The President of Botswana, His Excellency President Masisi and his wife, the First Lady visit Worlds View

It is with a great sense of pride and with immense gratitude to the NTZ team at Worlds View, Nyanga that we can announce a VIP visit which took place on Saturday 3rd September 2022- when the NTZ team and local officials welcomed the visiting President of Botswana, His Excellency President Masisi and his wife, the First Lady.

 His Excellency The President of Botswana, President Masisi and First Lady, enjoying the views at World’s View, Nyanga

Left to right: Godfrey Koti – Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Gill Honeyman – Chair of the National Trust Nyanga, H.E. President Masisi, First Lady and Oppah Muchinguri – Ministry of Defence and War Veterans Affairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being introduced to the President on his arrival by Godfrey Koti. Ruth Tongogara, Winnie Muchanuka CEO of ZTA, and Gill Honeyman with the bouquet of local proteas about to be presented to the First Lady

The First Lady of Botswana receives a gift of a stone sculpture, from one of the World’s View sculptors, Livingstone

H.E Masisi said World’s View was the highlight of his Nyanga visit.

The NTZ is very proud indeed!!!! Gill Honeyman certainly does a stirling job up there for the NTZ! Well done Gill and to all your team in the hills and mountains. We are all so proud of you!

INTO Heritage policy: INTO member organisations and their responses to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals’ covering the period 2018-2022. 

In June 2022, NTZ was contact by Tamara Di Marco, an Oxford Intern working with the NT UK carrying out important research for the International National Trust Organisation (INTO). Tamara’s National Trust Partnership Curatorial research micro-internship project is entitled: ‘INTO Heritage policy: INTOs member organisations and their responses to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals’ covering the period 2018-2022’.

Tamara identified (from websites) 4 organisations for the study: FAI, Kulturerbe Bayern and NTZ and the NTZ was proud and excited to participate in the study.

I am super pleased to say that the report has been finalised and that the NTZs work was highly praised.

I quote:

In conclusion, NTZ is the foundation that has engaged with the most SDGs in their recent programes and out of the case studies in this report, having supported on created projects inked to 11 SDGs.

Well done everyone for all your hard work and progress towards implementing the very important SDGs.

Citizen Science

Citizen Science is a relatively exciting new field whereby members of the general public collect data relating to the natural world and share it with professional scientists as part of a collaborative project.

The Trust is proud to invite you to Citizen Science Training day at Mabukuwene Nature Reserve in Bulawayo which is being run by Dr.M.Fitzpatrick who is the Regional Director of the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe southern region:

Citizen Science is a form of simultaneous learning and knowledge making. It enables people to enhance their scientific literacy in fields that are truly relevant to them. By participating in Citizen Science projects, citizens can gain a greater say in and commitment to scientific and research matters.

If you are interested and unable to attend on the day you can still get involved by contacting  Dr. Fitzpatrick on the number above. other training days will be held around Zimbabwe.  

 

Spider Hunt at Mabukuwene Nature Reserve

 

The Spider Club of Zimbabwe meet up for an outing into Mabukuwene Nature Reserve on 12th February at 8am before the temperatures started to rise. It was a clear summers day and a small group of enthusiastic kids with their parents came along. One mother was totally terrified of the bush and anything with more than two legs but it was encouraging to see her overcome her fears so her child could join in. As with most spider and bug hunting walks you really don’t need to go far to find anything and after a two hour hunt we have only gone 50m.

The group broke for a tea break and were entertained by Martin Sanderson (Founder of Adventure into Learning) with his story that Mabukuwene as named by Mr Thomas Meikle because this was where he kept his Library (Mabookas)!! After which we went for a walk to the “library” and lookout point and continued the bug hunt.

Many thanks go to the staff of the Entomology and Arachnology department at the Natural history Museum for helping out and the National Trust for granting permission to use their Nature Reserve for this outing.

Spiders, insects, reptiles and other things that were photographed during the morning can be viewed at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/mabukuwene-nature-reserve where there is project for these and any other records for the Nature reserve can be viewed on INaturalist.

