Sadly, we marked the passing of one of our ‘stalwarts’ of the NTZ, Mike Kimberley, who had been a great supporter, past Chairman and inspiration to all, who passed away on the 3rd January 2020. Mike was an avid aloe, succulent and cactus ’fundi’ (expert) as well as having had an indigenous orchid named after him. The Trust will be honouring Mike’s commitment by naming a room after him and erecting a plaque at the Worlds View art gallery.

Worlds View Toposcope opening
We have a bit of a BUMPER HARVEST of a Newsletter this time round as it's been a long time since the last one and a LOT has been happening in between....please enjoy and share this with friends and family and send us your feedback and comments which are always much appreciated and welcomed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a knock for everyone, worldwide, the NTZ included, with a drop in visitors and closed sites. We are of course optimistic that it will not be too long before the world opens up again and lives can get back to normal and we can once again welcome visitors from near and far to our sites, which remain as beautiful as ever and will be ready for visitors once restrictions are lifted. The Council continues to work tirelessly and holding virtual ‘Zoom’ meetings.

The exciting news this year is that the National Trust of Zimbabwe celebrates its Diamond Jubilee Year in 2020 – having been ‘born’ in 1960. We would like to invite you join us in the celebration by sharing any photographs, memories, newspaper clipping etc. that you may have of any of the NTZ sites (from any era, old or recent) Please email photographs to Lin Goncalves, email address: Thank you.

Please take time to explore our website:
on which you will find loads of local information on the National Trust, membership details, articles and photographs which we hope will encourage you to join us and explore our sites.

Mrs Lin Goncalves from the NTZ Executive Committee, and Mr Willie Dhlandhlara, of SOLON FOUNDATION, attended a symposium Organised by the British Council and Twaweza Communications in Nairobi, Kenya. The Symposium took place in the grounds of the Botanical Gardens of the National Museum of Nairobi.

The core question leading all the discussions at the British Council part of the Symposium was ‘How do youth involvement, contemporary cultural practices and advances in information technology contribute to the overall potential of cultural heritage and how can they lead to cultural heritage interventions becoming more inclusive and engaging with diverse and non-traditional heritage audiences?’

Speakers from a very widely varied group presented their subjects which included such diverse aspects of cultural experiences such as built heritage (buildings, world heritage sites and indigenous sites), intangible heritage such as performances, language, media, folk art, crafts and oral traditions; natural heritage (caves, eco-villages, landscapes) and museums (visual arts, archives, libraries, cultural objectives); and how technology, youth involvement and community participation can increase access to this heritage – and its benefits. The potential for cultural heritage in order to secure livelihoods to enhance social inclusion was also discussed.

It was heartening to see and learn how the NTZ can be part of, and encourage so much of our local traditional art, culture, heritage AND future, through education and the youth.

The NTZ’s contact and relationship with INTO enables us to have access to other National Trusts worldwide and gives us the opportunity to exchange ideas and contacts and also to call upon them for support and guidance when needed. It also enables us to meet other National Trust members in other countries and share experiences.

Did you know that National Trust of Zimbabwe members can enjoy discounts at various services and places locally and also entitled to FULL RECIPROCITY with other National Trust organisations globally? see for further details.

This site must be our most beautiful and well-tended (much-loved too!), with the spectacular views over the valley below and the amazing plant-life and bird-life in the area. All praise to our Chair and local resident Gill Honeyman, who looks after Worlds View on our behalf and with her amazing little team of helpers they tend the garden and grow and plant the beautiful proteas at the site.
Visitors have the opportunity to see the little art gallery on site, the stone sculptors too, as well as freshen up and use the ablutions and a walk up the adjacent hill to a higher view is a must for the fitter visitor – where you will have an eagle’s-eye view of the Nyanga village way down below. In the afternoons the skies are breath-taking as the sun goes down and you sometimes get the impression that you are above the clouds looking down from the sky itself!
I would encourage any visitor going up to Nyanga to take a morning or afternoon to drive up
and appreciate the view and the walks.

There is lovely lawn and space to enjoy your picnic – PLEASE DO NOT LITTER – and leave with lasting memories and photo souvenirs. Please do not forget to share your photo’s with us as well.

An extract from Gill’s World’s View annual report:-
“We take this opportunity to thank our many visitors, domestic and international, who have given their support and many kind comments on the most recent improvements to our beautiful view site. Without their contributions, received via entrance fees and donations, we would certainly not be able to continue our development and maintenance of this very special and unique place.
The Gallery has had a number of new extensions built over the last four years including two new display rooms and a toilet block to the rear. Our latest addition is the covered veranda which was completed recently.
We formed an association with the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (Mutare branch) last year and have had several successful exhibitions to promote Zimbabwean artists. The NGZ continue to allow us to exhibit their artists’ works and as a result, many sales have been achieved on behalf of our young Zimbabwean artists.
The picnic areas are being put to good use and visitors enjoy the magnificent scenery and the gardens that have something of interest growing at all times of year.
The protea cuttings have now matured into strong sturdy plants and the ones grown from the Kirstenbosch seeds have been in flower and cuttings are being taken for propagating for our Plant Sales section.
The World’s View Sculptors are producing many new pieces for sale in the Sculpture Garden. We are sorry to announce the death of their Chairman, Mr Xaviour Nyakete, who has been a great friend and contributor to the site. It is gratifying to know that his work has been sold to a number of international tourists and will grace many a home in far off lands. Our condolences to his family and brother, Panganai, who has taken over the chairmanship of the Sculptors Committee.
The Covid-19 outbreak, although we have not yet realised the true picture in Zimbabwe to date (April 2020), has already had a real impact on the number of visitors coming to the View. The lockdown has resulted in a 100% loss of income but it is gratifying to see that our people are taking full cognizance of the seriousness of the situation and staying at home!
We continue to keep the View site open albeit for maintenance and tending the garden with Luke on lockdown at home and Arthur, Matirina and myself doing what we can – at a respectable distance and with frequent hand washing! The projects that we had intended to undertake have been put on hold and the finances to undertake these will now be channelled towards paying our two caretakers’wages for as long as we have the resources.
Our thoughts are with all Zimbabweans and all those in other countries throughout the world who are suffering the loss of loved ones during this most awful time and look forward to the day when we can return to some normality and a brighter future.”
Gill Honeyman
Chairman – World’s View Committee

