Source of the Zambezi

Year of compilation: 2001

Site description
Lying along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, about 50 km north of Mwinilunga, the focus of this site is the strip of forest along the small valley which constitutes the source of the River Zambezi. The forest is surrounded by rich miombo that also covers most of the reserve’s area. Beyond the boundary are a few scattered villages.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 3 for key species. It is the forest species that are of most interest—species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome include Columba iriditorques, Bleda syndactyla and Terpsiphone rufiventer, and a large number of miombo species also occur. One species of the Afrotropical Highlands biome is present: Bradypterus alfredi.

Non-bird biodiversity: It is likely that the site holds many species of animal and plant with limited distributions in Zambia.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Being a National Monument, this is a relatively high-profile site and therefore perhaps under less threat of habitat destruction than many. However, the surrounding woodland is slowly being cleared for small-scale farming and the site may be in danger of becoming an ‘island’. Trees within the area are sometimes felled for honey and subsistence hunting, and trapping would appear to be increasing. An attendant mans a gate on the approach road and all visitors travelling by road sign a register.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Source of the Zambezi. Downloaded from on 23/05/2022.