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  • This Way to the Museum Committee members of Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition arrived at the Rhodes Museum for their usual bi-monthly meeting on 7 December 2017 and started work on setting up the new ‘Time Line Project’ and also co-opted member Ray Clutty, together with Marshall Nyanhanda, the task of fixing the newly painted signs outside the Museum and positioning ...
  • An Evening Instrumental Recital at La Rochelle Country House: 17th February 2018
  • COP 23 – Climate Change: Consequences for The National Trust of Zimbabwe Mr Oliver Maurice, Director, INTO attended the recent conference of the parties (COP) COP 23  under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which aims to “prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” held in Bonn, Germany. Mr Maurice presented the “Gianyar Declaration: Cultural Sustainability and Climate Change” that was ratified at the INTO ICNT ...
  • At 44th AGM Organic Africa Presents an Exciting Opportunity for the Trust 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • Invitation to a Memorial Exhibition of the Lifelong Work of Mr Darrel Plowes You are cordially invited to a Memorial Exhibition of the lifelong work of Mr Darrel Plowes being organized by National Museums and Monuments Zimbabwe (NMMZ) and the Mutare Art Gallery on 19th October 2017. The exhibition will showcase and celebrate Darrel as a person and as a plant collector, orchid specialist, author, scientific researcher, photographer, ornithologist ...
  • The NTZ wins the International National Trust Organisation Small Grants Programe Award In 2014 the NTZ decided to undertake an innovative, experimental pilot project for school children to “re-discover their living traditions and identify their cultural roots”. The project focused on heritage education management and based on community participation in terms of their time and materials and provided capacity building for school teachers. A copy of “The ...
  • The NTZ is selected to host the Inaugural 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 reference and aims of the INTO Africa Forum are as follows: Vision A vibrant network of African Heritage Organisations, who are active in ...

We are very pleased to share the latest good news about our:  La Rochelle Garden Restoration Project  

We have made good progress on the restoration of the Dell garden this year. Many of our guests that have                      come to the garden, have commented on its transformation over the last couple of years. I find that it is                          once again the main attraction for guests who come to La Rochelle. The beauty of being involved in a                              project such as this, is seeing what was accomplished last year blossom into something people can                                  enjoy today.

Mr Kevin Martin, Estate Manager

The Nursery and Orchid Centre that was refurbished last year is looking better and better with each month that passes.  Koi fish have been bought for one of the ponds and goldfish for another. The goldfish have started breading and we will be able to stock other ponds from this. We have completed the toilet block at the Nursery. This has wheel chair access and has drinking water for garden visitors. The orchids have done well this year since the houses have been restored. The greatest impact is seen on the Phalaenopsis and Cattleya that are in the glass and heated houses. We have been inviting schools and orphanages to visit and be taught basic knowledge on plants and trees.

See photos below of Nursery and Orchid Centre

orchid-houseWe have made good progress on the restoration of the Dell garden this year. Many of our guests that have come to the garden, have commented on its transformation over the last couple of years. I find that it is once again the main attraction for guests who come to La Rochelle. The beauty of being involved in a project such as this, is seeing what was accomplished last year blossom into something people can enjoy today. I       orchid-3

orchid    orchid-4

Hillcrest School grade 5                                                  Riverside School grade 1 and 2

kids-and-plants           kids-in-garden

Restoration of the Dell

This year we have been working on the Dell. To help in doing this we have rebuilt the tractor trailer. This has been most helpful on the project and other areas of La Rochelle.

The Aloe and Cycad Garden

In the aloe and cycad garden we have removed many trees that had come up in amongst the aloes and were over shading them. Unfortunately this damaged many of the Aloes. The damaged plants have been used as our propagation material for replanting. The underground irrigation has also been repaired. We have mulched this whole area to improve water retention and the soils and will be replanting this area with the coming rains.

Before                                                                                                             After

before                                    after

Aloes and Cycads cleared of weeds and mulched

aloes                               aloes-and-steps

cycads

Area around the dam

We have built a bridge to the island where we have placed a bench. It’s a lovely quiet place to go sit and watch the birds. We also restored the row boat for use on the dam. This has been an entertaining addition to our activities. Since January we have started feeding the fish in the dam. We  hope that we will be able to offer fishing as an activity soon. We have repaired the retaining walls that were collapsing on the steep banks around the dam. Soil retaining plants have been planted on the banks in large swathes that we hope will give quite a good impression. The dam is still leaking badly when it gets over three quarters full. We have had the water engineer that advised using the plastic membrane originally, come and look at it. He has advised that it will not be too difficult to repair and explained how to do it, we are working on a quote to repair it.

dam            dam-and-bridge

Paving

Work started on repairing the paving through the garden.  We estimate that there is about 9km of paving throughout the garden and we have completed about a quarter of it so far. We are reusing as much of the existing paving as possible but are also relaying new concrete in sections.

new-paving                      paving

Benches and Dustbins

There were no dustbins in the garden and rubbish has always been a problem. We made 18 new metal dustbins and placed them through the garden.