Our most heartfelt thanks go to Gill for her unstinting dedication and hard work at this site!
Visitor numbers were low during the lock-down period, but picking up again now that visitors are travelling back to the area again.
Our heartfelt thanks go to all the hard-working volunteers involved in keeping this outstanding exhibition in such pristine condition, and bringing such a wealth of knowledge to all the school children who visit this valuable site, together with nurturing an interest in cultural history, culture and art.

Our grateful thank too, to the many generous donors of so many of the items which make up this truly amazing collection.
La Rochelle Country House and Spa

The La Rochelle gardens continue to amaze us with their beauty. Here are a few recent pictures of the gardens and the rare and wonderful findings we see on a daily basis.

  1. The unique Lady Virginia orchid flowered again in late 2019:

    The orchid was discovered by Sir Stephen Courtauld on the eastern Java Islands during his travels there sometime before the start of the second world war. There have been no others like it found in the world and so Sir Stephen named the orchid, Vanda lombokensis Virginia Courtauld after his wife Virginia.
    The orchid was taken by Sir Stephen back to England where it was kept in a glass house at Eltham Palace. It flowered once then during the second world war and survived when the glass house that it was in was bombed. A small piece of the plant was recovered and re potted. It was then brought to Zimbabwe when Sir Stephen and Lady Virginia moved to La Rochelle.

    This is only the fifth time that it has flowered to our knowledge, the last time being in 2016 and before that in 1973.

  1. The Organic Farm and herbs continue to expand:
    It’s been a busy year for La Rochelle Organics and the team continue to work hard to grow organic herbs of export quality.

    In the picture below you can see calendula, spearmint, stinging nettles and safflower.

  1. Herbal Tea Tastings:
    These have become a favourite activity for guests at the hotel where they get to taste fresh, healthy, herbal teas picked straight from the organic farm. We hope to expand this further in 2020.

“Garden to plate” – we love serving our guests fresh, organic vegetables from our garden:
Our main focus for 2019 was to expand the La Rochelle vegetable garden. We are now able to feed our guests fresh, organic, homegrown goodness and we are thrilled.

La Rochelle has re-opened after a period of COVID lock-down and has taken that opportunity to undertake some refurbishments and looks forward to welcoming visitors and guests once again!
Situated on the outskirts of Mutare, the hill was home to the tribespeople of the Ziwa era and many links to their period here can still be seen, in the pottery shard remains and a mud-plastered granary.
It is also home to many of the indigeous butterflies of Zimbabwe, as well as a number of bird species and trees endemic to this area.
Not far from La Rochelle, Fort Gomo offers the visitor a pleasant walk through broken granite terrain and the indigenous trees to enjoy a superb 360 degree view from the top of the hill where there is a small stone fort. Part of Nyanga Cultural Tradition, these lowland forts were associated with the Shona Dynasties that post-date the Great Zimbabwe Culture.
Home to several bird species, Sebakwe Poort offers an interesting outing to the 'birders', with sightings of Peregrine Falcons, Rock Martins, Red-winged Starlings, Mocking Cliff Chats, African Black Swifts, Indian Swifts and Black Storks.

Mabukuwene is a secluded and serene place, where one can relax and enjoy the quiet surrounds, made up of 12 hectares of indigenous trees and plants in an unspoilt area of 'kopjes' with their distinctive pink hue.
The property has a long social heritage that extends from latest 250,000 years up to the early colonial era.
Home to some 80 different species of indigenous trees and almost 100 bird species, visitors can also enjoy the small mammals that dart about the area such as squirrels and rock-rabbits.
The National Trust of Zimbabwe celebrated its 60th birthday at Worlds View on 26th August 2020. It was an auspicious occasion. You can read all about the events of the day here:

A video (in two parts) capturing the highlights of the event has been posted on the NTZ facebook page:

It was a memorable day and I would like to thank everyone involved for organizing such a successful day with lots of interesting events. Proudly NTZ!

Guests watched the first global screening of the first NTZ video packed with interesting information about the NTZ and its sites see

Birthday wishes from INTO Members
Catherine Leonard Secretary-General INTO very kindly posted birthday wishes and cards received from the global INTO family please see:

A personal video from Catherine Leonard, entitled “Reminisces on the working partnership between INTO and the NTZ” was also shared see:

A personal message from Dame Fiona Reynolds was read out on the day:

"I write as Chair of INTO to send much love and warm congratulations on the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the National Trust of Zimbabwe.

I have to confess that having passed my own 60th birthday, I know from experience that there is a mixture of a pleasant feeling of experience, friendship and knowledge, alongside a sense that one had better finally grow up!

The NT Zimbabwe has achieved so much to be proud of in its 60 years, including a remarkable and beautiful property portfolio, and a range of activities and campaigns through which you stand up for the natural, built and cultural heritage of Zimbabwe. I was also enormously impressed to learn, at the Bermuda ICNT, of the way in which you are striving to engage diverse communities in your work.

I hope you have a wonderful celebration later this week, and look forward to hearing all about it. With love and very best wishes from all your friends all around the world."


Dame Fiona Reynolds
We have been overwhelmed by the support from people across the globe.

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Thank you very much.