A Sky-Island Forest Vanishes on Namuli

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This is a “shamba” on Namuli, where the forest has been slashed and burned for potato cash-crop farming. (Photo by Michele Menegon)

Our expedition to find new reptiles and amphibians in Africa’s “sky islands” was off to a cheerful start after our hair-raising but successful sojourn on Mount Mabu. After packing up camp there on November 23, we headed down the mountain to the vehicles, down a narrow, muddy 4×4 track, and onto the “bush road.” After five hours of bumpy driving, we eventually hit the tar road that would take us to the town of Gurué which lies at the foot of Mount Namuli, our next target. To traverse this, we would need to rent motorbikes to take us to a high-altitude saddle on the mountain, and thereafter hire porters to assist with getting the gear to the forest. Our local contact, Cotxane, helped with these logistics but we hit a big stumbling block.

We had run out of cash and the ATMs were not working anywhere in Gurué. We tried everywhere, and all we found were enormous queues of people waiting to access the ATMs once they were running again. This obstacle was serious enough to put a complete —> Read More Here


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