Chimanimani Mountains (Mozambique)

Year of compilation: 2020

Site description
The proposed KBA encompasses all the Chimanimani National Park-CNP (formerly known as Chimanimani National Reserve-CNR) including its buffer zone and cover an area about 2370 km2. This site includes the well-known Chimanimani mountains that lie on the border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe, with most of the range (perhaps three-quarters) lying within Mozambique (Timberlake et al., 2016, Timberlake, 2017). The highland area covers about 530 km2 and ranges in altitude from around 500 m in the south to the highest peak of Mt Binga at 2436 m, which is the highest point of Mozambique (Timberlake et al., 2016, da Costa and Tovela, 2018). Most of the main plateau lies at around 1000 to 1800 m. The mountains are protected on both sides of the border, and together form part of a Trans- Frontier Conservation Area (TFCA) (Timberlake et al., 2016, Timberlake, 2017). The Mozambique portion of the mountains lies in Sussundenga District of Manica Province, with the District Administration at the small town of Sussundenga approximately 40 km to the north- east. The mountains typically comprise quartzite or white sandstone crags, interspersed with grasslands, forming a plateau that slopes eastwards into Mozambique (Timberlake et al., 2016). According to da Costa and Tovela (2018). The climate in CNP ranges from humid tropical to temperate, with mean annual temperature of 22°C in the lowlands to below 18°C in high mountains. Furthermore, frost can occur in high mountains and plateau over 1500 m. Rainy season usually starts late November until late March, but sporadic rains occur throughout the year in high mountains and foothills. Rainfalls are around 1500-2000 mm per year. The climate is warm and humid with rainfall highly variable, where drought is the norm and severe floods occurring occasionally. In terms of hydrology, the CNP area is lying in the Búzi River basin and is ranging between Mussapa Pequena River and Lucite River, limits north and south, respectively. The eastern border is the Mussapa River flowing southwards until its confluence with the Lucite River. The southern and central mountains are drained by the Lucite and Mussapa rivers, the northern mountains are flowing northward into the Revue River, tributary of Búzi River (da Costa and Tovela, 2018) The main vegetation types recorded on Chimanimani mountains are: Forest (Dry montane forest and Marginal forest); Woodlands (miombo); Scrub (Ericaceous scrub and Predaceous scrub); Grassland; Aquatic communities and Lithophytic communities (Tmberlake et al., 2016)

Key biodiversity

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Chimanimani Mountains (Mozambique). Downloaded from on 26/01/2022.