Memorial Bench and plaque in recognition and in celebration of the life of Mr Darrel Plowes

The National Trust was truly honored and fortunate to have Mr Darrel Plowes as an active member who one of the greatest all-round naturalists of Zimbabwe. Following a private family ceremony held in Mutare late last year a memorial bench was donated by Darrel’s family. Last month (June) the bench was placed in the orchid area at La Rochelle which was a place that had special significance to Darrel, since it was Sir Stephen who inspired Darrel’s fondness for orchids, and in turn Darrel has donated the balance of his collection back to La Rochelle.   The bench was designed and made by Gary Goss, a well known local artist, and now visitors can sit and pause and reflect on the beauty of the orchids.

Darrel lived such an incredibly rich life and he was a key link between the present and past of La Rochelle – both with the Courtauld Family and the botanicals – particularly the orchids (Harvey Leared).

The inscription on the brass plaque on the backrest of the bench reads as follows:

Darrel C.H.Plowes


Loving father, friend of the Courtaulds and natural historian extraordinaire

“He may now have ended his never finishing work but will always keep on inspiring me and many others for the remainder of our lives. Whether professional scientist or amateur enthusiast, we owe a great debt to his unrelenting search for knowledge and understanding of the natural world.”

Bart Wursten, Flora of Tropical Africa

The National Trust had a memorial plaque for Darrel, made from black granite, which will be placed in the grounds of La Rochelle later this year.

We are all richer for having known Darrel Plowes. We give thanks for the wonderfully inspiring life of this man and his love of all creation.

Competition: International National Trust Organisation to promote Heritage Education!

The NTZ is a proud member of the International National Trust Organisation and our colleagues John and Emily from the ‘Cross-Cultural Foundation’ of Uganda developed a concept for a project reflecting their conviction that we must focus much of our work on the youth and a desire to share the lessons they have learned from their work to support “Heritage Clubs” in (now over 100) Ugandan secondary schools in the past few years.

“The idea behind the project is to ensure that young people from Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Uganda develop a better       appreciation of the diverse heritage across the continent and become more effective in its preservation, through an electronic platform/ learning network related to heritage conservation and to strengthen the skills of our organisations in delivering more effective Heritage Education programmes for youth in a globalised, but diverse world”

(John De Coninck, Programme Advisor)

Following this idea the first ever crowdfunding campaign was launched by INTO on Monday 14th November 2016 at 2pm GMT to raise as much money as possible from as many donors as possible in five weeks.  The project page can be found at

The good news is that the threshold goal of £2,500 was successfully reached with the assistance of Global Giving and we have earnt a place in their crowd funding community!

As part of the global family of National Trusts The National Trust of Zimbabwe would like you to get involved too!

I love my Heritage!

Show the world Zimbabwe’s unique heritage!

Cash Prizes!

If you are under 20 years and a heritage club member in an Nyanga Secondary School in Zimbabwe then you are invited to join heritage clubs in Sierra Leone and Uganda in a competition to share an experience or activity of your heritage club, which you feel is exciting:

  1. Submit a 2-3 minute video clip taken on a phone or camera depicting an exciting experience/ activity related to heritage.
  2. Write half a page (about 250 words) explaining your video clip.
  3. Submit your entry on a flash drive or memory card to your Principal or Heritage Teacher, who will submit it to Faith at the Nyanga Library or Marshall at Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition (Museum).

You will be invited to present your entry to a panel of judges on 20 September 2017 at the Rhodes Hall, Nattional Park.

Winners receive cash prizes!

Your video may be publicised nationally and used by the International National Trust Organisation to promote Heritage Education!

DEADLINE: 14TH SEPTEMBER  (first week of 3rd term)

For further details please email:

Thank you, we look forward to receiving your entries.

Archeological Artefacts Excavated at Mabukuwene

The property has a long social heritage that extends back from at laest 250,000 years to the early colonial era. This history is represented as archaeological sites, rock paintings, old village remains, graves and various stone and brick-built structures. In July 2017 the National Trust Zimbabwe (NTZ) gave permission to the National Museums & Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) to conduct a rescue excavation of midden material (ashy village waste and domestic debris) that was being eroded by water channelling down one of the paths. The NMMZ team comprised of six museum curatorial staff namely: Ms Senzeni Khumalo, Mr Lonke Nyoni, Mrs Charity Nyathi, Mr Todini Runganga, Mr Obert Mangwana and Mr Maxwell Fumula.

