The Monster Of Howick Falls

thumb_howick_falls_897 Howick is a little town in the Natal Midlands, South Africa. The Howick Falls is approximately 311 feet high and is part of the Umgeni River. The lake is sacred to the natives (The Zulu People) and traditional witch doctors (sangomas) are the only people allowed to approach it to offer prayers to Inkanyamba, the creature that lives in the falls.

The Inkanaymba is described as having a horse-like head with a serpentine body. It has horns on its head a crest on its back.

In local legends it is able to fly into the clouds (especially when looking for a mate) and when angry can create massive storms. Previous big storms in the area have been blamed on the creature. There are also cave paintings of the creature where it is often depicted as spewing water from its mouth.

As unlikely as it may sound, there still are sightings of the creature in recent times:

• Nearby in the Umgeni River a Conservation Services game ranger saw a creature with a horse-like head on the shore, but when he got closer it disappeared into the river. (1962)

• The caretaker of a caravan park near Howick Falls claims to have seen the creature twice (1971 and 1981):
o When looking into the misty falls he saw the form of a giant monster with its neck raised about 32 feet into the air. He said it had a crest running along its back.

• A fast-food shop owner at the falls claims he saw a 25 feet giant serpent-like creature rise out of the depths (1995). He did not have a camera there at the time, but offered a reward to any person who could take a picture of the creature. Sure enough a picture was produced, showing a long-necked animal rising out the water (Photos below).

• Reports began circulating of a monstrous snake-like beast in the community of Ezitapile in the Eastern Cape (2000). The monster was described as yellow with a horse-like head and a body as thick as a twenty quart barrel.

As far as the actual falls and pool at the bottom is concerned, it is highly unlikely that a big creature lives there. It is more likely that the local myths and real-live creatures like otters and eels got mixed together to produce the legend of the monster. Today you can arrange to abseil alongside the falls, down the gorge and into the pool. There is also a viewing platform above the falls close to the car park (This is where the shop-keeper allegedly saw the creature from).