Mission Statement

‘To act as custodians of those properties of cultural heritage and natural beauty held in trust and maintain them for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe as a legacy for future generations’.




VOL 3 OF 2017


The Chairman and Council members extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to Fira Bache, one of our long-standing and loyal Council members, who lost her husband, Clive, on the 27th July. Clive also served as a Council member, and retired a few years ago.


Members of Council were at Clive’s service which was held at Rain Tree in Umwinsidale.







Dear Members,

This has indeed been an absolutely momentous year for The National Trust of Zimbabwe and lately for the country as a whole!!

We have finally signed a new and much more beneficial long term lease for La Rochelle. That will result in more security over the long term future of the property and result in more development including, hopefully, additional accommodation along with a “organic Farming Centre of Excellence” training facility servicing sub-Saharan Africa (eventually)!!

Gill Honeyman and her small team have continued to do a wonderful job of developing World’s View. If you have not been there recently, take the time to do so, you will be very pleasantly surprised and enjoy the outing!!

Edone-Ann Logan continues to lead her very active Nyanga team doing great things at the Historical Exhibition and on other heritage education projects. The Museum is really worth a visit and, unfortunately, is now nearly full of exhibits!! RNHE won a prize in Bali for the most impressive project run with the aid of the INTO “Small Grants Project”. That related to a number of Nyanga schools participating in a heritage education project designed for Nyanga school. Children. More recently, with the help of Willie Dhlandlara, they have run a competition for school heritage clubs to submit short videos (taken on cell phones) about the heritage activities in their schools. That project extends across Africa to Sierra Leone & Uganda as well. A panel of judges has selected the best videos from Zimbabwe and the same process is happening in the other 2 countries. Eventually there will be an African continent winner!!

We have been very fortunate to receive funding to enable us to start clearing up the Mabukawene site in Bulawayo (which had become a “jungle” over the last few years!! The Bulawayo Natural History Museum undertook a study and collected numerous artefacts which they are now studying. It confirms the area was occupied by an Ndeble settlement. We await their final report.

Sharon Waterworth & Lin Goncalves along with myself and my wife, were sponsored by INTO to attend the bi-annual gathering of national trusts from around the world (“ICNT 17”). It was held in Bali, Indonesia. An incredible opportunity of a lifetime for us all with very beneficial results – new Global networking/friends established and new ideas and plans for the future. The Balinese produced an incredible week of activities, all of which can be read about on the NTZ website or Facebook page!!

As you can see, it’s been quite a busy and progressive year!!

It just remains for me and my family to wish all our stakeholders a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Travel safe if you are travelling and enjoy the holidays.


David Scott


International News

ICNT 2017 Conference

Three NTZ Committee members recently attended the ICNT  Conference, hosted by the Indonesian Heritage Trust (BPPI) and the Regency of Gianyar,  held in Bali from 11th to 15th September. The theme was: Our Cultural Heritage, the Key to Environmental Sustainability and the aim was to bring global delegates together to explore the connection between their cultural traditions and concerns for sustainable development.  The main issues for examination were: the impact of economic development on cultural landscapes; the relationship between cultural rights and social development, issues of heritage preservation and poverty; forecasting and management; and the impacts of climate change.


Our Chairman David Scott, Vice Chair Sharon Waterworth and Lin Goncalves met around 130 other heritage professionals, delegates from almost 30 countries.  It was wonderful to hear what other NTs are doing globally and of course to network with passionate and dedicated like-minded people.

It was an excellent way to work together to exchange ideas and contacts to preserve our heritage in all forms – historical, cultural and geographical - tangible and intangible.

The conference was an unforgettable, exciting and very motivational event. The NTZ would like to extend its gratitude and thank INTO for generously partially sponsoring the three NTZ delegates that attended. The NTZ are a proud member of the INTO.

Updates will be posted on our FACEBOOK PAGE and the website very soon.

