New: The Hide at World’s View

We are super pleased to say that our latest development to be completed is our new bird viewing platform, affectionately known as The Hide.

An enclosed, wind and rain proof little building, sunk into the cliff side. The most spectacular place to sit in comfort and wait and watch for the birds of prey to fly past below. The Hide has already become a favourite for people, even non-birders, to meet for sundowners to watch the changing colours of the evening sky.

Construction was slow but steady, using funds as they became available. Our grateful thanks to Mike Hoggard for his generous donation which allowed us to complete the project earlier than expected.


Southern elevation                  

The Hide, nestled into the cliff face – top left

Looking towards Nyamutoro from inside    


Facing west, overlooking Mt Ziwa, the highest mountain in the valley below

Comfortabley furnished and ready to welcome visitors

We look forward to seeing you soon at the Hide!





Early morning dew on spider’s web at World’s View (Photo: Tony Martin)

Once again, we thank all our visitors for their continued support and generosity at the View. Even at the height of the Covid pandemic, we kept the View site open for those willing to tackle the harsh road ‘up the mountain’ to take in the fresh mountain air, enjoy the magnificent scenery, flora and birdlife.  Most returning visitors now bring their picnic baskets and cooler boxes and make a real day of it, some stay well into the evening to witness the magnificent sunsets from the various vantage points and toposcope.

Sunset over the valley below the World’s View escarpment (Photo: Tony Martin)

We have managed to complete a number of projects over the past year despite our downturrn in income. A new stairway down to the ‘bush walk’ has been built and now gives safe access to a short walk ‘on the wild side’.


                                                            Matirina at work on the steps

A number of new stone benches have been built with some of the best views over the valley. They are being well used by visitors who really appreciate the extra facilities.


  Luke, our caretaker assisting Stephen the builder on one of the benches

Completed, and affectionately named the Aubrey Logan Bench

Just below the toposcope, an old staircase was discovered after removing some ground cover overgrowth. We tagged on another bench  which now provides a pleasant shady spot for visitors to sit. It should take about a  year for the grass and shrubs to established themselves, providing that the oncoming winter does not take its toll!


New bench –  terracing not yet complete            The ‘discovered’ staircase

Another of our generous visitors, Mr and Mrs Alberti , donated funds for the construction of ‘The Robertson Bench, which has been built in a rocky outcrop just above the ‘bush walk’  We thank them most sincerely for sponsoring this bench and allowing us to ‘keep the change’ that was left over after completion.


Luke and Stephen preparing the area              Work in progress   







Mr and Mrs Alberti returned to site to celebrate the completion of the Robertson Bench

Our latest development to be completed is our new bird viewing platform, affectionately known as The Hide.

An enclosed, wind and rain proof little building, sunk into the cliff side. The most spectacular place to sit in comfort and wait and watch for the birds of prey to fly past below. The Hide has already become a favourite for people, even non-birders, to meet for sundowners to watch the changing colours of the evening sky.

Construction was slow but steady, using funds as they became available. Our grateful thanks to Mike Hoggard for his generous donation which allowed us to complete the project earlier than expected.


Cut and fill begins                                                          Roof height


Lazarus, one of our builders (pictured above), sadly died a few days before the Hide’s completion. Our condolences to his family. He will be remembered by the colleagues he worked with on many of the past projects at the View.

       Southern elevation                                                 Facing west, overlooking Mt Ziwa, the highest mountain in the valley below


Looking towards Nyamutoro from inside   Comfortably furnished and ready to welcome visitors






The Hide, nestled into the cliff face – top left

And … a big cheers to everyone involved in the construction, and to all those visitors who will have many happy times at The Hide








The annual World’s View ‘Carols at Sunset’ was held on Christmas Eve, and despite the pandemic, 130 people and 7 dogs made it up the mountain to celebrate together and sing their hearts out.

Our thanks to Guy Cary, who organised the word sheets and bravely conducted the singing from one of the lower terraces.

  Guy Cary, conducting the carol singers

The World’s View Choir gave us a special treat by singing two Shona Christmas songs. Mince pies and cool drinks were handed out at the end of proceedings.

The Woodland family

The Woodland family returned, for a third time, to entertain the ‘crowd’: Peter on trumpet, Andrew on saxophone and Victoria on flute (pictured above), played from the toposcope during interval. They received huge applause from a very appreciative audience and we thank them most sincerely for their wonderful and unfailing support of the National Trust. We look forward to many more Woodland recitals at the View.

