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Mount Gorongosa

‎"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.” - John Muir

Looking west on clear day from the plains surrounding Lake Urema, your gaze will be met with the silhouette of the magnificent Mount Gorongosa. An isolated, granite massif, Mount Gorongosa raises from the Midlands, its highest peak, Gogogo, reaches an elevation of 1,863 m.

 

The great mountain captures moisture floating in off the Indian Ocean and from it conjures up the magic and power of four major rivers: Nhandare, Chitunga, Muera and, most importantly, Vunduzi. These rivers provide water to Gorongosa and all communities surrounding the mountain, and without them life in this part of Africa would have never been able to flourish the way it does now. The rivers flow from the mountain in deep, forested ravines. Some form spectacular waterfalls on the slopes of the mountain, the largest being Murombodzi Falls, over 100 m high, and a series of smaller waterfalls are formed by the waters of the Vunduzi River as it flows eastwards towards Lake Urema. 

 

When seen from space, Mount Gorongosa is a roughly oval formation. Its eastern and southern slopes receive a lot of moisture coming from the Indian Ocean. They are thus more humid than the western and northern slopes. The slopes of Mount Gorongosa are generally gentle and easy to climb. The only sharp, nearly vertical cliffs on the mountain are on its northwest corner, creating the perfect setting for nesting birds of prey and vultures.