Here is an extract from one of the first report backs:

“Today we did a one metre by one metre trench at 10cm intervals. The first ten centimetres we recovered 10 glass beads of various colours, pot sherds as well as bones. At 20cm we recovered 40 beads and bones and at 30cm the trench was sterile only two glass beads and a few pot sherds were recovered. A new trench will be dug tomorrow“.

This is great news indeed and many thanks go to and Mrs Khumalo her team for undertaking the very valuable rescue excavation work that was carried out as the archaeological materials were in danger of being lost/damaged further. This news greatly increases the interest of the NTZ site and confirmed that the property was the village of one of the Ndebele indunas (chiefs) in the precolonial era, probably dating to between 1870 and 1890. We eagerly await for the full report.


World Heritage Day

Global heritage group mobilising young people in fight to preserve cultural identity

Today, the International National Trusts Organisation (INTO) are launching a new resource, ‘Trust Kids!’, a list of 25 things young people can do to explore, celebrate, preserve and share their cultural heritage. 

In her annual World Heritage Day Lecture, Dame Fiona Reynolds, Chairman of INTO, warns that our intangible cultural heritage is under threat and that we must do all we can to encourage the next generation to protect, promote and pass it on.

World Heritage Day aims to raise public awareness about the diversity and vulnerability of the world’s built monuments and heritage sites and the efforts required to protect and conserve them.  INTO’s 70 member organisations are dedicated to promoting the conservation and enhancement of the cultural and natural heritage of all nations for the benefit of people all over the world.  Last year a report by INTO highlighted apathy as a key threat to the future of our global heritage.

Today, Dame Fiona will speak about the importance of helping young people, living in an increasingly uncertain world, to embrace the future more positively and confidently by sharing the strengths of their cultural identity.

‘Trust Kids!’ is a list of 25 things young people can do to explore, celebrate, preserve and share their cultural heritage. From drawing your family tree to finding out how your town got its name; from learning a traditional dance to preparing a regional dish; discovering a local custom to interviewing an elder about community traditions, there are some great ideas for exploring heritage, learning new skills and trying new things.

The education resource aims to grow young people’s appreciation for their traditions and living culture, building greater solidarity and cultural respect, and increasing resilience in response to the threats to intangible heritage.

“Identity helps us to belong, to feel safe and to feel proud. Learning about our own identity will help us to better respect and tolerate each other. Cultural identity refers to the manner in which we express our uniqueness. This may be through the way we look or dress, the language we speak, the food we eat and other forms of expression. Identity is also expressed through values – what we consider as individuals, families or communities as positive.” (Trust Kids! 2017)

Dame Fiona will speak about the dangers to the survival of distinctive cultural expressions (dance, costume, music, poetry, storytelling, traditional games and handicrafts) posed by globalisation, social change, migration, apathy and manipulation and the work that the world’s biggest and broadest heritage group is doing to save it.

“The conservation of intangible heritage is no longer a fringe activity – it is a necessity. Preserving intangible heritage requires different measures to the ones used for conserving monuments and sites – it needs to be kept alive and relevant. It must be regularly practised and learned within communities and between generations. That is why engaging young people is essential to its survival.”

“In a world of increasing globalisation, intolerance and fake news, we can encourage young people to develop their own sense of cultural identity, based on the best bits of their heritage.  Our ‘Trust Kids!’ network will also build greater solidarity and cultural respect amongst young people, wherever they call home.” (Dame Fiona Reynolds)

Dame Fiona also called on governments, including here in Britain, to ratify the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

You can find out more about Trust Kids! on the INTO website

International Day for Monuments and Sites (or World Heritage Day) is celebrated on 18 April every year.  It aims to raise public awareness about the diversity and vulnerability of the world’s built monuments and heritage sites (not just those listed by UNESCO) and the efforts required to protect and conserve them.   This year’s theme is “Cultural Heritage & Sustainable Tourism” chosen in relation to 2017 being the UN year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.


Nyanga’s Unique History: Presentations over the Easter weekend

“Nyanga’s Unique History”

We have pleasure in announcing that two presentations will be taking place

over the Easter weekend

On understanding Nyanga’s rich archaeological heritage

By Mr Robert Burrett,  Archaeologist

On Saturday 15th April 2017

At 3 pm


Rhodes Hall, National Park (near the Area Manager’s Office), Nyanga, Zimbabwe

Monday 17th April 2017

At 10 am

Nyanga Community Library, Nyanga Village, Zimbabwe

Entry – FREE!