It was our pleasure to host the 60th anniversary celebration of the founding of the National Trust of Zimbabwe on 25th August. A very scaled down event, due to Covid restricted numbers, but it was a packed day that started with speeches by our vice chair, Sharon Waterworth, Willie Dhlandlara (Solon Foundation) and Guy Cary, followed by a buffet luncheon and sparkling wines.

    Willie Dhlandlara     Sharon Waterworth



Buffet luncheon 








Bubbly served by Talent, saleslady at the Sculpture Garden                                                   


Willie Dhlandlara cutting the Anniversary cake, overlooked by Sharon Waterworth – Vice Chairman NTZ, Gill Honeyman – Chairman World’s View and Guy Cary – Chairman Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition

After lunch we moved into the Gallery for the official opening of the Mike Kimberley Room. A granite plaque was unveiled together with a framed tribute to Mike, who played a key roll in the early days of the National Trust and in particular the World’s View site.

                                                                        Unveiling of the Mike Kimberley Room plaque

Our thanks to Sharon Waterworth and Fira Bach for bringing up all the equipment and necessary ‘stuff’ to show the NTZ 60th Birthday video, introducing all the National Trust Sites throughout Zimbabwe. This was the first public viewing and an excellent presentation for those wanting to know more about our various sites. For those of you who would care to watch, please follow the link:

It was wonderful that the Logans were able to come from Harare to join us in celebrating our 60th anniversary. Sadly, Aubrey passed away recently and he will always be remembered for his unfailing support of NTZ and in particular the RNHE where his wife, Edone Anne, was Chairman for many years.  His kind ways, and ‘wicked’ sense of humour endeared him to us all, he will be sadly missed but remembered with love and respect by us all at World’s View.

Edone Anne and Aubrey Logan at the 60th Anniversary Celebration of NTZ at                                                                                        World’s View

Our deepest condolences to Edone Anne and all the family. We are proud to have one of the new stone benches named in his honour.


Looking towards Eagle Point from the Aubrey Logan Bench (Photo: Tony Martin)

Shamiso Mapara, co-founder and executive director of Eco Buddies Zimbabwe and Annabel Chitambwe communications manager, paid us a visit in October.  EBZ is a non-profit organisation working in both rural and urban communities in Zimbabwe. The organisation was founded in 2013 by three young people from Zimbabwe because of their concern for the sad state of the rural communities’ environment.  They saw the need to establish community-based afforestation and reforestation projects in rural areas following massive deforestation over the last number of years.   Deforestation has deprived many of their livelihoods, which are traditionally centred on forest reserves. They feel that to combat environmental degradation in the future requires strong leadership and innovative ideas from young people, so EBZ pride themselves in empowering young Zimbabwans to have the capacity to initiate sustainable development driven initiatives.


Two lovely ladies enjoying a late breakfast after an early morning start exploring                                                                                 the escarpment

Lots of good ideas and advice were exchanged and we look forward to giving them all our support in their future endeavours.


Shamiso at the View                 Annabel at the foot of Nyamutoro

Zimbabwe loses more than three hundred hectares of forest yearly (Forestry Commission, 2008)

The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) are great supporters of the World’s View site and we were happy to welcome a number of recruits who were on an officer selection course from the Zimbabwe Military Academy, Gweru.

    Recruites on the Helen Hyslop Hill      







The lady recruits that were on the courseexcept one!   

 The Zimbabwe republic Police were invited to address a meeting with the local community who had expressed concerns about the illegal grazing of cattle on the mountain.  Afterwards they were invited to a tour of the View, and were amazed at the beauty of the site and the magnificent view over Nyanga Village where they are stationed.


Const Masase Const Sinyabuwe  Sgt Kaita and Sgt Tichiwangani on the balcony                                                                                    of the Toposcope



           Relaxing on the lawn                                                     In the Hide

We were delighted to have a visit from our local chief, Chief Hata (Edward Chingamere –[ pictured left]). He told us a few fireside stories that his father, and his father before, had passed down the generations, of tribal battles and sieges, that took place along the escarpment many years ago.