Annotated Checklist Mabukuwene 12th February 2022

Spiders

Neoscona (Hairy filed spiders) make orb-webs at night which are removed early in the morning. These spiders are commonly found during summer in grassland and low vegetation. A number of species have been recovered from Zimbabwe.

Steatoda capensis (False button spiders) make three dimensional webs usually close to the substrate and are frequently found under stones.

Cheiracanthium species (Sac spiders) are notorious for their cytotoxic venom and small wounds that they can make. There are a number of species in Zimbabwe, those collected were all juveniles so cannot be identified. The females make a silk retreat amongst vegetation and then she encloses herself with the eggs and guards them. Unfortunately none were photographed and all specimens collected were juveniles.

Numerous Jumping spiders, Salticidae, were recorded, including Hyllus and Heliophanus species. These spiders are always fun to watch as they are diurnal with well developed vision, and have various threat displays which they will use when trying to photograph them!

Other plant dwelling diurnal active hunters are the Oxyopes (Lynx spiders) who will leap into the air to catch their prey. At night they usually rest hanging from dragline silk attached to the underside of a leaf.

Various crab spiders were recorded including Tmarus, Synema, Thomisus scrupeus, Misumenops rubrodecoratus, Diaea puncta, Stiphropus bisigillatus and Heriaeus. These are sit-and-wait ambush hunters , mainly active during the day and their gait is side-ways or crab-like hence their name. They have strong bodies and robust front legs enabling them to attack prey much bigger than themselves. They are usually cryptically coloured so they are concealed while they wait for their prey.

Ground dwelling spiders recorded include Zelotes brennanorum, wolf spiders including the fast moving Pardosa, and the wall spider Selenops. Palpimanus species are slow moving spiders found during the day in small sac-like retreats under stones. When walking the strong front legs are held up in the air which are full of receptors. They are spider hunters actively seeking their prey hiding in their retreats.

In the three hours in the Nature Reserve we managed to see a good number of spiders and insects and have a discussion about the importance of spiders in the environment and also a discussion about the various spiders seen and it proved an excellent opportunity for questions and education as there was also a learner guide present who was knowledgeable on reptiles. As the morning progressed the temperatures began to rise, and many invertebrates start finding cooler diurnal resting places and sighting become harder.

 

 

Exciting developments for Murahwa’s Hill

Murahwa’s Hill is a prominent landmark 3 km to the North West of Mutare and it has a unique combination of cultural heritage and indigenous flora and fauna. It was named after a local Headman Madekurahwa under Chief Mutasa who lived at the foot of the hill from around the second half of the 19th century before relocating further south in the Save Valley. Traditionally it was protected in the past as a place of spirits.

The Hill has an indication of early occupation by the indigenous peoples of Manicaland. Archaeological evidence is observable in a number of places.  As one ascends the hill from the south on the western side there are rock shelters with traces of rock paintings as well as potsherds on the shelter floors. A cave with well-preserved mud plastered lath granary is found on the slopes west of the summit.

Murawha’s Hill with the city of Mutare in the background

The site was acquired by the Trust in 1963 and the wire fencing and National Trust signage was destroyed and in recent years the site became a target for illegal wood cutting and settlement. The protection of its valuable resources has been of huge concern to the Trust. The development of the site has been hampered by a lack of funds and a local committee to drive the project.

The Trust is delighted to announce the formation of a new local committee, Chaired by Eng. Jackson Njunga, in October 2021 with whom we are very much looking forward to working with to achieve the Trusts aims which are: to have a presence at the site, to research into activities that will lead to the financial sustainability of the site and to see how the local community can be involved and supported.

After a record-breaking Christmas season Gill Honeyman, Chair of Worlds View site, said that they were in a good financial position to be able to assist some of the building works planned for the Hill. Her drive and energy kick started the project and work begun in earnest at the site. Following Gills initial donation Edone Ann Logan successfully managed to fundrise further funds from generous members of the History Society which the Trust is extremely grateful for.

