Why we explored an undisturbed rainforest hidden on top of an African mountain


Atop Mount Lico in northern Mozambique is a site that few have had the pleasure of seeing – a hidden rainforest, protected by a steep circle of rock. Though the mountain was known to locals, the forest itself remained a secret until six years ago, when Professor Julian Bayliss spotted it on satellite imagery. It wasn’t until last year, however, that he revealed his discovery, at the Oxford Nature Festival.

We recently visited the 700 metre-high mountaintop rainforest in an expedition organised by Bayliss, in collaboration with Mozambique’s Natural History Museum and National Herbarium. As far as anyone knew (including the locals), we would be the first people to set foot there (spoiler: we weren’t).

Since the rainforest’s discovery, Lico has received worldwide attention. That…

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