Chirinda Forest Botanical Reserve

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Located on the slopes of Mount Selinda 30km south of Chipinge, Chirinda Forest Botanical Reserve is situated on two hilltops on dolerite derived soils. It is administered by the Forestry Commission. Chirinda means “lookout” or “vantage point” in the chiNdau language. It could also mean “place of refuge”.

There is moisture all year round that provides for a substantial and intact moist leaf litter layer. It receives about 1,370 to 1,466 mm of yearly rainfall. It is about 950 hectares in area with the Zona, Chinyika, and Musangazi streams draining the broad highlands. The reserve is not strictly enforced so cattle grazing and plant harvesting are still ongoing. It is surrounded by communal settlements, commercial timber plantations, and small scale farming.

There are many species of tree found in the reserve: fluted milkwood, Chirinda fig, undershrub big leaf, Chirinda stinkwood, mobola plum, mahobohobo, yellow bitter berry, and the forest strychnos. Other plants include the forest climbing acacia, ironwood giant diospyros, and apricot vine.

Animals found in the reserve include Samango monkeys, leopards, the red-bellied coast squirrel, and the Selinda veld rat. Together with a variety of birds, like the green pigeon, pygmy kingfisher, sunbirds, and fire finches. The reserve also has a large number of pythons, cobras, vipers, mambas, adders, chameleons, and geckos.

For nature lovers it is a great place to take in and admire nature and just fall completely in love with nature all over again.