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Well worth a visit when in the Chipinge area is Chirinda Forest at Mount Selinda. This spectacular forest, controlled by the Forestry Commission is well known for its magnificent trees. Over 100 species occur in the forest, the most famous being the remains of an enormous red Mahogany Khaya nyasica. A common resident in the forest is the large Silvery-cheeked Hornbill. Chirinda Apalis and Lemon Dove are also common but difficult to see. The track leading to the Big tree and picnic site is signposted and is just before the Mount Selinda Mission Station. The best birding is actually on the opposite side of the road next to Swynnerton's Memorial. This is the best place to look for Swynnerton's Robin, although some birders have been lucky enough to see it along the path to the big tree. Crested Guineafowl, Livingstone's Turaco, White-eared Barbet, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Square-tailed Drongo, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Black-throated Wattle-eye, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher and Black-fronted Bush-Shrike are other species that occur here.

Directions
Travelling from Mutare, take the Chipinge turnoff just before Birchenough Bridge. Go through Chipinge to the end of the shops and turn right at the BP Service Station onto the Mount Selinda Road which is tarred all the way to the forest. The forest is 25km from Chipinge.

Derek Solomon 1997.


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