The existing benches were refurbished and new ones were made bringing the total to 26. We also used logs, from trees that were removed from the garden, to make natural benches.

benches

Gazebo

We have rebuilt the gazebo at the top of the garden. The size was increased so that the area inside was practical. A view has been opened up along the river and this is now a favourite spot for visitors. Gardens in this area will be replanted with the coming rains.

gazebo          new-gazebo

Tree surgery

There were a lot of dead trees and branches that we have removed most of now. Trees have been removed where they were overshadowing other rare trees. This has allowed a lot of much needed light in.

Irrigation

We have repaired two of the four lines of underground piping and garden taps on this side of the garden. These get water from the water furrow. As a backup, we have also made allowance to connect them to the borehole water supply.

A lot of shrubs and ground covers have been propagated in the nursery. These we have collected from people in Mutare who have kindly opened up their gardens for to us to collect planting material from. We eagerly await the rains when we can begin replanting the garden.

Thank you to the hardworking and very dedicated Estate Manager and all his team, all of the restoration was only made possible by a very generous donor that the NTZ is enourmously appreciative of.

NEW: Publication

We are very pleased to announce that publication of a very comprehensive booklet entitiled “Nyanga’s Rich Heritage”by Khami Press, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.  The booklet has been co-edited by Mrs Edone Anne Logan, Chairperson of the NTZ Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition, and Mr Robert Burrett, Archeologist and Historian, who spent a considerable amount of time compiling the information. The main aims of this booklet are to inform Zimbabweans and overseas visitors  on the many and varied aspects of the rich natural and social heritage of this area, and through knowledge and interest encourage a sense of pride and a wish to preserve this heritage.   It is the authors hope that  the booklet, which includes many historical black and white photographs,  will  serve as a historical reference for those interested in Nyanga – particularly the early pre-history period. Proceeds from sales of the booklet will assist with generating funds for the Rhodes Nyanga Exhibition where it will be sold.

Nyanga Rich Heritage

The booklet has 100 A5 pages, the contents include the following chapter headings:

  • Nyanga : our home
  • Geography
  • Our Natural Heritage
  • Our Archeological Heritage
  • Community History
  • The Anti-Colonial Struggle
  • The Nyanga National Park
  • Some Nyanga Hotels : a little History
  • Nyanga Churches and Missions
  • Driving to Nyanga: a Roadside Guide for the Visitor. The latter a detailed description of the way from Rusape to beyond Nyanga town.

The booklet is available at the cost of USD$5.00 from the following people:

  • Nyanga: Edone Ann Logan Email: leecrofts@bsatt.com Tel: +263774459477
  • Edgar Nyagwaya Email: enenyagwaya@gmail.com Tel: +263772974681
  • Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition
  • Nyanga National Parks Office
  • Rhodes Hotel and Montclair Hotel
  • La Rochelle Boutique Hotel
  • Harare: Dave Scott Email: dashcott@telkomsa.net Tel: +263772572966
  • The bookshop at the Hub, Chisipite
  • Rosanne Kenny Email: kenny01@gmail.com Tel: +263772328193
  • Bulawayo: Rob Burrett Email: robburrett@icloud.com

Other Publications:

Mr Rob Burret is also the author of a series of cultural and social hisotical booklets that are all available from the at the same cost USD$5.00 each:

  • Nyanga’s Rich Heritage
  • Khami World Heritage Site
  • Great Zimbabwe
  • Bulawayo Heritage (Focus on the town)
  • Ironspine & Ribs (History of Rhodesian Railways & NRZ)
  • Bulawayo Memories (Focus on regional monuments and historical places)

Postage Rates for the booklets from Zimbabwe is as follows:

  • Southern Africa $3.50
  • UK & Europe $5.00
  • Rest of the World $6.50 (Australia, New Zealand, USA, Asia)
  • Zimbabwe $1.00

Subject to rates applicable. Please confirm first with Rob Burrett on khamipress@gmail.com

 

New Travel Article posted

Please see link below for a recent review of La Rochelle Country House Estate compiled by a travel writer:

linkhttps://wolfganghthome.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/zimbabwes-eastern-highlands-continue-to-amaze/

 

World Heritage Day: 18th April

World Heritage is the shared wealth of humankind. Protecting and preserving this valuable asset demands the collective efforts of the international community. This special day offers an opportunity to raise the public’s awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as draw attention to its vulnerability.

