Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition – Spirit of Place Statement

Join the many people that visit an astonishing public display of ancient manuscripts, photographs and other exhibits of interest relating to Nyanga and persons and events connected with its history and development. In addition there is memorabilia depicting the life and times of early Zimbabwe, from the local indigenous tribe’s people, through to the white settlers and together with the art, culture and traditions of this beautiful area.
The exhibits are housed in a historical building known as Rhodes Stables where once part of one of Sir Cecil John Rhodes’ country residences. The stables were built in 1897 and used for the stabling of horses and mules during the several visits which he made to Nyanga during 1897 and 1900.
Come and enjoy an insight into life as it was then.

Worlds View – Spirit of Place Statement

Sit above the clouds and birds flying and gaze down from one of the highest points in the land of Zimbabwe (approx 2,300 metres), across the central plateau almost a kilometre below. The view is of a land of mystery, of peace and of extreme beauty and it seems endless. As you gaze across the landscape spreading out in all directions beneath you, imagine a time before time when no human being was here. Move on through history to think of the earliest inhabitants of our beautiful country, the ‘Bushmen’, living life off the abundance of nature in surely what must easily be one of the most beautiful landmarks of Zimbabwe.
Today the distant huts, hills and hamlets are bright and baked in the midday heat, then fade as the setting sun behind them throws its blue dusty shadows as it journeys to lands to the west when lights begin to twinkle and the chill of the highvelt evening, and the ever present wind sighing through the wattles and pines around you sound like the sea but you are in a land locked country.
Your eyes are overwhelmed by beauty at every turn, you tread on the land of forgotten peoples that possibly inhabited the area in the 14th and 15th centuries, you can feel their ancestors and see the cultural history in the forts, stone walls, pit structures and square kilometres of massive terraces: all beautifully crafted and utterly intriguing. Everywhere. But built by whom? How? For what: Agriculture? Slave enclosures? Livestock protection? Self defence? Mining?
All these have stood. And fallen. Only one thing is certain, and that is that these questions are not easily answered, and your favourite pet theory is as likely as any other.
As you climb down into the valley in the morning freshness, limbs quivering with exertion and great lungful’s of fresh mountain air drink from cooling streams, feel the cooling breeze dry the sweat on your back and feel the pulse of primal life quicken in your ears and veins.

La Rochelle – Spirit of Place Statement

Experience both the natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of a country estate, and feel the passion held by Sir Stephen and Lady Virginia Courtauld to settle here and literally ‘put down roots’ as the saying goes. The house and grounds are what has made La Rochelle a lasting treasure to be enjoyed in perpetuity by the nation of Zimbabwe and its visitors. It will forever evoke images of a time in history when this very generous titled couple, who combined English ancestry and Italian and Hungarian ancestries as well, adopted not only this country, but also its people and took both to their hearts.
Their public-spirited generosity, and their enduring interest in promoting the various arts, music and culture, as well as a deep desire to improve the welfare of the lower echelons of the population, means that they will always be remembered for their generous largesse towards Zimbabwe even though these contributions were always made very quietly and modestly and never openly and flamboyantly.
Their foresight in donating La Rochelle to the National Trust now enables one to not only spend a weekend or more inside their very home, but also to walk the pathways so lovingly designed and created by Sir Stephen and his massive team of gardeners and planners, and to relax for a while in a haven of peace and beauty and marvel at the extensive collection of rare orchids.
Stop for a while in The Dell, close your eyes, drift away to the late 1950’s era and just pretend that you are one of Sir Stephen’s invited guests for the weekend, the way he would have wanted it to be. Breathe in the scents surrounding you through this beautiful garden and think of Lady Virginia and her kind and generous nature as she busied herself for the day with the local ladies and their knitting and crotchet projects that she funded. Picture in your mind the soft tunes drifting down from the house from piano and violin as the invited musicians ready their instruments for the evening.
Take the time to enjoy this very special home and garden remembering that the Courtauld’s former home is here for all future generations to be able to admire and enjoy.

MABUKUWENE Update August 2016

Clearing of the invasive weed, LANTANA, is now underway and with the help of Rob Burrett and Mrs Hugill in Bulawayo we will be able to continue work on this historical property in order to attract more visitors for walks and picnics, birding outings. Plans are also proposed to have a cultural village exhibition at the site for the benefit of school children to visit and learn of the local cultural history.

Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition Update August 2016

A number of items have been donated which are always a welcome addition and boost to the existing collection. All donations are much appreciated and acknowledged, as they go towards building what is already a fine collection of memorabilia and history of the area.

Following our gathering at Worlds View on the 23rd April – we met the following day for an Executive Committee Meeting at Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition, which has been greatly boosted by a lot of care and attention over the past two years and is looking very ‘professional’. An enormous THANK YOU to Edone Ann Logan who has been the driving force behind getting the Exhibition into the excellent state it is now in, and to the many very kind and generous donors who have both lent, and given, many artefacts and memorabilia to the Exhibition.

