I know most of you still get night sweats from watching the anaconda movies, to be honest am still scared of going to the garden to get a few greens for supper lol, am joking I outgrew that fear way back in high school. Here I am trying to scare you to death instead of hyping you up for your next adventure….silly me. This week we are still in the eastern highlands area, those guys have the most amazing lush green picturesque part of the country like you can never go wrong with such amazing views at your disposal.
Covering 950 hectares of land, the Chirinda Forest Botanical Reserve is a marvel situated right on the slopes of Mount Selinda approximately 30 km south of Chipinge in Manicaland, Zimbabwe and the Forestry Commission is administer of the reserve. The reserve is situated between 900 and 1,200 m in altitude and receives some 1,370 mm to 1,466 mm of annual rainfall which is normal for that area. 606 hectares of its higher levels, is covered by moist evergreen forest, specifically Zanzibar-Inhambane transitional rain forest of which it represents the southernmost existence. The headwaters of three streams, namely the Zona, Chinyika and Musangazi, drain the two broad highlands which encloses the reserve. The boundaries of the reserve are not strictly monitored, meaning that cattle grazing and plant harvesting are a natural occurrence. The reserve is surrounded by communal settlements, commercial timber plantations which are mostly eucalyptus and pine plus small-scale commercial farming units. Back in 1900 naturalist Charles Swynnerton was appointed manager of the nearby Gungunyana farm, and a number of plant, bird and insect names commemorate his collecting activities of the next two decades, imagine that. So Chirinda basically means lookout or vantage point in the local language which is ChiNdau.
As for the directions from the Birchenough Bridge take the A9 heading towards Mutare, travel for about 2.82 kms and then turn right onto the A16. Drive for about 24.98 kms then turn left onto the A10, drive for another 49.0 kms to where the A10 meets the road to Chipinge and Espungabera (Mozambique border). Drive a further 63.2 kms until you get to Chipinge. From Chipinge travel a further 95.4kms till you reach Mt Selinda Hospital and Chirinda Forest. For those who really want to see the big tree, you have to walk another 1.8kms due South of Mt. Selinda Hospital, follow the gravel road and signposts, you will never get lost. The forest is a beautiful place to be forget about all those rainforests they continuously advertise and you so wish to visit when you have your very own in Zimbabwe and no I doubt there’s an anaconda hiding somewhere in the forest try Kariba I hear there’s a mythical snake there.
Visit Chipinge, take a stroll through the forest be it with friends or loved ones, let the fresh air rejuvenate you and capture the beautiful environment with your eyes and store the memories in your mind palace.
Ps I personally think it’s a good place to propose in……something different