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Jafuta Foundation: Preserving Community, Culture and Conservation

When carefully and considerately applied, ecotourism preserves and benefits the places where it operates. A genuine and successful ecotourism experience involves a real cultural exchange, benefitting both the clients and their hosts in terms of sharing moments of respectful and authentic interaction. Our ecotourism initiatives consider the issues of cultural voyeurism, commercialisation of rural communities and the negative mindset that can impact children and youths through entertaining visitors and receiving gifts and money in return.

Nyami Nyami: The River God

Nyami Nyami is the Zambezi River God. He is the protector of the Tonga people and gives them sustenance in difficult times. Believed by the Tonga tribe of the Zambezi Valley to be a serpent-like creature of about three metres wide and a length no one dares to guess at. Many years ago, Chief Sampakaruma is recorded as seeing him on two occasions but since the white man came to the Zimbabwe Nyami Nyami has been in hiding. Legend has it that Nyami Nyami would turn the river water red when swimming past.

Close Encounters of the Gorilla Kind (2)

“Stand your ground. Stand tall and don’t look him directly in the eyes,” said the guide, calmly.

That’s all very well, but when standing in front of a six foot 500 pound silverback gorilla it was difficult to compose myself and follow his instructions. One minute I had been observing the silverback sitting quietly in a glade; the next minute he stood up, ran over and mock-charged me. He let out a deep, grumbling rumbling sound from deep in his belly: a silverback warning intended to intimidate without becoming physical.

Pilgrim’s Rest: A Living Museum

Pilgrim's Rest is a quaint living museum of a mining town which experienced a gold rush in 1873 when the South African government declared it a gold field. This well-preserved little town is the setting for the book about the famous dog "Jock of the Bush Veld" by Percy FitzPatrick. His writings are preserved in a building in Pilgrim’s Rest, which served as the location for the 1988 motion picture of the book. The tarmac road in front of the Royal Hotel was covered with gravel for the movie.