Where is Chirinda Forest in Zimbabwe

Chirinda Rain Forest is a 960 ha evergreen Botanical Reserve near Mount Selinda in Chipinge, Zimbabwe just north of Gonarezhou National Park. The reserve is known for its year round moisture in the form of mist, dew and rainfall. It is Africa’s most southernmost rainforest. Chirinda is classified as a Zanzibar-Inhambane type of a rain forest. The area receives about 1400 mm of annual rainfall.

The Big Tree in Chirinda Forest

The spectacle of Chirinda  Forest is the Big Tree found in the ‘valley of the giants’. It is Zimbabwe’s tallest indigenous tree standing at  about 65 meters high. Also known as Nyasa Redwood or Khaya anthotheca, The Big Tree (about 1000 years old) is also the largest red mahogany tree in Southern Africa with a trunk diameter of about 6 meters. There is plenty of other rare trees that you will not see anywhere in Zimbabwe.

Chirinda’s fauna and flora is a mixture of plants, primates, reptiles, birds and insects. Chirinda has impressive bird species. Here you See The Crowned Eagle, Chirinda Apalis, Sunbird, Green Pigeons, Owl and Bee-Eater among many others. There is a wide variety of reptiles in the forest and the most notable ones are lizards, pythons, mambas, cobras, vipers and adders. You will also see Chirinda toads and plenty of butterflies.

Trips to Chirinda can be combined with visits to Chimanimani Mountains.

Accommodation

The Forest Commission of Zimbabwe has camping and lodges at the site. There are different sizes of chalets to meet individual needs and budgets. If you intend to use the facilities you have to arrange in advance with the Chirinda forest office. pictures by a ashton

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