He has promised to return to give a more detailed account of the local community and their past lifestyles and beliefs. This will enable us to write an article for display in the Kimberley Room giving an historic but hopefully colourful and romantic account of the cultural heritage of this magical, mysterious and very spiritual part of Nyanga.

The road up from Troutbeck to World’s View remains a mission for anything other than 4X4’s. The recent rainy season saw several cars abandoned on the muddy, slippery slopes, and a huge underground stream sprang up right in the middle of the road outside Tsanga Lodge.  The local Council have been unable to undertake any road repairs due to financial constraints, but the valiant efforts of our neighbours, Little Connemara, have managed to keep the road open, despite some very tricky sections that are now down to bedrock.  So, be warned – 4 X 4 for sure, and don’t forget your picnic basket and cooler box.

 A number of new road signs have been placed on the circular drive and a diagramatic map is being prepared by Connemara, which will be placed at the ‘Y’ junction of World’s View Road, Connemara Drive and the Joan MacIlwaine Drive. These additions will certainly assist motorists in misty conditions or those descending the mountain with empty cooler boxes!

  Matirina and Itiyi ‘planting’ signs             

A really big thank you to the Board and owners of Little Connemara for continuing to support our efforts in the control of invasive species on the plateau.  Much progress has been made on the sections north and south of the fenced View site, with most of the larger trees having been felled and regrowth being removed on a regular basis. Some local plot owners have asked their own caretakers to assist by keeping their verges clear, and a big thank you to Murray Lynton-Edwards for keeping the large wetland area, adjacent to his property, clear of those awful ‘volunteer’ pine saplings.  Without such help, and a few years from now, there would have been a pine forest, and one of our precious wetlands would have been lost forever.

Wishing you all safe journeys and many happy visits to Nyanga, especially to our beautiful World’s View.

Gill Honeyman

May 2021












Tributes to Mr Aubrey Logan

Aubrey Logan Tributes from the National Trust Executive Council

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Aubrey Hamish Logan on February 26th, 2021, in Zambia.

Aubrey was born in Bulawayo in 1934. His father, Hamish, was farming in Nyamandhlovu but moved to the Shamva area in Mashonaland in 1938.  Aubrey was educated at Bindura School and St. George‘s College, and then joined his father on Golden Star Farm in a mixed farming operation.  In 1962 Aubrey married Edone Ann Petheram and built a home on The Range, an extension to Golden Star. Later Aubrey’s son Rory, and son-in-law Lawrie Brown, joined him, and with the support of the girls, Caren, Lynn and Zanne, expanded the farming enterprise, adding a considerable acreage of irrigated horticultural crops.

Aubrey was a member of the Porte Valley Farmers’ Association, serving as Chairman for a number of years, and represented Shamva on the Cattle Producers’ Assn. He was a member of the Lower Mazowe/Pote River Board, and was involved in the construction of Masembura and Arcadia dams, and the Lower Mazowe Sugar Project.

Aubrey served as an Elder in St. John’s Church, Shamva. His faith was strong.

A keen horseman, Aubrey played polo for Bindura, and in the early ‘80s established the Shamva Polocrosse Club, providing many of the beginners with mounts.

Being a great believer in the importance of recording history, Aubrey assisted the family in compiling a social history of Shamva entitled “Glimpses of the Past”. Later, when the couple moved to a plot in Juliasdale, he became involved in the Rhodes Museum (Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition), and served on the Committee for eight years, before moving to Harare in 2020 to live closer to the family.

Aubrey is survived by his three children, Caren, Rory and Rosanne and their families, including seven grandchildren and one great grandson. He led an eventful and rewarding life, inspiring others to move on after loss and sadness, and appreciate family and friends, the blessings which are most important in life.


Under the veil of a happy and welcoming friend, Aubrey was a very knowledgeable gentleman who had exceptional gifts and a sincere compassion towards helping those in need.

Although he suffered longstanding leg disabilities that restricted his movements, he waived these aside in order to conquer incredible achievements in a cool and collected manner.

He always remained totally supportive of his wife’s (Edone Ann) passion for all things Museum related and showed admirable spirit as a teamworker, being a most helpful and steadfast Committee Member.  Aubrey’s enormous contribution to the establishment and development of Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition is indeed praiseworthy.  He will be sorely missed.

