Limpopo - Mwenezi flood-plain and pans

Country/territory: Zimbabwe

IBA Criteria met: A2, A3 (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 70,000 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife Zimbabwe
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2011 high near favourable low
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The Limpopo river forms the southern border of Zimbabwe with South Africa, and flows west–east. The Mwenezi river is a major tributary and flows north–south. They do not meet in Zimbabwe, but converge to a distance of 20 km apart. In between is the Sengwe Communal Land in Chiredzi District of Masvingo Province, mostly a flat and undulating area around 300 m in altitude. The border between Zimbabwe and Mozambique is a straight line across country, marked with a game fence. The three countries meet on the Limpopo river, just north of Pafuri, at 22°25’S 31°19’E. The Mwenezi river forms a boundary between the Gonarezhou National Park and the Malapati Safari Area, and has formed the Manjinji Pan (a sanctuary under the Parks and Wild Life Act) from an old oxbow. The pan is at 22°07’S 31°24’E and is in the Communal Land. There is some development of a flood-plain downstream from the pan. Towards Chikwarakwara, to the west on the Limpopo river, are more flood-plain areas. The natural vegetation of the area is mopane woodland and Terminalia woodland. Manjinji Pan is surrounded by thick woodland, dominated by fever-tree Acacia. There are many palms Hyphaene in the area. The local people practise subsistence agriculture and pastoralism with cattle and goats. They regard Manjinji Pan as a sacred area.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Serinus citrinipectus is common in the area, apparently associated with Hyphaene palm-savanna. Flocks of hundreds were seen in 1990. Anthreptes reichenowi has also been seen, but it is considered to be much rarer than Serinus citrinipectus. Gyps coprotheres flies over the District and is likely to feed on dead animals there. When full, the Manjinji Pan attracts hundreds of waterbirds.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Limpopo - Mwenezi flood-plain and pans. Downloaded from on 11/12/2019.