The craggy and hilly Muri Mountains, which are situated to the north of the Benue Lowlands, are an area with a complex pattern of settlement. This roughly 80 km long and 20 km wide mountainous area is inhabited by about 20 ethnic groups belonging to different language families. The present ethnic and linguistic situation is understood as the result of a complex series of migrations and adaptations to the natural environment. This paper will describe actual movements of settlements and consider certain conditions which may have been relevant in the decision to leave a settlement or choose a new one. The most important conditions will be the accessibility of arable land and/or pasture, accessibility of water, and conditions dependent on the historical and political context such as affording of security and possibility of defence. Therefore an interdisciplinary approach seems to be appropriate to evaluate the natural conditions for settlement and cultivation of the various places from a geographer´s point of view, to interrogate into the historical aspects and motifs of the settlement patterns and migrations with a thorough ethnological background, as well as to gain additional information from a linguistic analysis of toponymes and contact phenomena of the languages spoken in the area.