Merle Moore

Aubrey- An amazing man whose wit and ever unique laughter I will fondly miss. Had grown to like his presence at RNHE meetings, his love for Heritage, and his exceptional support for Edone.  May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Willie Dhlandhlara

I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Aubrey. My thoughts and condolences go to Edone and the all the family.

I had the privilege of meeting Aubrey at the Rhodes Nyanga Historical Museum some 10 years ago. He was a very active member of the Museum Committee. The museum was very close to his heart and his many contributions to the Museum will not be forgotten such as the extension of the museum up into the loft, establishing the Don Grainger room, and wagon shed.  He also donated many items to the exhibition, including farm equipment from his farming life.

Aubrey was never happier than when he was restoring equipment and machines back to their former glory.    I know that his favourite area at the museum was the wagon shed. At the end of 2019 he generously donated a Portable Steam Engine. It was moved, with great difficulty, from Juliasdale to the museum. The sheer thought of doing such a thing is inspirational, it had to be pulled by a tractor on some of its journey. Aubrey renovated and painted the engine, which was exported from the UK to South Africa in 1903 and pulled by oxen up to the Bindura district of Rhodesia in 1904. The engine proudly sits in the Wagon Shed, next to the Ox Wagon.

I remember fondly one evening when I stayed with Edone and Aubrey, such welcoming hosts at their home in Juliasdale. Aubrey and I sat around a lovely warm log fire drinking red wine and talking so easily on many subjects.

I shall miss Aubrey and his kindness, humour, quiet strength, his positiveness and twinkling blue eyes. May you rest in peace Aubrey, you will be greatly missed by a great deal of people.

Sharon Waterworth

Aubrey was always a delight to spend time with and I always came away from the Logan’s with a smile from the wonderful tales he told me of his farming days.  He loved his horses and polo crosse days and we spent many a happy hour recounting things and equine events in our lives.  I shall miss his wonderful sense of humor.

Pixie Hallowes

A very sad loss to the Nyanga and surrounding community, Aubrey will be sadly missed by the National Trust of Zimbabwe and we will always remember his steadfast contribution and support to the Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition through his commitment alongside his wife, Edone, to whom my most heartfelt sympathies go.

Lin Goncalves

We are all at a loss after the passing of Aubrey recently, personally and at The National Trust of Zimbabwe.

Aubrey was an absolute gentleman in every sense of the word, he befriended all who he met and he worked tirelessly with Edone on NTZ affairs, helping shape the Rhodes Nyanga National Trust Historical Exhibition into the wonderful museum facility that exists today. The exhibits include the small bed he slept in as a youngster up to some of his large refurbished farm machinery on display today.

We experienced the Logan family hospitality at their lovely home near Montclair on more than one occasion. Aubrey was always happy to host friends at their home and he made you feel completely at home there.

Unfortunately, we only knew Aubrey for too few years, but we are all the richer for knowing him and privileged to have worked with him on NTZ affairs.

We shall cherish the memories of Aubrey and all that he achieved in his lifetime and sincerely appreciate his passion, commitment and services to his wider community.

David Scott

Of all the remarkable people I have met and got to know over ten years of living in Juliasdale, there is no one person I came to admire and respect more than Aubrey Logan.

Ever the welcoming and generous host, Aubrey displayed a selfless and unpretentious wisdom and encyclopedic knowledge of so many things – in particular, elderly machines, from a simple Cape cart to a swanky 1970s’ Chevrolet coupé, along with bygone farming days in this country – and so we clicked, as we did with a laughing love of old-school hymns in church.

There was always a whiff of the workshop under Aubrey’s fingernails: he was truly a never-defeated mechanical magician. While others wandered off to admire Edone Ann’s lovely garden, I would sit disciple-like, mesmerised by Aubrey’s accounts of rebuilding an ancient Galion grader engine, or trying to find the missing part of a cream separator. To me, he was a humbling, bottomless well whose waters he so willingly shared – embarrassingly often diluting our brandies beside a log fire. What a man!

But it is in a National-Trust-of-Zimbabwe context that we most devoutly salute this wonderful man right now. As we know, it was Edone Ann’s vision and drive to fulfill her own father’s determination to see the long dreamed-of Rhodes Museum through to a vibrant, lasting existence. Yet behind that astonishing throne of accomplishment was a silent, rarely-noticed, essential forceAubrey.

