Changelane river gorge

Country/territory: Mozambique

IBA criteria met: A1, A2, A3 (1998)
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Area: 5,827 ha

Site description (baseline)
The site lies within the Libombo mountain range, a rhyolite ridge running along the frontier between Mozambique and Swaziland. It includes steep hillsides, a gorge through which the Changelane river flows and a large cliff-face at the joint confluence of the streams Timbogoloene and Mizinandjovo with the Changelane river. The vegetation consists of coastal forest (on the steeper slopes), woodland and savanna. The area is inhabited by itinerant charcoal manufacturers in temporary dwellings, and by subsistence farmers in fewer than 10 more permanent homesteads.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. A colony of 10–15 pairs of the globally threatened Gyps coprotheres breeds on the one substantial cliff-face in the Changelane river gorge. Foraging opportunities for the species in this part of Mozambique are severely limited, due to the lack of game and livestock. The birds forage mostly in the nearby Mlawula/Hlane wildlife complex in Swaziland. The proposed reintroduction of game into the Maputo Special Reserve (IBA MZ001) would provide additional foraging opportunities for the species within Mozambique. The site holds three species of the Zambezian biome and two of the Afromontane Highlands biome (Table 3).

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International. Larger mammals which used to occur in the area have been exterminated by hunting.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Changelane river gorge. Downloaded from on 01/06/2023.