Mt Selinda an ideal tourist destination

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1948

TOURISM has been described as a tree with low hanging fruits, which if efficiently plucked, will significantly boost the country’s economy.
Government is presently engaged in efforts to revive the economy left in a comatose by Western embargos.
But resuscitation efforts are fraught with many challenges, chief among them, lack of capital to breathe life into the economy.
Credit lines from the Brettonwoods institutions have not been forthcoming despite so-called relaxations of the sanctions.
A recent visit to Chipinge, for the burial of Mbuya Grace Tingadini Pfukwa, mother to The Patriot Editor, Professor Charles Pfukwa, revealed a hidden piece of paradise — Chirinda (Mt Selinda).
Personally, I had just heard of the place, just the name Mt Selinda, but that is as much as I got and nothing more.
What a travesty!
Someone must be sleeping on the job.
Beyond doubt the country, in the realm of tourism, has much more to offer than what is presently being put on the table.
Wikipedia states that Mt Selinda, at an altitude of 1 100 metres, is a village and mission station in the province of Manicaland in the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe.
Located close to the Mozambique border, it lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Mount Selinda sits on an eastern-facing slope, on the very edge of the Chirinda Forest Botanical Reserve – the southernmost tropical rainforest in sub-Saharan Africa.
This place is a natural gem.
It lies at the southern end of a mountain range which separates Zimbabwe from neighbouring Mozambique.
Mount Selinda itself consists of two large, densely forested hills which rise up from the mountain plateau, with the two hills possessing a gentle, but distinct saddle between them.
According to Wikipedia, no other high ground stands between Mt Selinda and the Indian Ocean some 400 kilometres away – a major factor influencing Mt Selinda’s wet climate.
To the north-east of Chirinda Forest lies the Ngungunyana Forest and Eucalyptus Plantation C.
To the east of Mount Selinda, the land descends gradually down into Mozambique, but to the west of Mount Selinda the geography changes suddenly and dramatically.
After 30km, the mountain range plunges down to the flat, arid lowlands of the Sabi River Valley where, in searing summer temperatures of 40°C and higher, heat-tolerant baobab and mopane trees abound.
This is as much information as I got from Wikipedia.
A valiant effort at describing this stunning piece of land, but it does not do it justice!
Besides the beautiful land, most charming are the people of the area.
Generally, Zimbabweans are friendly, but the Ndau people in Chipinge are a more friendly and happy lot. They exude positive vibes that never fail to uplift the spirit of a first-time visitor.
The Ndau language makes them more exciting, the cadence and tone are beautiful to the ear.
Interacting with them one cannot help, but think the chlorophyll that seems to flow freely and give the vegetation an alluring green also flows in the veins of the people of the land.
Respectful and courteous, the people leave you feeling closer to humanity.
Words like ‘mwashuma’ meaning thank you and ‘mutape’ loosely translated to mean king or boss, are just some of the words that make conversation a delightful experience.
One never gets the feel of being in a typical rural area, the whole area just feels like an expensive piece of real estate, but whose occupants are not boastful at all.
The fields of tea are equally magical.
One gets the soothing and calming effects associated with the beverage before drinking it just by watching the rolling fields of the crop.
The most that people know about Mt Selinda is that many left for the liberation struggle through the area.
But there is more to the area; it is an ideal tourist destination.
The meandering and undulating roads would create a perfect venue for a cycling competition presenting the best test of endurance; a Tour De Chipinge would definitely attract the best of the world’s cyclists.
Chirinda has so much to offer the discerning tourist.
It is an area screaming for marketing and promotion.

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