 COP 23 BONN:- The NTZ  produced a poster entitled ” Climate Change: Consequences for The NTZ” for the COP 23 conference recently held in Bonn  (6-17 November). Mr Oliver Maurice, INTO Director, kindly displayed the poster on our behalf at the conference on the INTO stand. INTO are working hard to highlight global heritage issues with respect to climate change. The poster can be viewed on our FACEBOOK PAGE and website. We gratefully acknowledge Anna Brazier, 2015, Climate Change in Zimbabwe: Facts for Planners and Decision Makers, Konrad Adenauer Stiftungrs. INTO’s 10th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS: - The INTO Secretariat in London is working on the celebrations of INTO’s 10th birthday (Lin Goncalves latest blog tells a bit more). If anyone has any photo’s or latest snippets of news on any of our local properties, please send them through for inclusion in the celebration programme!    

Local News:

Memorial Exhibition: Mr Darrel Plowes 04/04/1925 – 19/10/2016 – 91 years – what a fine innings!

A Memorial Exhibition of the lifelong work of Mr Darrel Charles Herbert Plowes organized by National Museums and Monuments Zimbabwe (NMMZ) in association with the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Mutare, Zimbabwe, was opened on 19th October 2017, it will run until Christmas.

The exhibition showcases and celebrates Darrel as a person and as a plant collector, orchid specialist, author, scientific researcher, photographer, ornithologist and butterfly collector. The display covers his public and community service work as a Museum Society member, a NMMZ Board member, Cactus and Succulent Society member and long serving, very active and dedicated member of the National Trust of Zimbabwe. Some of his personal items are on display such as his cameras and natural collections. 


Darrel, as he will be remembered, with his camera and his sharp mind for nature!


The NTZ is selected to host the Inaugural INTO Pan Africa Forum Conference

At the 2015 International Conference National Trust held in Cambridge, UK, the Africa Regional Forum was established, the NTZ is a full-time member and holds the current Chair.

 The vision, mission statement, terms of refence and aim of the INTO Africa Forum are as follows:

A. Vision

A vibrant network of African Heritage Organisations, who are active in protecting and promoting the Continent’s Cultural Heritage.

B. Mission statement

The INTO Africa Group brings together like-minded National Trusts and Heritage Organisations, from across the Continent to share ideas and resources and to develop a Continent-wide voice and influence on heritage matters.

C. Terms of Reference/Aims and Objectives:

The Group will concern itself with the conservation of natural heritage, intangible and tangible cultural heritage including architectural heritage.



The NTZ responded to a call for proposals to host the Inaugural Pan Africa Forum Conference and we are proudly to announce that we won! We are looking forward to hosting conference which will result in a powerful network for NTZ and significantly raise the profile of NTZ and of Zimbabwe and assist in future heritage project funding opportunities locally and regionally.

NTZ 44th AGM: Organic Africa Presents an Exciting Opportunity for La Rochelle 

In 1964 Sir Stephen and Lady Virginia Courtauld funded an agricultural training school named ‘Kukwanisa’ in the Tsonzo area of Nyanga which was established for small holder farmers in the area. Initially it was an outstandingly successful venture but it was sadly destroyed during the war years. It has been the wish of the NTZ to re-establish the training school. 


In 2016 Mr Dominik Collenberg of Organic Africa (OA), in a Joint Venture with Acumen (who undertook the major refurbishment of La Rochelle and now manages the boutique country house), approached the NTZ with a view to enter into a long term successful partnership establishing an agricultural training centre of excellence at La Rochelle.  The centre will offer courses in sustainable organic farming for small scale farmers in southern Africa. Needless to say this is an exciting opportunity for all the organisations involved and for Zimbabwe. The NTZ was proud to invite Mr Dominik Collenberg to speak at its 44th AGM held on the 29th July 2017. Dominik holds a Masters Degree in Organic Farming and Masters Degree in Economics of Development which means that he has the expertise to implement the proposed project and in addition he has gained many years of experience in his professional field.


Carraway (above) is a hardy herb which grows well in the rainy season. In addition to their use in traditional medicines, the seeds have many health benefitting properties, containing vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. 

