Timbavati is the home of many of South Africa’s greatest animals, but it is most well known for a one of the rarest creatures of all – the white lion.
The folklore of the local Shangaan people have for hundreds of years spoken of how these creatures came to be.
Although ugly in appearance, her people loved and respected her and when illness struck, feared for her life.
According to legend, Numbi’s legs and stomach swelled up and she was running a fever. Modern medicine tells us that this could have been a condition called ‘Elephantitis’ which could have been caused by Malaria.
As Queen Numbi got closer and closer to death, her people prayed to the ancestral spirits for help and healing. For months nothing happened and Queen Numbi got worse.
One day, when Queen Numbi was extremely close to death and her followers were at their wit’s end, night fell and the stars started appearing.
People started shouting:
“Timbi le vaa ti!”, “It has come down to the ground!”
Slowly the bright light floated down before touching down not far from the hut of the great Queen.
With her servants helping her, Queen Numbi was helped out of her hut and saw the bright light illuminating the whole area. She knew exactly what to do.
Slowly the Queen made her way across the field and made her way towards the glowing ball. As her people watched, she got closer and closer before being swallowed up by the light.
In the light, the people could see shapes. They could make out small, strange beings with large heads welcoming Queen Numbi.
After several hours Queen Numbi was seen to emerge from the sphere. As she walked towards her people, they saw that she had not only been healed, but also appeared much younger!
The star stayed on the ground for several days before it slowly rose back into the air and disappeared from view.
It is said by the Shangaan people that it was from that day that strange things were noticed in the area.
Cattle were being born with two heads, antelope were born with deformed limbs and lion, leopard and impala were born with snow white fur and green/blue eyes.
It was even said that a snow white elephant with beautiful blue eyes roamed the area before being shot by white hunters.
To this very day, lions and some other animals are born in the area that have snow white fur and blue eyes. They are called ‘The White Lions of Timbavati’.
African tribal elders call the White Lions, the ‘Son’s of the Sun God’ and are revered as the most sacred animal. The are seen as messengers of the gods and represent balance and order. Some say that when the White Lions are born, the earth is about to undergo massive changes.
Within the Timbavati Reserve you can also find a ring of stones.
It is said that some years after the time of Queen Numbi, a tribe arrived from Zimbabwe bringing sacred stones with them.
On hearing of the story and wishing to honour the strange visitors and Queen Numbi, they created a ring of standing stones using their sacred stones.
These stones have an unusual quality. When struck they resonate like a bell. Some local people call it “The Place of the Singing Stones”.
Another place of interest lies close to Timbavati. It is called “Manyeleti” which means “Gateway to the Stars” and is home to a number of indigenous shamans. According to these shamans, Manyeleti is the place that binds heaven and earth.
Did aliens visit and heal Queen Numbi all those centuries ago? Did the radiation from their craft cause the genetic variations in the lions we see to this very day?
Whatever the truth, today we are awed by the beauty of the White Lions of Timbavati.
Source: Strange News Daily