Mount Namuli

Year of compilation: 2020

Site description
Mount Namuli’s proposed KBA covers an area of about 51 km2 in Gurué district of Zambézia province, central-northern Mozambique. It is about 150 km east of Lake Chilwa in Malawi, 160 km north-east of Mt. Mulanje, and 380 km west from the Indian Ocean coast. Summiting at an altitude of 2,419 meters, Mt Namuli is the second highest point in the country, after Mt Binga at 2436 m in the Chimanimani Mountains on the border with Zimbabwe (Timberlake et al., 2009). The Namuli complex forms part of the watershed between the Rio Lúrio and Rio Licungo catchments, and appears to be the largest single such massif in the country. It is essentially a complex of granitic inselbergs or intrusions linked by a high plateau, exposed by millions of years of subsequent erosion and it is entirely covered by Lithic soils (Timberlake et al., 2009). According to MAE (2014) the climate of the Gurué district, where Mt. namuli is located, is humid, moderate mesothermal type. The annual average precipitation is about 1,995.7 mm, with annual average evapotranspiration of 1,226.7 mm. The annual average temperature is 21.9oC, the highest in November (32.5oC) and the lowest in July (12.3oC). The main rivers are the Rio Malema east of the main plateau, which flows to the north to join the Rio Lúrio, and the Rio Licungo to the west of the main massif flowing southwards to the Indian Ocean near Quelimane. The northern flanks of the Namuli massif are drained by the Rio Namparro, which joins the Rio Malema further north (Timberlake et al., 2009). According to Timberlake (2009) the vegetation of the Namuli massif above 1200 m altitude can be broadly categorised into six main groups – forest, woodland, scrub, grassland, thin mats or patches on rocky slopes, and cultivated/heavily disturbed areas. Being the Mozambique’s second highest peak, Namuli presents a beautiful landscape, yet its real value is its unique flora and fauna and the ecosystem services it provides to the estimated at 8,000-12,000 people residing on the mountain, as well as those served by Namuli’s waters far beyond the massif itself (Legado and Lupa, 2017)

Key biodiversity

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mount Namuli. Downloaded from on 19/10/2021.