Climbing Mount Moco – May 2010 Field Trip
Mount Moco is in the mountainous province of Huambo, on the road from Alto Hama to Lobito. We set up camp over half a kilometer from the village of Kanjonde, formerly known as Moco, which means knife in Umbundu.
At sunrise we headed out of camp to climb to the top of Angola – it was a long tough climb over uneven terrain scattered with rocks hidden under high grass but the stillness and beauty of the constantly changing scenery compensated for aching muscles. We descended from 1950 meters to1850 meters and then climbed up to 2620 meters. Only the first part of the trek had a trail. We crossed through four ravines and rivers and passed through miombo woodland before reaching the plateau at the base of the final ascent to the peak.
All photos by Henriette Koning.
In the two photos below, hippos viewed on the Queve River near Ebo in the province of Kwanza Sul during the July 2010 field trip. To book a trip to see the hippos, contact Raul Jose at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website: www.hospedaria-ebo.com
Read on to find out more about the Okavango River – ‘the river that goes nowhere’! – provided by one of the Angola Field Group’s past presenters- The Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM)…
The Okavango is a truly unique river facing a very unique set of challenges at a pivotal time in its history. Unlike most rivers of the world, the Okavango flows not into the sea, but into the vast expanse of sand; the Kalahari Desert! The river starts as the Cuito and Cubango tributaries in the highland plateau of Angola where most of the water flows in from an approximately 120,000 km catchment area of diverse and somewhat unchartered geographical and ecological characteristics. Serving a lifeline of clean water for people, livelihoods and ecosystems, the river then flows in a narrow channel forming the border between Angola and Namibia for 1000km. The river crosses Namibia and enters Botswana in Mohembo spreading out to form the panhandle. The waters of the River then spill into the Okavango Delta; a unique wetland of global significance, one of the largest desert oases in the world!
Unlike most rivers of the world, the waters of the Okavango are clear and contain few dissolved chemicals, solutes or pollutants. The riparian landscapes along many of the waterways remain pristine and natural plant and aquatic life remains healthy. The river safely and securely supports people, their livestock and a myriad of livelihoods ranging from artisanal fisheries to small scale agriculture. The Okavango Delta, a unique and fragile ecosystem is a significant source of tourism income and cultural value to the people of Botswana.
This near pristine status of the Okavango is a byproduct of history and geopolitics orchestrated far beyond the borders of the River Basin that shaped the Southern Africa of today. Nevertheless the current situation offers the “guardians” of the Okavango a unique and time-bound opportunity to forge a plan to “have the cake and eat it too”; the opportunity to channel the rich resources of the River towards much needed socio-economic development without compromising the immense value inherent to the current ecological integrity of the system.
Thanks to Chaminda Rajapakse, Project Manager, Environment Protection and Sustainable Management of the Okavango River Basin Project (EPSMO) for providing this information. EPSMO is a joint initiative of the Governments of Angola, Botswana and Namibia represented by the Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM) in partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
FIELD TRIP PHOTO GALLERY:
Angola Field Group Members gather together in front of a baobob tree during the August 2, 2009 field trip to the Miradouro da Lua (the Lunar Landscape)