Posted by: Craig Woolheater on February 1st, 2013
Bored of the usual old routine? Feel like doing something really spectacular?
Why not join the cryptozoologist ranks and head on a trip across the globe in search of the most elusive, what some would even call mythological creatures.
Here’s our list of seven to start off with – three local and four international.
In African folklore the Tokoloshe is a little creature, usually described as small, hairy and animal like in stature. He is known to be the henchman of crafty witches and some descriptions claim that he also has two animal horns that protrude from the side of his head. He causes trouble everywhere he goes and loves to upset people. He is a mischievous and evil spirit that can apparently become invisible by swallowing a pebble. One of the Tokoloshe’s main characteristics is that he has giant male genitals which he needs to carry on his shoulder – making sexual domination one of his many forms of guile.
Where to find them: Well, since he’s particularly notorious in the rural areas of Southern Africa, that would be a good place to start. People believe that the best way to avoid his after-dark mischief, is to put their bed on bricks… so, if your wish is to encounter him, just chuck the bricks. But, just remember – he’s a handful! Best be prepared with the local or witch doctor’s number on speed dial to shoo the creature away.
The Karoo Mermaid aka Kaaiman
While the idea of mermaids in the Karoo may sound completely ridiculous, it is something that is firmly believed by locals.
Many Klein Karoo residents have reported seeing a mysterious woman with blue eyes, pink cheeks and a fish-tail, lounging beside deep mountain pools. She simply sits and combs her long, death black hair before disappearing and leaving you to question your sanity. There are many theories surrounding this pretty apparition. Some say she’s a remnant of the Karoo’s bygone aquatic era, others say she’s a figment of African folklore and yet others say that she was left stranded after the 1996 floods that left much of the Karoo flooded.
Where to find her: The most recent reported sighting of a Kaaiman came from the Buffeljags River in the town of Suurbraak on 5 January 2008. Suurbraak resident Daniel Cupido said he and a group of friends were relaxing by the river when he heard something that sounded like someone “bashing on a wall”. Suspecting vandals, Cupido said he walked toward the sound coming from the nearby low water bridge. At the bridge he said he saw a figure, “like that of a white woman with long black hair thrashing about in the water”. His friend confirmed the sighting. Otherwise, the rivers and creeks surrounding Oudtshoorn’s Cango Caves would also be a good place to start looking.
In 1997, a mysterious creature made headlines around the world when it was blamed for the deaths of seven people villagers along the Mzintlava River in KZN, many of whose bodies were recovered with their faces grotesquely devoured. Eyewitness accounts measure the beast at 67 feet long, with the head of a horse, the body of a fish, and skin like a crocodile. The creature was named Mamlambo after the Zulu goddess of rivers.
Where to find it: Witnesses and locals note that the Mamlambo’s presence is often punctuated by thunderstorms, suggesting that the creature may be attracted to bad weather. So, watch the skies and when the clouds start gathering, head to the wildest parts of Msintlava River.