Abandoned plantation with high canopy trees in Kumbira

Abandoned plantation with high canopy trees in Kumbira.

The Angola Field Group has been invited to visit “The Kumbira Forest Project”, a project which aims at protecting forests for the benefit of threatened Angolan birds. Kumbira  is the largest remaining  forest of the central Angolan Escarpment also known as the Scarp. Located in Kwanza Sul, the Scarp is one of the most interesting areas in the country in terms of biodiversity, and has 14 out of the 15 endemic bird species, six of which are threatened.

During colonial times, most of the forests of the scarp were converted into coffee plantations by clearing  vegetation from under the trees, leaving the tall canopy mostly intact resulting in what is known as “coffee forests”. Then came the civil war and the plantations were abandoned. This allowed the recovery of the understory vegetation which may have been beneficial for the bird community, especially the endemics. Now that the war is over, subsistence farms are appearing all over Kumbira and the other Scarp forests. Not only understory vegetation but also canopy forest is being destroyed to plant sun-loving crops such as cassava, maize, banana and sweet potatoes. Charcoal production and logging has also been observed in the area.

We will visit Aimy Caceres, the Peruvian biologist and PhD student researching this project, and learn about the efforts being undertaken to ensure the conservation of the forest. All information and photos in this posting are from her blog: http://kumbiraforest.blogspot.com

: June 29, 30, 31

What: We will be camping in the forest. You must be self sufficient in terms of all camping equipment and food. This is a conservation project, no use of charcoal allowed.
How: You will need a 4 wheel drive with a high wheel base since the last part of the journey, the road is rough.
There is no telephone network where we are camping.
To register for this trip, you must have valid original documents since the trip crosses three provinces. Email Henriette Koning at: angolafieldgroup@gmail.com and please indicate:
•    names of participants and cell phone number 

•    do you  have room in your vehicle for an extra passenger, keeping in mind camping gear takes up space

•     if you will be leaving from the city or from Luanda Sul  
 All Angola Field Group trips are at your own risk.

Location of Kumbira Forest (green) in Kwanza Sul province.

Location of Kumbira Forest (green area) in Kwanza Sul province.