Today and forever, as we run our eyes over a hand-painted steam-engine, an ox-wagon, a now obsolete horse-drawn harrow, a paraffin fridge or simply the replaced rungs of a memorial bench, we are – knowingly or not – recognising Aubrey’s love for, and patient devotion to, the Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition: the only dedicated museum of its kind in Zimbabwe.

Neither the National Trust of Zimbabwe, nor any of us, will fail to remember Aubrey Logan’ legacy.

Guy Cary                                                                                                                                                                                   

A much valued friend to us and indeed to the Trust. His sense of proportion was an inspiration, not to mention an unbounded source of anecdotes of yesteryear. Withal, a great sense of humour as well.

A gentleman whom we shall not forget.  Our sincerest condolences to Edone and the Family.

John and Charles Hyslop

Aubrey certainly did lead a full and wonderful life. He was such a warm man. I will always be grateful for his and Edone’s hospitality at their cottage in Nyanga and will cherish the memories. I felt so at ease around Aubrey. He made one feel so naturally at ease and I fondly remember his affectionate and easy going manner and how he supported Edone in her work. Most especially I’ll remember having breakfast with them and the laughter and tea on the porch. I didn’t know Aubrey well but it felt somehow that I’d known him for a long time.

Dr Jonathan Zilberg


New: INTO ‘Passport to Places’ Scheme

The National Trust of Zimbabwe (NTZ) has been a member of the International National Trusts Organisation, (INTO) for a number of years now. INTO is the umbrella body for the worldwide family of heritage organisations, which come together to share experience, ideas and resources; to grow the capacity of existing trusts and establish new trusts in countries where they do not currently exist; and to be a global voice for matters of common concern. One of the ways, identified by the Board of Trustees, of strengthening what it means to be part of the INTO family, is reciprocal visiting.

Reciprocal visiting

INTO has been working with the world’s heritage trusts to make membership of the NTZ go much further!

The NTZ is proud to say that it is member of the recently launched ‘INTO Passport to Places’ scheme. We are super pleased to announce that you now have access to enter sites cared for by INTO members who have all agreed to extend reciprocal visiting privileges Your NTZ membership card is your ‘passport’ to free entry to some of the most amazing places around the world.

This map shows the many places where NTZ membership is currently welcomed:

You can check the local visiting arrangements and information by visiting the INTO website where you can access an interactive map that links you directly you to all the Trust sites involved.

So, if you are an existing member of the NTZ  you can enjoy this wonderful and highly advantageous new member benefit  as soon as international travel opens once again.

Or if you live in Zimbabwe and would like to join the NTZ in order to enjoy this new benefit (along with any others) please complete the membership form under the Membership tab.

We look forward to welcoming you at one of sites soon: they are open. Thank you very much.





The Beauty of Worlds View

We invite to you watch a few videos taken of the beautiful Worlds View site which is set high on a hill that affords stunning views of the surrounding landscape. From an altitude of 2000m the escarpment drops 600m to the plain below. Enjoy seeing the sweeping panoramic views, the majestic Mount Nyamatoro and the “Protea and Wild Flower Conservancy” established through a relationship with Kirstenbosch, the world famous botanical gardens in South Africa.

On top of the hill you will see that there is the large circular Astra Toposcope with numerous plaques of black granite around the perimeter with radiating lines indicating the direction and direct distance to thirty cities, towns and places of interest. Not far from the toposcope is the Art Gallery and the sculpture garden.

Come and visit the art gallery, climb Mount Nyamtoro, bird watch, bring a picnic and relax in front of on the best views in Zimbabwe, explore the unique Toposcope, wander around the protea and wild flower conservancy and investigate the built cultural heritage of the site. Check out the art and stone sculpture and take home special plants from the plants sales.

We look forward to welcoming you soon.


Christmas Carols at World’s View, Nyanga, on Christmas Eve

 An enormous “Thank you” to our team at World’s View, Nyanga, Gill Honeyman and Guy Cary.

Guy led the singing of 11 well selected carols and gave a beautiful explanation of the ’12 Days of Christmas’ (one day at a time between each carol) – brilliant!

The Worlds View choir sang two Shona Christmas songs at the half time interlude.

The Steads grandchildren (playing sax, trumpet and flute) played background music from the toposcope before and after and while the mince pies were being handed out at the end.

  The very festive event was so well received by over 130 guests.

