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Mountain Peak

"Solitary and broad-shouldered, the mountain rises more than 6,000 feet above the surrounding plains, providing a local climate unlike any other for hundreds of miles around it." - The Atlantic

As you climb up narrow, shaded trails of the mountain, every now and then crossing a crystal-clear stream, you will notice that the forest gradually changes its character. The trees become shorter and their branches are covered with beautiful, drooping lichens, ferns, and orchids. These plants grow on trees, but they are not parasites – they are known as the epiphytes, and use larger plants only for support. As you keep climbing, suddenly you will find yourself at the edge of fragrant, alpine meadow. Above the elevation of 1600 m the forest abruptly gives way to open, expansive grasslands. These, however, are very different from the grassy plains around Lake Urema. 

 

Mount Gorongosa’s summit forms gently undulating slopes, covered with short, dense grasses and an astounding variety of flowers, including nine species of Helichrysum. The grasslands are punctuated with large granite outcrops, around which grow large stands of the beautiful Mountain Strelitzia, and here and there tree ferns indicate the presence of a sinkhole or a hidden stream.

 

From the top of the mountain, if you look to the west, you can see the towering peak of Mhanda Inselberg and beyond it the Inyanga Mountains of Zimbabwe. Look to the southeast, and you may see smaller inselbergs of the Midlands, and beyond them, the mirror of Lake Urema.