Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve

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Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve
Nimba Range.jpg
Mount Nimba landscape
Nearest city Yekepa, Bossou, N'Zoo
Area 17,540 hectares
Type Natural
Criteria ix, x
Designated 1981 (5th session)
Reference no. 155
State Party Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire
Region Africa

Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve is a protected area and UNESCO World Heritage Site in both Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire, extending over a total of area of 17,540 ha, with 12,540 ha in Guinea and 5,000 ha in Côte d'Ivoire. The reserve covers significant portions of Nimba Range, a geographically unique area with unusually rich flora and fauna, including single-site endemic species such as viviparous toads. The highest peak is Mount Richard-Molard at 1,752 m (5,750 ft).


The strict nature reserve was established in 1943 by Order No. 4190 SE/F in Côte d'Ivoire and in 1944 by decree in Guinea. The Guinean part was accepted as a biosphere reserve in 1980. Both reserves combined form one World Heritage site since 1981 (Guinea) and 1982 (Côte d'Ivoire).[1] Mount Nimba serves is an important refugium for numerous Western African species.

The nearest major settlements are the town Yekepa to the west in Liberia, Bossou and N'Zoo in Guinea.

There is a local conservation and management center planned by Guinean Park Foundation.


Nimba range is a 40 km-long narrow ridge running southwest to northeast, part of a Guinean backbone. It has great topographical diversity with valleys, plateaux, rounded hilltops, rocky peaks, abrupt cliffs, waterfalls, and bare granite blocks. Nimba range, including the strict nature reserve is an important water tower with about fifty springs between Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire. Mount Richard-Molard is the highest peak at 1,752 m (5,750 ft), which is the second highest point in West Africa, west of Cameroon.[2]


Lowland rainforest

Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve has a sub-equatorial montane climate subject of influences.[2] Temperatures changes extremely by elevation, with daytime maximum ranging between 24oC and 33oC, while nightly minimum temperatures can fall below 10oC in the highest peaks. There is significant variation in the rainfall on different sides of the reserve. Most rain falls on the southern slopes, however northern slopes there are little rainfall from the Atlantic due to rain-shadow effects. In addition these leeward slopes are also subject to the dry Harmattan winds blowing from the Sahara Desert, giving rise to xeric conditions.[3]


High-altitude grassland above forest zone
A tourist above clouds

Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve lies within Guinean Forests of West Africa biodiversity hotspot. It harbour an especially rich flora and fauna, it is the home of more than 2000 vascular plants, 317 vertebrate species, 107 of which are mammals, and, to more than 2,500 invertebrate species with a strong endemism level. Notably endemic vertebrates such as the Micropotamogale of Mount Nimba (Micropotamogale lamottei), the viviparous toad of Mount Nimba (Nimbaphrynoides occidentalis), and Lamotte's roundleaf bat (Hipposideros lamottei). Other threatened animals are West African lion (Panthera leo senegalensis), pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis), zebra duiker (Cephalophus zebra), and western chimpanzees that use stones as tools.[1]

Terrestrial ecoregions including Guinean montane forest, Western Guinean lowland forest, and Guinean forest-savanna mosaic. Nimba Range has a distinct freshwater ecoregion, because of high portion of endemic aquatic species.


One of the four honey buzzards of Kempen-Broek that are equipped with GPS trackers passed this national park on 13 November 2013.[4]

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Coordinates: 7°36′11″N 8°23′28″W / 7.603°N 8.391°W / 7.603; -8.391