Destination TruthEpisodes

Mamlambo and Tokeloshe
Season 1 - Episode 105
Mamlambo and Tokeloshe
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South Africa: Mamlambo


Lured by reports of a Loch Ness-type monster in South Africa, Josh and his crew set out to uncover the mystery. Unlike its more famous Scottish cousin, South Africa's Mamlambo (which is said to have the head of a horse) isn't considered to be tourist-friendly. It is alleged to have killed seven people, spurring the formation of a task force to hunt it down.

After reaching the busy port of Durban, Josh and the team head for the Mzintlava River, home of the Mamlambo. Their first stop is Kokstad, where several deaths have been attributed to the creature. Josh meets with game ranger Div De Villiers, who tells him that locals believe big storms signal the monster's presence.

After a night in a run-down hotel, Josh heads to Lubaleko Village, near where the Mamlambo is thought to live. The village chief, Churchill S. Jojo, directs Josh to a spot where he may be able to find the beast, and warns him to avoid being eaten.

While setting up camp, the crew spots what looks like a head pop up out of the water. A short time later, a tornado appears to be forming in the distance. They all scurry into the tent just as a fierce deluge hits camp. As the storm intensifies, the crew hastily loads the equipment into the van, leaving the tent behind. They all agree that the villagers are likely to accuse them of angering the Mamlambo.

The next morning, Josh meets with two more eyewitnesses, and then he heads to a new spot on the river where he hopes to have better luck. Amid warnings of a river parasite that crawls up its victims' urethras, Josh devises a makeshift pulley to position a night-vision camera floating in the middle of the river. During the night, that camera is bumped violently by something below the surface.

Lacking additional evidence of the Mamlambo, Josh ships the footage of the bumped camera back to the United States for analysis. He returns to Durban and shifts his attention to a second South African legend, that of the Tokeloshe — a ghostly, monkeylike creature that gained notoriety when several accused murderers testified that they thought they'd encountered the beast.

South Africa: Tokeloshe

Josh meets with two Zulu spiritual guides, Doris and Muvo, who brief him on the Tokeloshe and its eating habits. They tell him the creature appears and disappears like the wind, and that locals don't even like to discuss it out of fear of retribution. After a stop at a local grocery store for the sour milk that will serve as bait, Josh begins the difficult task of locating an eyewitness who will talk to him.

Josh finds a woman who says she can take him to an eyewitness, but not without first receiving payment in the form of a candy bar. Eventually, Josh finds himself in the home of Crocodile, a black-arts practitioner who offers an unexpected piece of evidence: a vial he claims is filled with congealed Tokeloshe fat. Crocodile also suggests Josh visit the nearby Kingdom of Lesotho, reportedly the home of the Tokeloshe.

Following a rough ride over a mountainous road, Josh soon is introduced to a tribesman who claims the Tokeloshe tried to choke him in bed. The crew sets up a surveillance camp outside the abandoned building where the encounter occurred, and they position all the bottles of sour milk. During the night, one of the bottles moves mysteriously, and the cameras record a cloudlike glow above the same bottle.

No more evidence is unearthed, so Josh returns to the United States to find out what expert analysis has revealed. DNA tests confirm that the contents of the vial are, in fact, chicken fat, while the footage of the bottle and the strange glow proves inconclusive. Meanwhile, a fisheries biologist tells Josh the footage thought to be the Mamlambo bumping a camera was more likely the work of a crocodile. Josh leaves South Africa more skeptical than when he arrived.

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