"When the early travellers reached the
long afterwards, there were no natives living within sixty miles
of the place. They feared an evil spirit, they said, which haunted
natives believe it is haunted by a malevolent and cruel divinity,
and they make it offerings to conciliate its favour, a bead necklace,
a bracelet or some other object, which they fling into the abyss,
bursting into lugubrious incantations, quite in harmony with their
dread and horror."
Many white men believe in a
lives at the foot of the falls. Captain Reynard, the curator I
have mentioned, told me that three men whose word he could not
doubt had seen this creature.
Livingstone mentioned a serpent in these waters, and it is part
of the Barotse folklore. Natives assured Livingstone that it was
large enough to hold a canoe and prevent the paddlers from moving
in any direction. According to fairly recent accounts it is thirty
feet long with a small slate-grey head and thick black body which
it exhibits in fold after fold.
Mr. V. Pare, for many years in charge of boats on the Zambesi,
climbed down to the bottom of the
when the water was at the lowest ebb in living memory. That
was the first time he set eyes on the monster. It was a serpent-like
creature, and when it saw Pare it reared up and then vanished into
a deep cavern. Pare reported seeing it again, years afterwards,
at the foot of the Devil's Cataract.
Natives call the monster Chipique and say that it came up from
the ocean a thousand miles away. Native fishermen are so afraid
of it that they will not venture out at night. "Chipique rules the
river in the dark hours," point out the fishermen.
Mr. J. W. Soper, who has trapped and shot a great many
crocodiles round about the Falls, has heard native reports of very
large specimens. But it is unlikely that Mr. Pare would have failed
to identify a crocodile. It may be a large python, of course, like
the legendary "great snake" of the
From page 114 .The book is called "There's a Secret Hid away" by Lawrence Green and it is about tales of Southern
Lawrence Green died in 1973. This copy of the book was reprinted in 1981. The original was printed in 1956. I got this on loan from the British library but you can still get second hand copies of the books from dealers
List of his books http://www.booksofzimbabwe.com/page5LGG.html