The first works consist of a building a new driveway and a stone wall starting from the old gate stretching along to the corner boundary with the Mutare Show Grounds. The new committee agreed on the size/height of the wall and also the quality of design for the wall in order to attract visitors to the site.

               

Old entrance with no wall                          Wall building underway

  New section of stone wall sourced locally

Groundwork continues at the entrance where a lot of clearing and tidying up of the bank along the roadside has already taken place. Murahwa’s Hill frontage and access road

 

Eng Jackson Njunga

The second works will be to complete the whole frontage of the boundary line. The new wall will assist in both declaring and protecting the site.

Gill Honeyman very generously donated masses of brightly coloured Aloes that she had propagated to plant and grace the new entrance.  Aloes arriving from Worlds View

Needless to say Murahwah’s Hill, after a long time in hibernation, has awoken and it has a bright future.

This is an important place and is respected for the wealth of history it holds.  The Trust owes it to their memory to protect it and respect it as they would appreciate it.

THE RHODES NYANGA HISTORICAL EXHIBITION CELEBRATES ITS 10th ANNIVERSARY

The members of the Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition committee, NTZ Executive Council members together with some key stakeholders proudly celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Museum in style with a wonderful event held in December 2021.

The Museum has certainly come a long way since it first opened its doors to the public, the Committee would like to thank everyone for all their hard work and determination to succeed to house a unique public display of ancient manuscripts, photographs and other exhibits of interest relating to Nyanga and persons and events connected with its history and development.  The Committee would also like to extend a huge thanks to all it donors and people that have so generously donated items to the various exhibitions.

Champagne was served at the museum and everyone enjoyed delicious snacks which were kindly brought by Mrs. Honeyman and Mrs. Moore.

 

Some of the museum committee in attendance were: Mrs Merle Moore, Mrs June Weeks, Mrs. Gill Honeyman the NTZ Council representative, members of the Museum Committee and the adjacent Rhodes Nyanga Hotel and representatives from Zimbabwe Parks  and Wildlife Management Authority, Nyanga.

The Museum committee said that they will work hard to continually improve the historical information in the permanent collection, hold regular curated exhibitions and work with local schools on Cultural Heritage programmes.

New Publication: History of the visitors who signed the lounge windows at La Rochelle 1954-1970

La Rochelle Visitors 1954-1970

This very important historical document entitled: ‘La Rochelle Visitors 1954-1970’ has been officially published to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the National Trust of Zimbabwe (in 2020) and in memory of Mr Darrel Plowes (04/04/1925 – 19/10/2016).

After arriving in Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) in the early 1950s, British couple Sir Stephen and Lady Virginia Courtauld decided to make it their home. Fabulously wealthy and with diverse artistic and humanitarian interests, the Courtaulds built a striking home and gardens which they called La Rochelle. They bequeathed the property to the National Trust of Zimbabwe in 1960.

At La Rochelle the Courtaulds hosted an extraordinary range of visitors from all over the world and from many walks of life. Visitors were invited to sign their names with a diamond tipped stylus on several glass window panels, and the hundreds of inscribed signatures have intrigued more recent visitors to La Rochelle.

Over the past 7 years 3 volunteers have documented 898 signatures, aiming to learn a little about each individual – not an easy task given the problems of deciphering the signatures and the passage of time. The resulting publication provides a fascinating glimpse of signatories ranging from African nationalist activities, political figures from various parties, prominent musicians, dancers actors and artists, historians, British aristocracy, local residents and more.

The project was initiated by a former guest and friend of the Courtaulds (and well known local botanist) Mr Darrel Plowes and an Australian visitor to La Rochelle, Mrs Heather White. As Darrel’s health limited his involvement, his companion Ms Nina Bauer, took on the research with Heather. The memories of local residents, along with extensive internet searching, have allowed the compilation of brief notes about many of the Courtauld’s visitors, with web links and/or verified sources.

