Important Birding Areas in Mozambique

Bird on Vamizi Island in Mozambique.

Mozambique has a fascinating mix of birdlife and provides an exciting destination for bird watching enthusiasts.

There are 15 Important Bird Areas which have been designated by BirdLife International. Many parts of Mozambique are unexplored from an ornithological point of view, so a sense of adventure is essential when setting out on any kind of birding holiday.

Mozambique has the longest stretch of Indian Ocean coastline in Africa. The intertidal flats together with major lowland rivers, floodplains and abundant lakes and marshes are a magnet for waterbirds. The country's coastal habitats provide excellent wintering grounds for Palaeartic immigrants.

Mozambique bird communities can be divided in 2 with those in the north being distinctly different from the ones in the south. The boundary between them is more or less in the region of the Zambezi River. Northern Mozambique species are mostly shared with other East African countries, while south of the Zambezi River birdlife is characteristic of South Africa.

There are more than 600 recorded bird species and at least 500 actually breed within Mozambique. Just one species is endemic, Namuli Apalis, which is only found on Mount Namuli in northern Mozambique.

There are 3 major biomes that meet in Mozambique

East African Coast (25 of the 36 restricted range species); Afrotropical Highlands (30 of the 226 restricted range species), Zambezian (26 of the 67 characteristic species).

There are 4 Endemic Bird Areas which overlap within Mozambique

South African Forests; South-East African Coast; Eastern Zimbabwe Mountains; Tanzania-Malawi Mountains. Four Mozambican species belonging to the South-East African Coast group have more than 50% of their population in the country - birders will have a good chance of spotting the Lemon-breasted Canary, Rudd's Apalis, Pink-throated Twinspot and Neergaard's Sunbird.

Important Bird Areas - from north to south, covering 13 890 km / 8630 miles

Of the sites designated by BirdLife International in Mozambique, one of the sites is fully protected, 5 are partly protected and the 9 others are unprotected.

Niassa Province: Njesi Plateau,
Nampula Province: Netia,
Zambezia Province: Mount Namuli; Mount Chiperone; Moebase region
Tete Province: Furancungo Woodlands; headwaters of the Cahora Bassa Dam
Manica Province: Chimanimani Mountains
Sofala Province: Zambezi River Delta; Gorongosa Mountain and National Park
Inhambane Province: Panda Woodlands; Pomene; Bazaruto Archipelago
Maputo Province: Maputo Special Reserve; Changelane River Gorge

Mozambique National Parks for bird watching - from north to south

Cabo Delgado Province: Quirimbas National Park (Quirimbas Archipelago)
Niassa Province: Niassa National Reserve
Zambezia Province: Gilé National Reserve
Manica Province: Chimanimani National Reserve
Sofala Province: Gorongosa National Park, Marromeu Buffalo Reserve
Inhambane Province: Bazaruto National Park (Bazaruto Archipelago), Zinave National Park, Pomene National Reserve
Gaza Province: Limpopo National Park, Banhine National Park
Maputo Province: Maputo Special Reserve (also known as Maputo Elephant Reserve)

Birding Hotspots

Read more about Birding Hotspots in Mozambique

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