Wishing you all the very best for the festive season from everyone at World’s View.

We thank you very much for your kind support.

A Seat with a View: The Robertson Memorial Bench

Piero and Hillary Celebrating the Christening of  ‘The Roberston Bench’ at Worlds View


Dear Piero and Hillary,

On behalf of the National Trust of Zimbabwe, I would like to thank you for your most generous donation which has more than covered the cost of constructing the newly-completed ‘Robertson Bench’.

      Bench under construction     



                                                    View from behind plaque 

This is the first time we have been commissioned by an Architect to design and build anything, so it was a great relief and very rewarding when you revisited us last week and said it was better than anything you had expected.   You chose a beautiful location: afternoon sun, sheltered from the wind, and a breath-taking view. What a beautiful spot to sit and remember your parents.

It was a pleasure to meet you both and be able to christen the bench together and I’m sure you and your family will revisit and share many memorable moments there too.

Thank you again and I look forward to seeing you back up on the mountain one day soon.

Kind regards,

Gill Honeyman

Chair Worlds View


A Weekend of Celebrations: 60th Anniversary of the Trust at La Rochelle


As part of its on-going 60th Anniversary celebrations 3 National Trust representatives, namely Gill Honeyman, Guy Cary and Lin Goncalves attended a wonderful, and exceptionally well organised event held at La Rochelle Country House on Saturday 31ST October 2020.The documentary film, presented by Robbie Honey (see previous post), was projected on the tower wall on Friday evening, the 30th, with an almost full moon hanging in the clear sky behind the tower and a clear star-lit sky graced the evening.

Harvey and Debbie Leared have most certainly revived La Rochelle and breathed new life into every part of the property. We had a long and interesting walk around the botanical gardens and they are in pristine condition – lawns and pathways are manicured and immaculate and the old waterway is once again running through the gardens down to the dam, attracting birds and butterflies along the way.

The lovely wooden bench – tribute to The Curtain Foundation, Nick Roditi, Simon Goldberg (and others)  is well situated in a quiet and pretty spot overlooking one of the ponds. The Trust is humbled by the measure of generosity shown by Mr. Roditi to enable the NTZ to restore the orchid houses and the gardens, all of which are looking really beautiful and well tended by the long-standing senior member of the gardening staff, Nicholas and his team. There is also a memorial bench in appreciation of the work done by  Daryl Plowes for the NTZ.



Before the luncheon on Saturday the 31st, the invited guests were treated to a delightful programme in the formal lounge, of well-loved oldies spanning the past 6 decades, by the Phoenix Choir of Harare, whose voices belted out such favourites as “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend”, “Fly me to the Moon”,  “Mr Sandman”, “Annie’s Song” and “Fiddler on the Roof” – to name a few, in the lounge, tastefully furnished and with blooming orchids to grace the tables.


The Phoenix Choir who entertained the guests before lunch

It is an amazing coincidence that, after a couple of botanical scares in the shade-house, the rare and beautiful Vanda lombokensis orchid named after Lady Virginia, IS BLOOMING for only the 3rd time in 60 years, right now….a fitting tribute to the philanthropist couple who collected the orchids and exotic plants which all still thrive in the gardens at La Rochelle today!





                                                                                                    Vanda lombokensis orchid


Nina Bauer’s many years of hard work and dedication was acknowledged on the occasion too, in the form of two, laminated and bound volumes of the glass signature panels with the biographies of MOST of the signatories. An enormous thank you to Nina and to Heather White, now in Australia, for their many hours, days, weeks, and now YEARS of work to get these volumes done in time for the 60th Anniversary of the Trust.  Nina Bauer inspecting her hard work in the 2 volumes of signatures off the glass window panels


Pre-lunch drinks served overlooking the gardens – fresh iced herbal teas, wines and sparkling wine,

with delicious snacks

Harvey Leared welcomed all the guests to La Rochelle and spoke of the National Trust and the developments over the past five years, which have been quite remarkable considering the ‘challenges’ one faces!

The luncheon beneath the trees in the gardens in the front of the house was a splendid menu with chicken liver pate followed by a sumptuous buffet with roast rolled beef, baked ham, pickled bream and a selection of tantalizing fresh salads and rolls, and baby potatoes in their jackets, with lashings of butter and fresh herbs from the kitchen garden


One can only imagine a content couple looking down on the event, perhaps from the tower window, and saying to one another how happy they were to see such a fitting tribute to their legacy being played out on the lawns below, under a rich cobalt blue and cloudless sky, in the gardens they both so lovingly engineered and nurtured.

