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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.
Location of Mount Lico
Enjoy the Hidden Rainforest
The brief footsteps on Lico will soon be overgrown, and the plants and animals that live there will continue to be protected by the same towering cliffs (more than 125 metres high) that have saved them up to now (without the help of world-class climbers, the expedition would not have been possible).
To everyone’s surprise, they found ancient pots, ceremonially placed near the source of a stream that flows to a waterfall down the side of the cliff. Were these placed there during a time of drought, as the waterfall ran dry and the crops failed?
Archaeologists and climate scientists are investigating. Given the pots pre-date local knowledge, the incredible inaccessibility and lack of any other signs of human activity, Lico’s forest remains one of the least disturbed on the planet.