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!!

       

 

Brand new NTZ On-line Publication for Sale – Historical Signatures Book: La Rochelle Visitors 1954-1970

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

Book Outline

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.

Book Cost

The cost of the on-line book is USD 20.00 each.

A printed soft, colour book is available in Zimbabwe only.

Processing of International orders

If you would like to purchase a copy of the book your order will be processed through our website provider: Change Canada Consultants Ltd., who will process your order on a secure site. Once payment is received your copy of the book will be available immediately for download from their server. Please click on this link and you be redirected to their site.

Processing of Zimbabwe orders

If you live in Zimbabwe and would like to purchase a copy 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.

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.

Historic Property and Novel Crops

The NTZ (the Trust) would like to congratulate Organic Africa, in conjunction with La Rochelle Centre, on the recent official opening of their organic herbal tea factory at La Rochelle which is a Trust site in Penhalonga (the Shona word Panoronga meaning “the place that shines) situated in the Imbeza valley.

Mr D.Collenburg  of Organic Africa watching, Mr D.Karoro Hon. Deputy Minister of Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement cutting the green ribbon of the opening of the tea factory

On their way to the tea factory representatives from the Trusts Executive Council stopped to admire the bright orange Calendula flowers at one of the trial herb plots.

Left to right: Mrs Fira Bache NTZ, Mr Kevin Martin Organic Africa, Mr D.Karoro Hon. Deputy Minister of Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement and Ms Gill Honeyman (NTZ Chair of Worlds View).  Mr G Cary (NTZ Chair of the Nyanga Museum) also attended

At the tea factory guests were welcomed and given a tour of the facility which began at the drying area where the tea leaves are delivered after picking. The dried leaves are then processed by brand new, state of the art leaf processing equipment imported from Serbia.

Leaf processing equipment

The processing machine is fast and efficient: the leaves are threshed and then partly separated from the stems. The leaves are fed into the vibration separator where they are sieved by vibrating screens and separated based on their size.

The equipment has environmental ‘green’ advantages as it uses left over unwanted exotic timber, from managed plantations in the area, to provide the energy source. Any particulate dust from the procedure is collected and re-used in the process.

The finished premium tea leaves are packaged in bulk, certified organic and exported. They are blended by clients in Europe where there is a high demand for herbal teas and a percentage is kept for the local market.

La Rochelle Organics Herbal Tea

Delegates joined together for a celebratory photograph.

Left to right:Mr D.Collenburg Organic Africa, Mrs S Waterworth NTZ, Mr U.Volz German Ambassador, Mr D.Karoro Hon. Deputy Minister of Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Mr N.Jager Swiss Ambassador, Mr I.Craig ARDA Board Chairman,   Mrs B. Mtetwa International Trade Foreign Ministry, Mr Machocho  The National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Department of Research and Specialist Services within the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation  Development

Guests were then taken into the packing area and treated to a tea tasting event where they could sample some of the delicious herbal teas made at La Rochelle including rosella, a species of hibiscus, and Melissa, a member of the mint family, also known as lemon balm.  Afterwards everyone took a seat and warmly welcomed by Domink Collenburg Organic Africa CEO opening speech followed by speeches from Mr Volz, the German Ambassdor, Mr Jaeger the Swiss Ambassador and Mr Douglas Karoro the Hon. Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  All the speakers agreed that the commissioning of the tea factory offered so much for the county and they all welcomed the innovative project and gave it their support.  The project provides an opportunity for over 5,000 small-scale organic out growers and wild collectors not only to contribute to the Zimbabwean economy but also uplift themselves and their communities in the process.

The successful project was achieved through a Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) that acted as a mechanism to use the Trusts resources (the property) and investment and expertise of the private sector to manage it. The private partnership is with La Rochelle Centre (Pvt) Ltd who refurbished La Rochelle hotel to a high standard and Organic Africa who is making good use of an area of the estate grounds to build infrastructure and establish new services: growing herbal teas, to bring in finance: a new solution to an old problem. Organic plants are a much higher value crop than the traditional crops being grown in Zimbabwe.

The event was covered by ZBCTV and featured in various local newspapers including:

Biggest herbal tea factory commissioned

Mega herbal tea plant launched in Penhalonga

https://www.zbcnews.co.zw/germany-and-switzerland-endorse-zimbabwe-as-an-investment-destination-of-choice/

After the speeches guests were served an excellent lunch on the west verandah of La Rochelle overlooking the manicured formal gardens and arbour with the magnificent mountains providing a majestic  backdrop on the horizon.  The hotel is a link to the past: full of history and stories and an oasis of tranquility and charm.  A few of the guests then went for an afternoon stroll around the Dell and woodland.  The grounds are looking particularly beautiful at this time of year with many orchids, aloes and succulents in flower and a stunning collection of colourful Azaleas in full bloom nestled in-between old, magnificent looking trees.  Then it was back to the hotel for afternoon tea.

The arbour, a popular wedding venue

The lake in the dell

 

 

Azaleas in the dell                               

 

 

 

 

Contact the La Rochelle Centre

You can contact the La Rochelle Centre for any queries or bookings:

 

The National Trust of Zimbabwe turns 61 years young today!

“Heritage is precious: treasure it”

We are proud of what we have achieved over the past 61 years and we are still working hard to protect and improve the beautiful sites that we are privileged to manage.

We would like to thank all our members for their continued support and to all our colleagues and friends world -wide, we could not do it without you. Thank you for all that you’ve done for us!

 

Much more than great coffee!

If you are visiting Nyanga this long holiday weekend we invite you to try our new pop up coffee experience at World View: Our brand new Froggy Farm Coffee Box offering Good Coffee, Good Food and Good Vibes!

Enjoy a delicious bacon and cheese croissant whilst admiring the view from 2,000 metres. Coffee has never tasted this good.

We are planning to offer this treat every weekend and as soon as summer has settled in and on public holidays as well.

We look forward to serving you soon.