Update August 2016

On the 23rd April 2016, the members at Worlds View, Connemara and Nyanga, together with members of the Executive Committee from Harare, met at Worlds View to inaugurate the newly built little Art Gallery housing an exhibition of landscapes and floral scenes by local artists, toilet block and newly landscaped garden at the site. The cutting of the ribbon was done by our Chairman’s lovely wife, Shirley Scott and drinks and snacks were enjoyed by all in the bright sunshine outside the art gallery – now named the “Gill Honeyman Gallery”, after Gill, who is the Chairman of Worlds View and a resident at Worlds View who does an amazing job of landscaping the area and propagating plants, together with her very knowledgeable gardener Matinara. The event was followed by a delicious lunch with the local members at Gill’s home, set in the natural and indigenous landscape from which she has created a most delightful garden.
The newly inaugurated GILL HONEYMAN ART GALLERY

The newly inaugurated GILL HONEYMAN ART GALLERY

The newly inaugurated GILL HONEYMAN ART GALLERY

The new toilet block at Worlds View

The new toilet block at Worlds View

Our Chairman, David Scott with Gill Honeyman

Our Chairman, David Scott with Gill Honeyman

Fort Gomo Update (Site Visit on 26th April 2016)

On the morning of 26th April 2016, after a good breakfast on the veranda at La Rochelle,


Alistair White (a temporary employee of La Rochelle Country House) and I set out to find Fort Gomo, a National Trust of Zimbabwe site in the Penhalonga area of Zimbabwe (Eastern Highlands region).

Before long, Alistair decided to show me the first nursing services site established in the country. This is a short drive off the Penhalonga Road, very near the start of Penhalonga residences. This is the commemorative plaque at the site:


This is a lovely spot for visitors to La Rochelle to visit and very easy to locate and drive close to. The GPS reading is: (still to extract from my Garmin!!).


There are lovely trees and a small bench looking out over the valley below:


We returned down the hill and travelled down the main road east towards Penhalonga. At the start of Penhalonga alongside the road there is a memorial to the people who gave their lives in the Great War of 1914-8:


We continued through Penhalonga and approximately 20 kilometres beyond there to reach the turn off to Small Bridge Dam. We continued past that 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 we parked. We looked up to the front and right of the parking and across the road, saw the ruins of Fort Gomo on a small rise alongside the road. We crossed the road and climbed the small hill, a very easy ascent. The area is slightly over-grown but easily traversed. The first sight is the small wall enclosing the summit with a door with a stone lintel:


We entered the summit of the hill to find an area of approximately 20m’s in diameter, with (slightly damaged) built walls on the south and west sides.

NL10 NL11

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:

Along the tar road, just beyond the Fort Gomo site is a gravel road to the right which one can also use to get to the base of Fort Gomo by turning right there and travelling about 300m’s up that gravel road & turning right onto a small track that leads to the base of Fort Gomo.
There is evidence at the end of that access track of where the NTZ sign must have been located previously at the end of this track. New signage would be required.
The Fort Gomo location, lay-bye and the gravel road intersection is clearly shown in this Google Map image:

The summit has tree cover and would be pleasant for a short stop and perhaps a picnic

We experienced a very pleasant trip through extremely scenic areas and spots. Penhalonga and its surrounding valleys have a rich history from both pre- and post-colonial times.
The trip and Fort Gomo is well worth a visit by people passing through the area or staying at La Rochelle.
J Scott/Alistair White – 26 April 2016

La Rochelle Update August 2016

The property continues to gain much support and praise from all visitors and work is underway to organise various events to attract a wider range of visitors who will view this property not only for its aesthetic appeal but also it’s historical importance for the people of Zimbabwe.

For all enquiries and bookings please contact:


With generous support from a donor, the tropical area in the Dell has been cleaned up and the waterways have been cleared and the section is looking amazing


Please read this very good account from a recent visitor:-



Every single person has places that are important to them. Places they care about. Places that matter. We want to see and celebrate the places that matter to you in Zimbabwe.

This Place Matters is a campaign that seeks to connect people across the country with the places that are most important to their history, and their future.

  • Take photos with the sign at the places that matter most to you and send them to us.

this place matters

We would also like to invite you to share your experience after you have visited a National Trust property, either in Zimbabwe or globally.

We look forward to receiving your comments and photographs, thank you.

New: Africa Forum

At the 2015 INTO conference held in Cambridge, UK we are pleased to announce that the Africa Regional Forum was established and that NTZ is a full time member. The new INTO Africa group brings together a vibrant network of African Heritage Organisations that will share ideas and resources, develop a continent-wide voice, promote and influence on African cultural heritage matters.

The NTZ have compiled a draft terms of reference for the Africa Forum that is currently being discussed and finalised through a series of webinars being held across the continent. This is a very exciting development for INTO, NTZ and for the other heritage organisations in Africa.