Guy Cary, from the NTZ Nyanga Committee, who attended with Ms Gill Honeyman of World’s View, gave a great speech, likening the National Trust’s properties within Zimbabwe to a medieval crown, with it’s jewel-inlaid ermine and 3-pointed ‘crown’ of jewels, the most significant of which is the La Rochelle jewel in the crown of the NTZ!

Guy has been very familiar with the history of the National Trust and of the Eastern Districts area spanning a number of years and is a commendable speaker!  Guy spoke freely and easily of the history of La Rochelle and the generosity of the Courtaulds and of the eastern districts area in general. Being close to the Indian Ocean to the east, the area has a dynamic history dating back a few hundred years to the slave and gold and ivory traders plying the Indian Ocean up and down the east coast of Africa.

The gardens at this time of the year are looking superb, with many blooms to admire both in flower beds and on some of the trees.

A new succulent garden was officially opened to mark the occasion and a tree was planted to remember and commemorate the life of the late Gordon Addams who passed away very suddenly recently. Gordon was a long standing member of the Eastern Districts community having managed some of the top small hotels in the region for a number of years and lately, ‘Gordon’s’ in Mutare, until his death.

After lunch, the water-colour painting by Margi Grobelaar, which Margi had donated to the Trust some time ago, was auctioned with Des Becker ably filling the post of last-minute appointee of the position of auctioneer. Bidding was brisk with a more-than-expected and very generous winning bid from Gill Honeyman – a huge thanks to Gill!!!

Guided walks were arranged of the botanical gardens and orchid houses and also to the herb trials and the drying and packing shed.

On Sunday at lunchtime guests were treated to another, informal concert before lunch.

It is hoped that La Rochelle and the National Trust of Zimbabwe, will continue to welcome guests from near and far – and grow to develop the existing ties with INTO and INTO (Africa).

One of the many views one has of the tower from the front gardens


Compiled by Lin Goncalves


La Rochelle: Join Robbie Honey on a delightful journey around the Botanical Gardens and Learn about the Fascinating Courtauld History

The Trust is thrilled to share with you a video entitled: ‘La Rochelle: Robbie Honey’ that enjoyed its premier screening at the recent Trust’s 60th birthday celebrations held at La Rochelle where it was projected against the French style tower with a full moon behind.

Robbie, Floral Designer, Lecturer and Author of ‘The Accidental Botanist: The Structure of Plants Revealed’, passionately shares his botanical knowledge about the abundant flora growing in the grounds of La Rochelle.  He also explains the history of the estate and reveals some interesting old black and white photographs of the Courtauld’s taken in the UK and in Zimbabwe. The video shows magnificent sweeping aerial views of the house and estate made possible by drone footage.

The video opens with Robbie sitting on the sunny veranda of the house, now a boutique hotel, talking about the history of Sir Stephen and Lady Virginia Courtauld who generously donated their estate to the Trust in 1972.   Robbie then walks around the formal lounge, courtyard and Lady Virginia’s private ‘Fantasy Room. He then invites you to take part in a delightful, guided journey around the 226 acre estate which was established with the professional help of the UK Horticulturist John Henry Mitchell, with exotic plants and trees gathered from all over the world.  Co-incidentally, Robbie is friendly with Henrietta Courtauld and Bridget Elsworthy who visited Zimbabwe in 2014 and redesigned the gardens.

As you will discover the estate has an exceptional botanical area and Dell that covers 20 acres of land both contain many fine specimens of exotic and indigenous species. Robbie’s tour includes the unique Orchid biome that is home to a large and diverse collection of exotic orchids that Sir Stephen collected from around the world including the Lady Virginia Orchid: the only in the world.

After the orchid collection Robbie moves on and chats to Kevin Martin who runs the commercial organic farming area consisting of 25 acres of trial beds of herbs being grown for teas including various mints, lemon balm and grass and thyme and petals such as sunflower and calendula and recently planted super grain foods like chia and quinoa.

We do hope that you enjoy watching this wonderful production by Media Matrix Productions, very kindly sponsored by Mr H. Leared for which the Trust is extremely grateful.