On 18 April 1982 on the occasion of a symposium organised by ICOMOS in Tunisia, the holding of the “International Day for Monuments and Sites” to be celebrated simultaneously throughout the world was suggested. This project was approved by the Executive Committee who provided practical suggestions to the National Committees on how to organise this day.

The idea was also approved by the UNESCO General Conference who passed a resolution at its 22nd session in November 1983 recommending that Member States examine the possibility of declaring 18 April each year “International Monuments and Sites Day”. This has been traditionally called the World Heritage Day and it affords an opportunity to raise the public’s awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it.

As part of this years heritage celebrations The new Chairman, Dame Fiona Reynolds, gave a lecture on the threats and opportunities facing heritage across the globe and you can read it here:

World Heritage Day speech (15 04 16 4pm)

You can also read the INTO State of Global Heritage report here:

“The long-term sustainability of cultural heritage depends on ensuring its use and developing local support. Without heritage being valued and protected, it will become irrelevant and disappear.”

Taboroff, 2002.

State of Global Heritage NTO 2016

 

 

AND FROM OUR FACEBOOK PAGE

National Trust of Zimbabwe
National Trust of Zimbabwe shared a link.3 months ago
National Trust of Zimbabwe
National Trust of Zimbabwe3 months ago
DID YOU KNOW?
Fort Gomo Kadzamu : Situated in the Penhalonga district close to the La Rochelle Estate this attractive area of Miombo woodland and broken granite terrain is some two hectares in extent. It was donated to the Trust by J.P. Valintine in 1966.

A small stone fort is located at the top of a hill on the property and is typical of the many fortifications in the eastern half of Zimbabwe. Part of the Nyanga Cultural Tradition these lowland forts were associated with the Shona Dynasties that postdate the Great Zimbabwe Culture. The settlement probably dates from the 17th to the 19th centuries A.D. The first sight is the small wall enclosing the summit with a door which has a stone lintel.

The north and east sides of the summit have steep slopes with evidence of a few small areas of built walls. The 360 degree views from the summit, in all directions, are very pleasant.

Spirit of Place Statement:

Sit in a small stone fort located at the top of a gomo (hill in Shona) typical of the many fortifications in the eastern half of Zimbabwe. Part of the Nyanga Cultural Tradition these lowland forts were associated with the Shona Dynasties that postdate the Great Zimbabwe Culture. Be thrilled when you see the small wall enclosing the summit with a door with a stone lintel.

Walk over broken granite terrain and through wisps of Old Man’s Beard Lichen Usnea hanging from the branches of the Msasa trees Brachystegia spiciformis in the pristine Miombo woodland.

Marvel at the 360 degree views from the summit and enjoy your picnic under the cooling tree of cover and be in awe of the cultural heritage of the settlement that probably dates to the 17th to the 19th centuries A.D.

Directions to Fort Gomo Kadzamu

From the main road from Harare to Mutare turn left (north) opposite the Christmas Pass Hotel onto the Penhalonga Road.

Proceed on the main road. About 6 km down you will pass a signpost to the La Rochelle Estate:

GPS Co-ordinates

18 ° 54' 24” S 32 ° 41' 28” E

Keep on the main road, proceed through Penhalonga, past the gold mine dumps and eucalyptus plantations and then drive for approximately 20 kilometres beyond to reach the turn off to Small Bridge Dam.
Continue past the turn off along the main road a further 800m’s approximately to find a lay-bye on the left of the main road with concrete benches, where parking is available. Fort Gomo is situated to the front and right of the parking and across the road on a small rise alongside the road.

GPS Co-ordinates

18° 46’ 00.92” S 32° 42’ 48.70” E

We do hope that you enjoy your time at this very interesting and special NTZ site!
National Trust of Zimbabwe
National Trust of Zimbabwe added 6 new photos.3 months ago
Organic Trials taking place at La Rochelle - from L to R:- Organic Chamomile - grows well in winter. Lemon Balm - grows well in the rainy season. Stinging Nettle grows well in sunshine. Safflower almost ready for harvest - 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.Calendula has good anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatroy properties. Carraway is a hardy herby which grows well in the rainy season. The seeds have many health-benefitting nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
National Trust of Zimbabwe
National Trust of Zimbabwe3 months ago
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, 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. So 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 in Organic Farming and Masters in Economic 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.

