One of Zimbabwe’s smaller reserves, Matobo National Park is located close to Bulawayo and forms the core of the famed Matopos. The spectacular landscape of the area consists of an abundance of small hills, massive granite outcrops and boulders that balance on top of each other, all formed more than 2 billion years ago. Meaning “bald head” in the local Ndebele language, Matobo is full of delightful surprises with a wide variety of fauna and flora.
Wildlife includes the endangered black and white rhinos as well as the world’s densest population of leopards, largely due to the abundance of dassies, which accounts for most of the cats’ diet. Avid birders will delight with the presence of the highest concentration of black eagles anywhere in the world. The Matobo Hills is also an area of high botanic diversity, with over 200 different trees and more than 100 grass species.
Why Do People Travel to Matopos?
A safari in Matobo Hills, Zimbabwe is the perfect extension to a more comprehensive itinerary exploring this unique wilderness. Matobo National Park offers the best chance of seeing black and white rhinos as these endangered animals are fiercely protected by the local wildlife authorities. Exciting rhino walking safaris, led by an experienced guide, can be enjoyed in the park’s more protected section. Follow the tell-tale signs of tracks and droppings as you walk through the bush, scouting white rhinos. The Matobo Hills were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003 and visitors can get their cultural fix with tours to explore one of the highest concentrations of rock art in Southern Africa. The distinctive rock and granite formations cast a strong presence over the landscape.
It bears testimony to a rich cultural tradition and is evidence that the Matobo Hills have been occupied for more than 500 000 years. Other places of historical interest include the burial site of Ndebele king Mzilikazi and the grave of Cecil John Rhodes.
Safari to Matobo National Park
To stay in this area, visit Big Cave Camp. Take an educational journey into Zimbabwe’s rich cultural past with a rock painting walk in the Matobo Hills. The area is encased in history, with a myriad of archaeological sites accessible from your safari lodge in the Matobos.