Cloudburst over the plains below
We take this opportunity to thank our many visitors, domestic and international, who have given their support and many kind comments on the most recent improvements to our beautiful view site. Without their contributions, received via entrance fees and donations, we would certainly not be able to continue our development and maintenance of this very special and unique place.
The Gallery has had a number of new extensions built over the last four years including two new display rooms and a toilet block to the rear. Our latest addition is the covered veranda which was completed recently.
Work in progress…
New front door being made by local craftsmen
We formed an association with the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (Mutare branch) last year and have had several successful exhibitions to promote Zimbabwean artists. The NGZ continue to allow us to exhibit their artists’ works and as a result, many sales have been achieved on behalf of our young Zimbabwean artists.
Gill Honeyman (with Elizabeth Muusha, Director of NGZ Mutare) taken on a recent visit to the Mutare Gallery
Elizebeth Muusha with some of the works by artist Wilson Zuze – over 20 of his paintings were sold from the Gallery at World’s View
Some of the paintings that form part of our permanent collection: Nyanga Artists – Val Cameron, Edone Anne Logan, Cherrie Stead and Gill Honeyman
The View has had a number of visits by delegations from various countries which have been hosted by the President’s Office, including The Marshall Islands and Equatorial Guinea. It is gratifying to know that World’s View is now on the agenda of our Government to showcase our natural heritage by bringing visiting heads of state to the Eastern Highlands.
The Hon. Oppah Muchingura, Minister of Defence and War Veterans’ Affairs signing the visitor’s bookon a recent visit to World’s View:
“I just realised that Zimbabwe is such a beautiful country still to be discovered. With this visit I have the best impressions. Thanking the Trust for the zeal to maintain this place for future generations. Keep up the good work”.
Our battle continues with the illegal grazing of cattle on the escarpment; these pictures give evidence to the devastation caused by these beasts.
Outside of the fenced area!
Illegal poachers with their hunting dogs are often seen in the area; this picture (left) was taken at the gates of World’s View over the Christmas holidays – the man in the foreground is carrying a sack of rock rabbits on his back! The cattle in the background are part of a herd that are left to roam unattended and are forever being chased off the mountain by our caretakers, only for them to appear again a few days later. All the game that used to wander the area has been completely poached out and even now it is rare to see a rabbit in your headlights when travelling the circular drive at night.
Our third set of new gates has just been installed due to cattle damage, and fence repairs are an ongoing exercise. The fence-line has been extended by 30 m to the south of the View.
Our appeal to Government to have the Connemara Basin put under protective management is almost ready for submission: our grateful thanks to Sharon Waterworth for preparing a brilliant covering document that outlines our aims and brings attention not only the problems of cattle and poaching but also the increasing necessity to preserve our montane grasslands, wetlands and indigenous species of flora and fauna.
We continue to make headway on the eradication of invasive species that have been taking over the area. Our wetlands are being threatened and the whole ecology of the area could be changed forever if steps are not taken to control the growth of pine, wattle and other invaders. To date over 3000 pines have been removed from the escarpment by chainsaw, over 2000 by machete and countless numbers of saplings have been pulled by hand. We would like to thank the board of Little Connemara for contributing towards this exercise and also some of the owners of the properties surrounding the Connemara Lakes for asking their own caretakers to help clear the areas opposite their properties.
The picnic areas are being put to good use and visitors enjoy the magnificent scenery and the gardens that have something of interest growing at all times of year.
The protea cuttings have now matured into strong sturdy plants and the ones grown from the Kirstenbosch seeds have been in flower and cuttings are being taken for propagating for our Plant Sales section.
We thank Mr Jim Dryburgh, a keen photographer and bird-watcher, for this selection of delightful photographs of proteacea and sunbirds taken on one of his visits to World’s View.
The World’s View Sculptors are producing many new pieces for sale in the Sculpture Garden. We are sorry to announce the death of their Chairman, Mr Xaviour Nyakete, who has been a great friend and contributor to the site. It is gratifying to know that his work has been sold to a number of international tourists and will grace many a home in far off lands. Our condolences to his family and brother, Panganai, who has taken over the chairmanship of the Sculptors Committee.
Our two caretakers at work in the gardens.
Arthur trimming edges
Luke tending to newlyp lanted hydrangeas at the entrance to the toposcope whom at (71) became the proud father of his 18th child in March!
Matirina and Arthur planting aloes on the slopes below the toposcope
Some of our smaller visitors
Before the Covid-19 lockdown we constructed a hands-free facility near the car park for visitors to wash their hands on arrival and departure.
The Covid-19 outbreak, although we have not yet realised the true picture in Zimbabwe to date (April 2020), has already had a real impact on the number of visitors coming to the View. The lockdown has resulted in a 100% loss of income but it is gratifying to see that our people are taking full cognizance of the seriousness of the situation and staying at home!
We continue to keep the View site open albeit for maintenance and tending the garden with Luke on lockdown at home and Arthur, Matirina and myself doing what we can – at a respectable distance and with frequent hand washing! The projects that we had intended to undertake have been put on hold and the finances to undertake these will now be channelled towards paying our two caretakers’ wages for as long as we have the resources.
Our thoughts are with all Zimbabweans and all those in other countries throughout the world who are suffering the loss of loved ones during this most awful time and look forward to the day when we can return to some normality and a brighter future.
Chairman – World’s View Committee
Sunset – Mt Ziwa in the distance