Dominik outlined the proposed project and explained his vision is in alignment with the NTZ one: that an agricultural training centre would be built at La Rochelle and the existing county house would be expanded as per the wishes of Sir Stephen and Lady Virginia. The centre would also establish trial plots whereby student would have hands on teaching experience as well. He said that he already had secured an export market for the crops grown by the small scale farmers from a company, who are the world leading herbal tea producer based in Germany. They are a family run business with expertise in mixing premium quality herbal teas, using various extracts such as aniseed and horehound, lemon balm, mint, cinnamon and lemongrass. The extracts are mixed with a selection of botanicals (over 200) to produce herbal and fruit infusions, medicinal teas, flavoured black and green teas, herbal powders, botanicals, herbal, fruit and tea extracts, decaffeinated teas, tea flavours, active phytopharmaceutical ingredients and nutritional supplements. Their end product is sold to tea manufactures such as Lipton.
Only quality products produced by certified production methods and sustainably produced botanicals are needed. The herbal raw materials are grown, harvested and collected in a way that conserves Nature so that the diversity of resources will continue be available to future generations. Of great importance to them is responsible economic activity and they nurture long-term, fair relationships with business partners, insist on controlled, integrated cultivation and promote social and cultural projects.
Dominik then went on to talk about his company called Organic Africa who focus on organic production and said that they are the only company certified in organic fair trade products in Zimbabwe. They are also the only company in southern Africa whereby its small scale farmers have their land certified and so are able to produce high quality herbs for export. Which as you can imagine, is no mean feat! The certification means that their farmers produce high value crop (low volume) and so they are paid at a premium higher price. He added that most of the farmers are women.
In the past Organic Africa has carried out training of famers under the shelter of a tree, looking to the future they want to build the agricultural training centre will really give them a chance to understand and have hands on practice experience which will lead to more small scale farmers being trained at a high level. The training will show how the farmers can grow crops without using any chemicals or fertilisers and how to make compost according to strict global regulations. They work extensively with all their producers to help them attain Ethical Biotrade, Organic and Fair Trade certification.
Organic Africa invests a lot of time and money in undertaking research into identifying and developing potential commercial applications for indigenous under-utilised species. There are a large number of locally-available plant species that could be used by small-scale farmers, especially in the drier parts of Zimbabwe. They work in collaboration with a wide range of different actors, including private companies, other research organisations, governmental, non-governmental and international organisations, and individual researchers and entrepreneurs. They are also a socially responsible entrepreneurship aiming at producing and marketing high value certified products together with their partner farmers in an ethical and sustainable manner. Organic Africa has tapped into the enormous potential of small-scale organic production, processing and marketing of high value essential oils, herbs, spices, and medicinal plants. Some of the plants have not been grown in Zimbabwe before such as Lemon balm (a member of the mint family).
Dominik mentioned that B’Ayobe, an affiliated company has, in the last year, bought over a 1,000 tons of Baobab (Adansonia digitata) fruit produced by local communities and the money therefore goes into the local communities. This has been of great benefit to producers living in Chimanimani and Chipinge where a) there is not a lot of income and b) especially in the dry season (June and July). Organic Africa understands that the best way to ensure continual economic growth is to enhance lasting social structures within the farming communities, so they engage in many community activities to promote this idea. They have also worked developing Devils claw (Harpagophytum zeyheri/procumbens) in the Hwange area, Rosella (Hibiscus sabdariffa) in Binga and also Myrothamnus flabellifolia , the resurrection bush so called for the speed with which apparently dead leaves revive when the rains come. They ensure that all crops are sustainably harvested without having any negative ecological impact
To date, various field test cultivation plots and trials have been conducted at La Rochelle farm including the following:

See the corresponding photos:-
Other crops being trialed include two varieties of ginger and three varieties of turmeric anise.
It is clear that the project is in synergy with the vision of the NTZ and Organic Africa 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, Organic Africa 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.
National Trust of Zimbabwe
National Trust of Zimbabwe4 months ago
You are cordially invited to a Memorial Exhibition of the lifelong work of Mr Darrel Plowes being organized by National Museums and Monuments Zimbabwe (NMMZ) and the Mutare Art Gallery on 19th October 2017.

The exhibition will showcase and celebrate Darrel as a person and as a plant collector, orchid specialist, author, scientific researcher, photographer, ornithologist and butterfly collector. The display will also cover 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 will be on display. Dr Mupira Regional Director of the NMMZ will be one of the guest speakers along with Ms Nina Bauer and Mr Des Becker who are attending as on behalf of the National Trust and well as being close personal friends.
We look forward to seeing you there.

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