While much has been discovered, some intriguing gaps remain, and it is hoped the readers of the publication may be able to add a few more pieces to this picture of Rhodesian/Zimbabwean social history.

The Trust would like to acknowledge the passionate voluntary work undertaken by Mrs Nina Bauer and Mrs Heather White over a period of 8 dedicated years. Together they have compiled a fascinating and highly interesting document.  The Trust is extremely grateful for all their hard work and time and for choosing the Trust to be the sole financial beneficiary of their work.

The Trust would also like to say a huge thank to Ms Catherine Leonard and Mr Bill Turner of the International  National Trust Organisation for all their technical help and support in bringing the on-line sale of the book to fruition.

ORDER YOUR ELECTRONIC COPY HERE

The cost of a PDF version of the Book is only USD 20.00.

If you would like to purchase an electronic  PDF version of the book your order will be processed through our website provider: Change Canada Consultants Ltd.

When you click the link below you will be taken to their secure website where you may process your payment via credit card. When payment is processed, you will be given a link to download the publication from their server.

To purchase your electronic (PDF) version of this book click on this link

A printed hard, colour book is available in Zimbabwe only

If you live in Zimbabwe and would like to purchase a hard copy of the book we can take payment in local ZWLs/USD/Ecocash/Bank transfer/PayNow. In this case your order will be processed through the NTZ.   Please email ntzimbabwe@gmail.com or call Fira Bache on 0772251776.

We do hope that you enjoy reading all about the people that signed the lounge windows at La Rochelle.

We would love to hear about any comments that you have.

 

Worlds View by Richard Conlon

This dreamy and colourful painting of the view from Worlds View with Aloes in the foreground was

painted by Richard Conlon

who is a local artist from Harare whose specialty is landscapes and wildlife.

The painting was exhibited at the recent October Moon exhibition in Borrowdale.

Many thanks go to Richard for giving us permission to share this with you.

Enjoy.

 

New: The Trust is very pleased to announce its latest publication

The National Trust of Zimbabwe (NTZ) is very pleased to announce its latest publication:

La Rochelle

Visitors 1954-1970

After arriving in Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) in the early 1950s, British couple Sir Stephen and Lady Virginia Courtauld decided to make it their home. Fabulously wealthy and with diverse artistic and humanitarian interests, the Courtaulds built a striking home and gardens which they called La Rochelle. They bequeathed the property to the NTZ in 1970.

At La Rochelle the Courtaulds hosted an extraordinary range of visitors from all over the world and from many walks of life. Visitors were invited to sign their names with a diamond stylus on several glass window panels, and the hundreds of inscribed signatures have intrigued more recent visitors to La Rochelle.

Over the past seven years three volunteers have documented 898 signatures, aiming to learn a little about each individual – not an easy task given the problems of deciphering the signatures and the passage of time. The resulting publication provides a fascinating glimpse of signatories ranging from African nationalist activists, political figures from various parties, prominent musicians, dancers, actors and artists, historians, British aristocracy, local residents and more.

The project was initiated by a former guest and friend of the Courtaulds (and well known local botanist) Darrel Plowes and an Australian visitor to La Rochelle, Heather White. As Darrel’s health limited his involvement, his companion Nina Bauer, took on the research with Heather. The memories of local residents, along with extensive internet searching, have allowed the compilation of brief notes about many of the Courtaulds’ visitors, with web links and/or verified sources.

While much has been discovered, some intriguing gaps remain, and it is hoped the readers of the publication may be able to add a few more pieces to this picture of Rhodesian/Zimbabwean social history.

To order your copy now please click on our Publications tab, happy reading!

 

Worlds View hosts its first Wedding: Makorokoto to Mr and Mrs Mutunduwe

The National Trust of Zimbabwe is so proud and happy to have provided such a perfect and beautiful venue for the happy couple, Tendai and his beautiful bride, Trishie, who chose our World’s View site for their wedding ceremony and cake cutting, with 50 guests.

Congratulations and may you share a lifetime of happiness together, Mr and Mrs Mutunduwe!!