This pic was taken driving back from a place called Hogo Plains in the Somabhula area of the Midlands. It was pretty dark when I took this photo – I’d already switched on my lights!

Hogo Plains

Intrigued by the name Somabhula, I found various derivations of the name: that it was the name of a local Chief (I heard his name was Somnambula.)

I also came across this: shamaburo, referring to a renowned elephant hunter of this name;  shama “wonder at” and buro – “the sharp stick used in a game pit”; alternatively, buru, corruption of the English word bull.

Who knows. What I DO know about Somabhula is that its flat, flat flat…except for this mountain range that sticks out of the flat plain!

SomabhulaIncidentally, we found water at Hogo Plains…lots and lots of lovely water!


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Suki - 20. Jul, 2015 - Reply

Thanks for the info

Pete Van Zyl - 31. Oct, 2017 - Reply

Went to school as a Boarder here – started in 1959 – in the old Hostel – and moved to the New Double storey Hostel in 1960 – left Dec 1962 – to go to Northlea in Bulawayo. Griffiths was my Headmaster throughout this period, with Sonya Aylen and Jacky Guernier the other 2 teachers!

frankiekay - 31. Oct, 2017 - Reply

I also went to a very small rural school – Essexvale School – there were only two of us in standard 5! It certainly makes for a very different early education. When I was there, we were classified as “small schools” and used to compete with the other small schools in the area – like Gwanda and Colleen Bawn, Fairbridge and Waterford.

Pete Van Zyl - 31. Oct, 2017 - Reply

Yes being a small school from young certainly taught me to stand on my own 2 feet – quickly! Due to the fact that there were 18 male boarders – and perhaps 6 day scholars – played cricket and soccer for the only team we could field – starting at age 10 playing with and against the 11 and 12 year older boys – competing against larger schools like CJR, Redcliff, Que Que,Selukwe and Fort Vic – who had no problem in fielding full sides of 12 and 13 year old pupils – lots of bumps and tears!

frankiekay - 31. Oct, 2017 - Reply

Us girls had to field – only – the boys were scared we may score more runs than them! We had no boarders, so it was not that tough for us. What I liked is that we all learned all the sports including swimming. When I went to high school, many of the girls could only play one sport.

Pete Van Zyl - 31. Oct, 2017 -

He he he he pity you weren’t born 40 years later Franky? You could have played Womens Cricket for your country? It s big around the world now – and you earn BIG Money too!

frankiekay - 01. Nov, 2017 -

The boys hated it when we bowled them out! I wasnt good enough to play for my country but it was fun to get them out. The only way we could, was a run out!