Mavuradonha Mountains

Country/territory: Zimbabwe

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

Area: 57,500 ha

BirdLife Zimbabwe
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2013 high not assessed low
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The Mavuradonha mountains form the eastern part of the Zambezi Escarpment in Zimbabwe, rising over 1,000 m above the Zambezi valley and peaking at Banirembizi. The mountains lie north of the town of Centenary, falling within the Muzarabani District. The mountains intercept the north-east winds and have a cooler, moister climate than the valley below. ‘Mavuradonha’ refers to the rain and mist. There are numerous streams and rivers rising in the mountains, flowing north to the Zambezi. The terrain is steep and rocky with elephant trails winding up and down the mountain. In the east, the Musengezi river has cut a gorge through the mountains, creating attractive scenery. The area holds a great deal of well-developed miombo woodland, with most of the representative species of Brachystegia and Julbernardia. There are also gully, ravine or ‘kloof’ woodlands, with higher soil moisture and nutrients, providing a greater range of microhabitats. Large forest trees such as Khaya anthotheca occur, but are scattered and in low numbers.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 3 for key species. The mountains are known for their variety and density of raptors; atlas records show 38 species (including owls). Of particular interest are Hieraaetus ayresii, Stephanoaetus coronatus, Circaetus cinerascens, Falco peregrinus and F. naumanni. The Zambezian biome species (particularly those of the miombo) are well represented.

Non-bird biodiversity: The Wilderness Area is a refuge for Loxodonta africana (EN), Syncerus caffer (LR/cd), Panthera leo (VU) and a variety of antelope. The vegetation is poorly studied but it may hold some unusual species dependent on a high-moisture regime.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mavuradonha Mountains. Downloaded from on 20/08/2022.