The Great Rift Valley ends in Mozambique. The country’s long coastline provides wintering grounds for large numbers of Palearctic migrants. Main threats to the birds include environmental degradation, such as effects of slash-and-burn agricultural practices and deforestation.


There is no BirdLife partner for this territory
African Bird Club

Music collaborators include the Nampula dance group; Venancio Mbande and sons’ timbila orchestra; musicians playing Ligambusa-style from Nungo; Macuye drummers; Mr Cinco, kalimba player from Kabvewe, and his son, Kleito Cinco; Sheila Bankwa’s dance troupe and timbila orchestra; Ngalanga dancers, Blantifice; Masengai timbila group, Zavalla (image top left); gororombe pipe players; Mr. Mandonela, timbila player; Sekuru Nyaraezi, mbira player from Tete province (image top right); bangwe, karimba, nyacatangali/mouth bow, and nyonga nyonga players from the Katandica area; Linkston Julius, bangwe player from Katandica; Mano Chinyube, from Nyandoro (image bottom left); Tobias Geros, from Chimoio, Manica province, and his mbira group, Dzandiwandira; Mr. Bomba, kalimba and valimba player, from the village of  Chitema; Zore musicians and dancers; Sano Majanja, matepe player (image middle right); Lucas Sevene, tingwe player, from Tete province (image middle left); Shaurai Musevene, kankobele player, and Karika, singer, from Tete province (image bottom right).

We are deeply grateful to all who collaborated with us and assisted us in Mozambique, especially to ethnomusicologists Dr. Andrew Tracey (ethnomusicologist, International Library of African Music); Geoffrey Tracey, Celso Paco, ( University of Mozambique); and to John Mukavel, (camera man/ translator); 
Pedro Langa, translator; 
Victor Bernardo, Ministry Planning and Development; 
Joao Vilanculu, ARPAC (Ministry of Culture); 
Pedro Lucas, ARPAC (Ministry of Culture)

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  • Mozambique

    Size: 799,380 km²

    Human population: 23,390,765
    (World Bank, World Development Indicators, 2010)

    Bird species: 736
    including 1 globally threatened species (Avibase Bird Checklists of the World).

    Important Bird Areas: 15

    Venancio Mbande's timbila orchestra

    The power of the Chopi timbila is found in its essence in the orchestra of grand master Venancio Mbande and his sons (from Quissico, Zavalla.) Mr. Mbande’s ensemble is composed of about 15 wooden xylophones, from soprano to the massive bass, with its 4 giant planks for bars and huge gourd resonators. The Chopi timbila are typically tuned to what ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey calls a “minor whole-tone scale,” meaning that the degrees of the scale are roughly the same distance apart, so that the octave is divided into 7 equal parts as opposed to the 12 notes that western ears are accustomed to. The timbila music can be complicated and dense, often featuring rhythms of 3 against 4, producing a high level of syncopation. The gourd resonators have small holes covered by a membrane that buzzes, so that all the bars produce a buzzing sound as well. When the entire orchestra plays together, it produces a stunning symphonic tapestry of interlocking parts, like a dynamic buzzing sonic ecosystem. The traditional timbila suites incorporate solo and orchestral pieces with dance segments for 2 – 12 dancers. The masters of the Chopi timbila report a lack of interest in the next generation to carry on this heritage; in addition, deforestation of the mwenje tree, whose resonant wood gives the timbila its distinct sound, has affected the making of new instruments.