by John


extracted from


Victoria Falls and the opportunity of viewing game on the same trip attract most tourists to Zimbabwe. The movies give one a sense of adventure and few are aware of the mystique and intrigue hidden below the surface.

The marketing is woefully lacking as safari game viewing is available in many African countries and thus, only those who wish to see Victoria Falls are likely candidates. Once you see a waterfall, no matter how majestic, why see it again the following year? The bulk of tourists throughout the world want recreation, romantic mystery and intrigue.

The Great Chief of Central Africa

As a child I was told tribal legends by the son of a village chief, stories of a great and powerful Chief, Chief Chingwe, who ruled from what is today Zimbabwe to Tanzania, Uganda and beyond. What was fascinating was the similar languages that existed in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi where many words had the same meaning lending credence to the Legend. It was, in fact, European history that gave the Zulu chiefs prominence in Africa. It was said that the Chief held court on Zomba Plateau and threw all his enemies into a vertical hole in the plateau. In the sixties the hole was discovered, full of human bones, however history has yet to be rewritten.

Creatures of the Deep

At Lake Chirwa, a large shallow Lake of around 12 feet deep, a haven of pythons, crocodiles and ducks, villagers would leave food by the shoreside for those mysterious people of the water who left the water at night to eat the food. They were described as part fish part man, some with long beards.

In Zimbabwe, within the Eastern Highlands, there lies a quiet deep pool of water where it is reputed the same people live, where even rescue divers have disappeared. They say that if you see one and look into its eyes it will hypnotise you and take you into the watery depths to their underground cave, after some time, if you return, you will return with the powers of a Witch Doctor. There are other places in the Midlands, near Glendale, in fact scattered all over the rural areas.

Fascinating, is the fact that the word "mermaid" exists in all languages and yet, the various tribes have been land locked and far from the sea for centuries. That, as many as sixty percent of a local church congregation will know someone who has seen one or claim they have seen one themselves. That those researchers dismiss such eyewitness evidence that in court would be sufficient to send a mere mortal to the gallows.

Ancient seafarers claimed to have seen Mermaids, now claimed to have been a Solomon Fish which possess a vaguely humanoid like head.

David Livingstone, that explorer and missionary that spread Christianity to Central Africa, traveled north from Victoria Falls (named after his Queen), founded Blantyre (after his place of birth) and Livingstonia Mission after himself, the first Christian Mission in Africa.

Sadly the mission, the beginning of Christianity in Africa, no longer exists and our church leaders have yet to see the need or singular historic importance of restarting that mission or building a small chapel in commemoration. All missionaries left there by David Livingstone died at their post of Malaria, these were truly men of god for there was no salary, comforts nor profit.

Following in his footsteps it is easy to see why he named such a place after himself for it is a place of wonderment, romance and beauty. A beautiful lakeside bay of golden sand encompassed and guarded by a mountain range, the only place in the world where rabbits bark like dogs to warn each other of intruders.

The crystal clear waters display beautifully coloured tropical fish some, now exported to aquarium keepers in Europe. It is hard to do justice to the beauty and romance of the tropical islands and scenery where, freshwater bream may be caught to match your loved ones eyes or dress. There are many former European tourists who, unable to resist the magnetism have extended their stay, the only place the writer has ever seen Europeans living in lakeside trees on makeshift platforms under the stars, reducing their ambition to hiring out canoes from their tree.

To the knowledgeable, within certain caves, are the writings of an ancient intelligent race sadly no longer in existence and, the strong hearted may venture into the secluded "caves of eyes" illuminating the veritable rows of huge eyes with a torch, where the slightest sound or splash will mean certain death.

It was on one of the writers many visits, that whilst fishing under the stars from beneath a palm tree, he caught what he thought at the time to be a log of wood. As he was using robust heavy sea line he slowly pulled the dead weight onto the shore. Imagine his surprise when what appeared to be a human head broke the calm water surface.

Once on the beach, the writer viewed this creature with its human head and cauliflower ears that began to wail like a child. Being more than a little shaken and unprepared to remove the hook, the writer decided to tie the line to the palm tree for the night and retire.

The next morning, it was still there, still very much alive, some villagers assisted the writer to lift it into a plastic dustbin and place it in the water at another location away from the danger of otters.

The owner of the local fishing fleet and personal friend informed me that sometimes they were netted and that he had seen a few. Exhaustive attempts at internet research have been unable to identify the creature which undoubtedly, is the nearest to a mermaid the writer is ever likely to see.

Today in order to preserve stocks of fish, fishing is only permitted 100 metres from shore, inadvertently protecting those creatures of the night.

The White House

A Scotsman, unrelated to David Livingstone, came to Zimbabwe as a prospector to make his fortune. On leaving Scotland he promised his mother that when he made his fortune he would send for her and build her the "White House".

Deep in the bush towards the Eastern Highlands he discovered a wealth of Minerals and subsequently became notably wealthy. He employed architects to visit Washington in the USA and take the measurements of the White House. Marble pillars were copied in Italy and, it is almost beyond imagination how all these heavy goods were transported along tracks into the heart of the bush.

Thus, almost unbelievably, and unapproved by President Bush, the "White House" is actually in Zimbabwe.

Being unacquainted with art the Scotsman employed art connoisseurs and experts to purchase paintings and museum pieces in Europe on his behalf.

It was thus that a "White House" was esablished in Zimbabwe, situated in the middle of the bush, without even a decent access road.

On his death, an auction on the art works was held and such was the worth and magnitude of the collection that art collectors attended from all over the world. Unfortunately none realised that there was no direct flight to the vicinity and those hiring cars needed a guide for a drive which took several hours. Making matters worse the Scotsman was a recluse so, very few locals knew the location, it is thus that those with local knowledge managed to get former museum pieces, complete with the original museum reference on the rear, for a song.

The tourist potential of this now abandoned "White House" to those American tourists denied the privilege of visiting that one in Washington in incalculable. There would, additionally, be many investors prepared to purchase it and run it as a hotel where guests may claim they stayed the night at the "White House" complete with appopriate photographs.

continued on the website
thing is, its all true

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