Calendula (above) has good anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Safflower almost ready to harvest (above). The linolenic and linoleic acids in safflower seed oil might help prevent “hardening of the arteries,” lower cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart disease.                           

Stinging nettle, above, grows well in sunshine.

Lemon Balmb (above) grows well in the rainy season.

Organic Chamomile (above) grows well in winter.


Other crops being trialled include two varieties of ginger and three varieties of turmeric anise.

The project is in synergy with the vision of the NTZ and O A and their business partners have a very good reputation for looking after the environment and being socially responsible in their business operations.  Needless to say, O A presents an exciting opportunity for ensuring the economic viability of La Rochelle, training and supporting small scale farmers, caring for the environment and raising the profile of the NTZ regionally. The NTZ is very privileged to be involved in the proposed project.



LA ROCHELLE – We would like to share some recent visitors’ comments with you:-


“Hi All, I decided to make the most of it and stay at La Rochelle – an up market, rambling, country style homestead 5 minutes down the Penhalonga Road just on the outskirts of Mutare. My first visit and I have been impressed by how well it is being run; the excellent dinners; and the relaxed feel about the place.

The main house had lots of long passageways and a large lounge as was the architecture favoured some 50 plus years ago. Saturday night in the main living room had several families playing games like scrabble and dominoes with their kids –pleasant music playing quietly in the background. There are bookshelves all over the place with books dating back to the early 20th century – I browsed through a few: “A Great Book of Humour” (1935) with short stories from about 30 authors including Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy; and then there was “Echoes of Old Country Life” (1892). I did, of course, have to glance through a more modern  “Remarkable Gardens of SA!” (2012) lying on the coffee table

When the work was done I took off on my Bike for a ride along the backroads – all uphill to my dismay – I ended up traversing what seemed like the Stairways to Heaven – one of those where every corner brings yet another steep rise – still people living way up there with local ladies ascending the hill seemingly unaffected by the heavy buckets on their heads. 

Some of the views from La Rochelle and of the interior.

La Rochelle is ideal for either a stopover on the way to or from Mozambique or for a week ago away from the Madding crowd. A pleasant drive just over 3 hours from Harare. Take time out soon - Mike Garden.”

Mike wrote: “A quote that caught my attention in the Humour Book “ Mrs Wright and Mr Bolt were sipping liqueurs and lingering over that inestimable stage of human companionship when acquaintance is drifting into something higher, wider, nobler, broader, deeper and fuller”! (F.E. Baily  in “Look this Way Babe”). A little more subtle than the likes of “50 shades of Grey”!

“La Rochelle - Have friend who stayed there recently with some Art ladies they really enjoyed the weekend lovely gardens”

“          I used to go to La Rochelle when it was still in the Courtauld family and Lady Courtauld was still alive and we used to have tea on the veranda, those gardens were magnificent. I remember it as being so much bigger and so full of colour back then. I think the Manager is doing a remarkable job. it looks wonderful. Regards Rose”………………

“This was the home of Lord and Lady Courtauld. There should be a statue there of her pet lemur and the round turret was for her stone collection. They had interesting visitors who signed the lounge window. They had so many antiques that Mr Holland refused to value the contents so a valuer was sent out from the UK. They also planted all different trees. Glad to hear it is running well”.



The FIRST BLOOM of Protea Eximia grown from SEED at Worlds View has graced us with her appearance!!! A big hand to our hard-working Gill Honeyman Chair and Matirina her amazing gardener up there. 

Stunning! First bloom of the Protea Eximia !

From a recent visitor to Worlds View:-

“On Sunday we took a drive to World’s View, wow! what wonderful job the Trust has done. The gardens are just so beautiful, and the information centre make you want to stay inside for hours. Well done to the Committee.”


Very big CONGRATULATIONS to our Edone-Ann Logan of Nyanga, for her dedication and hard work – which culminated in the NTZ/RNHE winning the award for the Small Grants Project poster competition held during the Bali conference recently. The poster was a pictorial display with description of the projects undertaken at the RNHE – which won the SGP award. Projects highlighted included traditional weaving, pottery and cooking. Full details can be viewed on https://into-icnt.org/archives-previous-conferences.

