www.hyperdictionary.com/dictionary/veld
http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?eu=114455&tocid=0&query=grassland
http://www.bartleby.com/65/ve/veld.html
http://www.geog.ouc.bc.ca/conted/onlinecourses/geog_210/210_6_1.html
http://ransford.org/pipermail/word-l/2002-August/000086.html
http://www.ngo.grida.no/soesa/nsoer/Data/vegrsa/vegglos.htm

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