Matobo National Park Boulders

Tales from the Bush

Atop a granite hill in Matobo National Park, surrounded by an amphitheater of boulders, lies the grave of Cecil John Rhodes. With panoramic scenery akin to a painting – a landscape of rugged rock formations and thick vegetation seemingly stretching to the horizon – one gets the feeling of peering into the past while rooted in the present. Rhodes himself dubbed it ‘View of the World’ mesmerized by the gentle ambience of Matobo Hills and the breathtaking vista beyond, and chose it as his final resting place. The name has since adapted to ‘World’s View’, its ascension requiring a little effort, with high rewards. 

Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe

Matobo Hills is an area distinctive in nature, its collections of granite rocks piled atop each other, curved smooth by time. Here lies the origin of its name – ‘Matobo’ meaning ‘bald heads’ in Ndebele. Some of the angles at which the rocks sit seem to defy the laws of gravity, precariously placed and held by some invisible force of nature. Large, solid kopjes (hills) have been sculpted over aeons, creating overhanging caves and smaller crevices that have been used as shelters for humans and animals over thousands of years. There are over 2000 ancient rock art sites dating back 13 000 years; stories told in paint scribed upon cave walls.

Matobo National Park Boulders
Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe

Before Cecil John Rhodes claimed the hill as his final destination, during his either cursed or celebrated actions in southern Africa, World’s View was already known as a spiritual space by the local community. It is known in the local language as ‘Malindidzimu’ meaning ‘the hill of spirits’. It is believed that the hill is the resting place of benevolent beings – a highly respected location within the national park. There are a myriad of ancient ceremonial sites throughout the park, the area as a whole a cultural landscape. The Matobo rocks are viewed as ‘the seat of god’, sacred shrines within the hills where one can contact the spirits.

Matobo National Park Boulders
Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe

As gentle as the atmosphere may now appear, it holds a controversial history. Territorial battles were fought within the winding valleys below the boulders, carving the paths of history for Zimbabwe. Missionaries, pioneers of exploration and colonial forces traversed its land in search of their respective treasures, forging friendships or making enemies along the way. Lives were lost, land was gained, respect was shared and tribes were divided. To embark on an excursion up to the burial site and learn about the past is a fascinating peek into the historical, cultural as well as spiritual foundation on which Matobo is built. 

There is an option of a day trip into the national park while staying at Shashani Matobo Hills Lodge. The day’s activities include a morning of rhino trekking – walking in the footsteps of these endangered giants, led by a professional guide. Framed by granite boulders and traversing through golden grass, this experience too, is spiritual. It is an honour to witness these magnificent creatures in the wild, respectfully observing from a distance. The guide will share his indepth knowledge about their species, their history and their uncertain future. One will leave in awe mixed with the deep hope that conservation efforts eradicate the corrupt act of poaching.

Matobo National Park Boulders
Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe

The afternoon is filled with the exploration of kopjies, ceremonial sites and ancient rock art galleries. You will be lead down the contours of history while standing adjacent to Rhodes grave, gazing over the same panoramic vista which so captivated his heart, as well as the souls of the Ndebele.

Colorful lichen covers the granite, paths of patterns leading you to historically significant gravesites and monuments. Lizards equally bold in color and stature sprint in and out of crevices, bursts of luminous greens, blues and reds dashing between rocks. Black eagles soar high above as if watching over the sacred space, safeguarding its stories.

Lake Kariba Dam Wall
The History of Kariba Dam Wall

Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe is a destination that holds a myriad of fascinations – from its wildlife, surrounding national parks and

Plan Your Safari

Get in touch with our dedicated reservations department, where our consultants are eager to assist you in selecting the ideal destination and lodge that perfectly aligns with your preferences.  Let our experts guide you through the exciting possibilities and help you craft a trip that will create lasting memories.

Explore our Destinations

Kazuma Forest Reserve - Elephant

Kazuma Forest Reserve

Bordered by Chobe National Park in Botswana and Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, Kazuma Forest Reserve is home to a diverse range of wildlife. This

Matobo Hills Rock Art Zimbabwe

Matobo National Park

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

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

The glorious phenomenon of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and should definitely be included on any safari

Lake Kariba Dam

Lake Kariba

Lake Kariba is the world’s largest man-made lake and reservoir by volume. It lies approximately 1 300 kilometers upstream from the Indian Ocean, along the