Mozambique Ornithology

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Bird Watching in Mozambique

Mozambique has a variety of habitats from miombo woodland, mangrove swamps, lakes and coastline so there is a diverse range of bird species to be seen. There are over 600 recorded species and about 30 endemics. There are 523 recorded species south of the Rio Save alone. Over 340 bird species have been recorded along the coast. September to April is the best time to spot the migrant and vagrant waders on the coast as well as the crab plover. Flamingos are a common site off the islands of Bazaruto and Inhaca. Noteworthy sand forest species in southern Mozambique include sunbird, pink-throated twinspot and lemon-breasted canary. In the montane forests and grasslands in the highlands near the Zimbabwe border are Stripe-cheeked bulbul, robin, Chirinda apalis, Briar warbler, White-tailed flycatcher, Bronze sunbird and Red-faced crimsonwing. North of the Rio Zambezi over 20 East African species are found at the southern most extent of their range. Expect to see Pale-billed hornbill, 5 species of bulbul, Red-capped forest weaver, Long-billed apalis, White-tailed blue flycatcher, Red double-collared sunbird and Stripe-breasted canary


Gorongosa lies at the southern end of the Great Rift Valley and is bounded by the Rio Urema in the east and Monte Gorongosa in the west. The park has a variety of habitats ranging from miombo woodland, floodplains and parklands which offer excellent birdwatching.
Large flocks of flamingos and waterfowl congregate at the seasonal vleis and Lake Urema, crowned cranes frequent the floodplains and the miombo woodlands support a diverse range of species.

Monte Gorongosa is the only place in southern Africa to see the rare green-headed oriole. Other species found here include the Blue-spotted dove, silvery-cheeked hornbill, Eastern honeyguide, White-breasted alethe and Chirinda apalis. There are several walking trails on the mountain.

The following species, which occur particularly in the Gorongosa area, may not be found anywhere else in the world: Bluethroated sunbird, Blackcap tchagra, Livingstone's flycatcher, Woodward’s batis and Black and white flycatcher.

Maputo Elephant Reserve

This reserve is a noteworthy birding destination since it contains several species at their southernmost range. These include Rudd’s apalis, Woodward’s batis, Neergard’s sunbird and Pink-throated twinspot. Commonly seen species include African fish eagle, Guinea fowl, Olive bee-eater, Woodland kingfisher, White helmetshrike and Grey, Trumpeter and Crowned hornbills.

Dondo Forest

The woodlands near Dondo harbour Eastern honeyguide, White-breasted alethe, Bohm’s spinetail, Black-headed apalis, Speckle-throated and Spotted woodpecker, Red-winged warbler, Gunning’s robin, Violet-backed sunbird and Olive-headed weaver.

Mount Namuli

North of Gurue is Mount Namuli which is a difficult destination to explore but rich in birdlife. Species found here are the rare Namuli apalis, Dapplethroat (which has only been recorded from 2 regions in Tanzania), Thyolo alethe, Bar-tailed trogon and 5 species of Greenbul.


On the western side of Inhaca the mudflats are fringed by mangroves and are host to a variety of waterbirds. Among the many gulls and terns are Lesser black-backed gulls and Caspian and Lesser crested terns. There are also White-chinned petrels and albatrosses.
The eastern hills have Gorgeous bush shrike, Grey waxbill, Hornbill , Green coucal, Gymnogene, Neergard’s sunbird and Yellow-spotted nicator.

Reference Books

Vincent Parker's Atlas of the Birds of Southern Mozambique . Parker spent three years atlasing birds south of the Rio Save. The 300-page book contains distribution maps and information on 523 species.

Birds of Southern Mozambique by Phillip Clancey.

Last Updated on Thursday 26th November 2009