The Ichisonga is a pachyderm-slayer from the folklore of the Lambas of Zambia, usually found in the Kafue River. It is a herbivorous water beast that resembles a rhinoceros and has a horn on its forehead.

Although a grass-eater, the ichisonga has a special hatred for the hippopotamus. If an ichisonga hears a hippo, it leaves the Kafue River, traveling along the bank so the hippo does not scent it. Then it re-enters the water, goes for the largest bull hippo, and stabs it to death with its horn.

If an elephant is killed nearby, the ichisonga will roar and drive the hunters away from the carcass. It then stays near the elephant’s remains for days until the carcass rots. The ichisonga is motivated by uŵulwishya – jealousy.


Doke, C. M. (1931) The Lambas of Northern Rhodesia. George G. Harrap and Company Ltd., London.


  1. Some of these monsters are so well conceived by the locals, one can’t help wondering if they are real. At the very least the Ichisonga sounds like a recently extinct species that the Lamba people’s oral traditions have retained the memory of. Your Dixon-esque illustration of it brings me to the conclusion that a crime has been committed by reality that this creature isn’t alive.


  2. Considering how it is similar to Emela-Ntouka, would it be safe to say that Emela Ntouka is a misinterpretation of this creature? A monster story meant to only be a story and then taken literally and cherrypicked by cryptozoologists and creationists alike?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: mythologies from zambia – World Mythology

  4. Pingback: MYTHOLOGIES FROM ZAMBIA – Indigenous Peoples Literature

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s