Enquiries: O Bepe 0773050801; W Dhlandhlara 0772252958;   E Logan 0774 459 477

Spirit of Place Statements

The Spirit of Place (SoP) concept was established at the Quebec conference of the International Council on Monuments and Sites in 2008.  SoP is defined as “the tangible (buildings, sites, landscapes, routes, objects) and the intangible elements (memories, narratives, written documents, rituals, festivals, traditional knowledge, values, textures, colours, odours, etc.). It is the physical and the spiritual elements that give meaning, value, emotion and mystery to place. SoP is a critical tool for identifying conservation priorities for cultural heritage, but is also applicable for conserving natural sites which have a meaning to communities.

SoP is a short statement of the tangible and intangible special qualities of a place. It will provide the NTZ with a framework for conservation and management and guide all activities to improve the quality of everything that we do at that site.

We have great pleasure in posting our SoP for each of the 7 properties (see each property page). We do hope that we have managed to encapsulate  what is unique, distinctive and cherished about a particular site.  We do hope that it will give you an insight of what you may experience and feel at each site.

Gala Movie Fundrasing Event

The National Trust of Zimbabwe will be holding a gala fund-raising event at the Ster-Kinekor cinemas at Sam Levy’s Village, Borrowdale, Harare please do join us and enjoy cheese and wine served before the film  where you will be given the chance to meet the Committee and to support the work of the NTZ.  There will be an opportunity to buy raffle tickets and win some great prizes including a weekend at the stunning La Rochelle country boutique hotel and gardens and at a lodge at the spectacular located Wild Geese Lodges, Ster Kinnekor movie tickets and lots more.  You will be also able to buy a copy of the recently published ‘Nyanga’s Rich Heritage’ publication plus the lovely newly produced NTZ bags.

All this for only USD15 per ticket!

Then enjoy the film called ‘Me Before You’ a 2016 American-British romantic drama film directed by Thea Sharrock and adapted by Jojo Moyes from her 2012 novel of the same name. The film stars Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Jenna Coleman, Charles Dance, Matthew Lewis, Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Janet McTeer.

Don’t miss out, please send a RSVP email to: with your name, telephone number and  the number of tickets that you would like in order to reserve your tickets.

Thank you.



Book Launch

Book Launch

On the 30th August 2016, the National Trust of Zimbabwe hosted a prestigious event to launch the publication of ‘Nyanga’s Rich Heritage’ a booklet by Rob Burrett and Edone Ann Logan. Rob and Ann worked tirelessly on compiling this valuable publication which will be a constant companion for those who hold this area of Zimbabwe near and dear to their hearts. Covering the early pre-colonial history as well as more recent subjects, it is a great addition to the enthusiast’s collection

Diplomatic Guests included the European Union Ambassador, Mr. Philippe van Damme, The Canadian Ambassador, Kumar Gupta and his wife Nadira, the Indonesian Ambassador and his wife, the South African Ambassador, as well as guests from DFID and the British Embassy. Also present were guests from some of Zimbabwe’s top corporates, businesses and local societies such as Delta, Safeguard, Standard Chartered Bank, BAT Zimbabwe, the History Society of Zimbabwe, the Pre-History Society, the National Gallery, Dairibord, the Thomas Meikle Trust, Inns of Zimbabwe and CBZ. Wine and snacks for the event were generously sponsored by Stables Winery and Supreme Butchery.

Rob and Edone are both well-known historians in Zimbabwe. Rob hails from Bulawayo and Edone is living in Nyanga and is Chair of the Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition. Both have gathered an extensive knowledge of this beautiful area of Zimbabwe and published this new booklet for visitors and friends of Nyanga. Books were on sale at the event and Rob and Edone Ann were available to speak to guests and to personally sign copies of the booklet. The National Trust flagship property, La Rochelle was represented by Harvey Leared of Acumen Africa and Luke Ngwerume who is the La Rochelle Centre Chairman.

The event was held at the elegant residence of the British Ambassador, Catriona Laing, for which the Trust is most grateful. Entertainment was provided by the Embassy marimba band.

Here are some photographs of the event.

banner-and-guests   marilyn-n-rob

Guests arriving

guests    band

Guests enjoying the Marimba Band

ds-and-embassador     audience

David Scott, NTZ Chairman presenting Catriona Laing  the British Ambassador with a National Trust of Zimbabwe shopping bag and a signed copy of the booklet.


Rob Burrett and Edone Ann Logan talking about the background history leading up to the production of their booklet ‘Nyanga’s Rich Heritage’

luke  raphael-catrina-and-other

Luke Ngwerume La Rochelle Chairman        British Ambassador, Raphael Chikukwa National Gallery of Zimbabwe