Guest Speakers

The RHNE takes every opportunity to organise speakers to talk about intangible heritage.  This year’s speakers included:


}  Mr Rob Burrett , BSc and BSc Hons (Archaeology & Geography) and a Master of Science (MSc) in Archaeology

}  Jonathan Zilberg, Ph.D, who was an Associate Research Scholar at the Center for African Studies at the University of Illinois. His doctorate was entitled Zimbabwean Stone Sculpture: ‘The Invention of a Shona Tradition’



Dr Zilberg spoke on his experiences while growing up in Zimbabwe, of meeting and getting to know  many of the original sculptors, seeing and discussing their works and helping to find suitable materials to work with.  He spoke about Vukutu, which was visited on Tuesday with Dan and EAL, accompanied by Ernest Spare, and the importance of the early sculptors, teachers, Mission schools and members of the community who assisted the artists during the days before the closure of the centre.

Jonathan gave an outline of the trip made the day before to the Craft Centre and Nyanga North, visiting the homes of some of the famous Nyanga sculptors, and meeting their families.

Competition: International National Trust Organisation to promote Heritage Education!

Heritage club member youths (under 20) in Zimbabwe were invited to join heritage clubs in Sierra Leone and Uganda in a competition to share an experience or activity of their heritage club, which they felt is exciting:

a) Submit a 2-3 minute video clip taken on a phone or camera depicting an exciting experience/ activity related to heritage.

b) Write half a page (about 250 words) explaining your video clip.

The children/youths were invited to present their  entry to a panel of judges on 20 September 2017 at the Rhodes Hall, National Park. 

Committee Members met in the Nyanga Library to judge nine video clips presented by pupils from  Nyanga schools, on heritage subjects. This was in response to the CCFU Crowdfunding competition between school children in  Zimbabwe (represented by Nyanga), Uganda and Sierra Leone.  The competition was organised in the main by Mr Dhlandhlara, who has communication with all schools in the area.

It was quite a long process, judges using the list of criteria compiled by the organisers,  and I am grateful to those who gave four hours of their day to this (we included the Curator, who closed the museum for the morning).  The groups of children – all members of their school Heritage Clubs – and their teachers attended, and after the preliminary discussions, each group presented its video, with one pupil narrating and answering questions at the end.  We thought you would be interested in the variety of subjects studied by the groups:  Pottery; Traditional Courts (2); Processing sorghum; Roofing of traditional Homes; the Sacredness of Nytate Bush; Ancient Ridges and structures; Importance of Cattle; Mat making.  Mr Dhlandhlara will send off the 6 best videos by drop-box, and the best two will be chosen be a panel in Sierra Leone.  Interesting and educational, and worth repeating next year.”


An up-dated information leaflet has been produced and will be made available to visitors and guests at La Rochelle. It can be found on our website and FACEBOOK page.



A very intensive clean-up operation is underway at this site and it is looking good. Progress is being made and we look forward to attracting a greater number of visitors in time. Grateful thanks to our Bulawayo representatives and to Rob Burrett and Marilyn Hugill, Birdlife Zimbabwe for compiling the list of bird species in the area and to the Thomas Meikle Trust.

• Both our FACEBOOK page and website are quite active with up to date news and photographs, and we encourage those of you with FACEBOOK to like us.




If you are visiting any National Trust properties, please be generous with photographs of your visit and share them with us for inclusion on our Facebook page or website with names and comments! If you have the time and are able to print an A4 sheet with “THIS PLACE MATTERS” on it, we would love the photographs of you at any one of the NTZ properties you may be visiting, holding the sign, which we will put on our website and Facebook to share with our National Trust friends the world over!!

Please share videos of our sites with us, or directly to our FACEBOOK page!!!


We have lovely strong cloth carry-bags for sale – NATIONAL TRUST OF ZIMBABWE – ideal for carrying books to your book club/library, or for that little bit of shopping – or knitting!



Heritage is precious: treasure it