Sunday 14 October 2012

Some other African lake creatures

Mokele Mbembe is not the only creature reported in lakes in Africa. Here is a selection of some of the reports.

The Irizima
It is said that there is a monster in Lake Edward called the irizima; which apparently means 'the-thing-that-may-not-be-spoken-of.' The indigenous people who live near Lake Edward in Zaire refer to it as a "gigantic hippopotamus with the horns of a rhinoceros on its head. "The lake is said to have an average depth of 111 m/364 ft. It is has good fish stocks is said to be free from crocodiles. Some describe the creature as a gigantic hippopotamus with the horns of a rhinoceros upon its head, others say the irizima is a marsh monster with a hippo's legs, an elephant' trunk, a lizard's head, and an aardvark's tail. The creature seems to have been seen in many places around that area of Africa. The story goes that Lewanika, King of the Barotse, saw the beast in the marshes of his land, and set a special warrior watch to capture it. 'A monster,' says he in his official report to the British Government, 'with a head like a snake, making a huge track in the reeds as large as a full-sized wagon would make were its wheels removed.'
J.E. Hughes in 1933. wrote in his book “Eighteen Years on Lake Bangweulu” that the Wa-Ushi tribesmen had killed such a creature along the Luapula River, between Lakes Mweru and Bangweulu. It is described as having a smooth body, without bristles, and armed with a single smooth horn fixed like that of a rhinoceros, but composed of smooth white ivory, very highly polished.
In December, 1919, the London Daily Mail published a letter from C.G. James, who had lived in what is now Zambia. He reported that there was an enormous beast with a single ivory horn living in the waters of Lakes Bangweulu and the surrounding lakes and swamps. James said this animal was called "Chipekwe" by the natives. The same creature is also mentioned in both Millais’ 1924 book “Far away up the Nile”
So what is or was this mysterious creature? It appears to live in more than one place in the area. Some say it is a quiet hervibore others that it attacks other animals. Could it be more than one species of creature? That would explain the differing descriptions. It sounds like a hybrid of two other creatures but whether a hippo and a rhinoceros would mate is debateable. Certainly one to add to the pile of unexplained and intriguing tales, though some say it is a triceratops , a living dinosaur.

The Mamlambo
The "half horse, half fish" monster called Mamlambo inhabits the Mzintlava River in the Mount Ayliff area of South Africa. Eyewitnesses describe this creature as being 20 meters (67 ft) long, with short stumpy legs,having a crocodilian body, and the head and neck of a snake. It is said to have a hypnotic gaze and drag human and animal victims into the water.It apparently sucks their brains out.
The Mamlambo is mentioned in Xhosa tribal mythology. Government sources say that the creature claimed seven human victims in 1997 and several goats. Freelance journalist, Andite Nomabhunga, reported that nine human deaths have been blamed on the Mamlambo, including a school girl. Mount Ayliff police claim that most of the alleged victims which have been found had simply drowned. Sometimes, crabs have eaten away at the soft tissues of the face and throat. Despite police explanations for the deaths, villagers claim that they are not just superstitious tribe people, but educated people who are being terrorized by the Mamlambo. On April 29, 1997, the Reuter wire service reported that at an Eastern Cape legislative meeting held in Bisho, South Africa, the agriculture minister, one Ezra Sigwela, told an astonished governing body that a "half-fish, half-horse monster" had devoured at least seven victims in his region of Mzintlava River, located in the northern area of the former Transkei black homeland. Sigwela pledged that he would solicit the help of the national agriculture ministry, in the hopes that they would organize a mission of armed nature conservation officers in order to hunt and kill the beast. There is no mention of what happened or if the hunt took place .

The KwaNogqaza
A report :REUTERS NEWS SERVICE13 Jun 96 By Celia Locks and Kevin Rafferty.:South Africa has one more attraction for ever-eager tourists: its very own monster. Zulu legend has it lurking at the bottom of the 300-foot Howick Falls, exerting a magical force as it sucks victims into its underwater lair. The beast, said to look just like the one in Loch Ness, is drawing sightseers to the town of Howick in KwaZulu-Natal. They can see fuzzy photographs of a skinny long neck rising out of a swollen body, with three smaller `monsters' (looking suspiciously like ducks) swimming beside it. CL.
And more on this: The Inkanyamba are said to be a population of giant migratory, carnivorous eels, which are allegedly indigenious to southern Africa. The most well known of these is said to dwell in the deep pools beneath South Africa's legendary Howick Falls (known to the Zulu as "kwaNogqaza" or "The Tall One").

Lake Serpent
There is said to be a 100 foot-long lake serpent that lurks in the swamps, rivers, and lakes in Uganda.It is feared by natives because of its predatory nature, aid to often take large mammals or fishermen. Explorers of the region heard these bizarre tales that became more credible as some of them were said to have observed the creature themselves.

The Ninki-Nanka
Then there is the dragon-like beast known as Ninki-Nanka which lives in the swamp land of Gambia. Ninki-Nanka translates as Dragon-Devil. The Ninki-Nanka is said to be a large reptile, possibly as large as 30 ft (9 metres) living in the mangrove swamps and rivers of Gambia. The beast is said to have the body of a crocodile, the neck of a giraffe, the head of horse with three horns, one right in the middle of its head. The reclusive monster spends most of its time submerged in the mud in the regions of inland swamps and upriver from the coast

The Le’Kela-mbembe
In Cameroon, there is another creature called Le’Kela-mbembe. It is said to grow around 70 feet in length and will eat the leaves from the Esem Tree.

The Dingonek
Also said to dwell in the lakes of western Africa, is the Dingonek which has been described as being approximately 12-feet ( 4 metres)in length, with a square shaped head, a long horn, large canine teeth , and a tail complete with a bony, dart-like appendage, which is reputed to be able to secrete a deadly poison. This creature is also said to be covered head to toe in scales.
From The Independent (Papua New Guinea), December 30, 1999, p. 6.
IN Africa:
In 1776, Abbe Proyhart wrote that there had been found of clawed footprints in West Africa that were as large as three feet in diameter. Reports of dinosaur-like creatures came from from central Africa in the late 1800s. Native tribes people told explorers of a large animal they called jago-nini, which translates to “giant diver.” The footprints of this creature were about the size of a Football . Other tribes who said they were familiar with this creature had other names for it, including dingonek, ol-umaina, and chipekwe

There are, of course, others and this is just a sample really to show what a fascinating array of lake creatures are said to be found in just one part of the world. Some may be mistaken identity but some remain unexplained.

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