Matobo

See the dramatic granite boulders of this beautiful scenic area & enjoy walking, guided rock art tours and game drives.

Overview

The Matobo National Park is a Unesco World Heritage Site and lies just half an hour’s drive south of Bulawayo. This majestic landscape of massive granite boulders is imbued with great spiritual significance and is the ancestral home of the Matabele people. The Matabele chief Mzilikazi gave the area its name, Matobo, after the boulders which reminded him of bald heads.

The granite domes and kopjes of the Matobo hills echo the tranquillity and majesty of untamed Africa and have a spiritual energy and unique beauty. The numerous giant granite outcrops (‘koppies’) have eroded over thousands of years to conjure up spectacular balancing acts, perched at gravity-defying angles.

The Matobo Hills are also sanctuary to some of the best-preserved San (Bushmen) paintings in Southern Africa. The area was a favourite of the British colonialist, Cecil John Rhodes. He arranged to be buried there at a beautiful spot high on the rocks aptly named World’s View. Indeed there is a mystical spirituality about the this place that calms, refreshes and rejuvenates the soul.  (Perhaps even that of Cecil John Rhodes!)

The surrounding woodland savanna is home to a rich wildlife and cultural heritage. You find the highest concentrations of leopard and black eagle in the world here. There’s also a healthy population of the endangered black and white rhino and plentiful antelope. But you won’t find lion or elephant. The upside of this is that it is possible to explore the park on foot.

Features

Why you may love it

  • Dramatic granite boulders of Matobo Hills.
  • Some of the best-preserved bushmen paintings in Southern Africa.
  • Rich wildlife and cultural heritage.

Explore the Matobo map

When to visit Matobo

November to March

Summer in Matobo

Matobo Hills remains open throughout the year and though it is not such a good time for a safari, much of the attraction of the area – the rock art, the rock formations – is unaffected by the climate.
AVG RAINFALL 122 mm
MAX TEMP 27 ℃ / 81 ℉
MIN TEMP 16 ℃ / 61 ℉

April to May

Autumn in Matobo

This is the start of the safari season but safari prices remain keen. The landscape is still green and lush.
AVG RAINFALL 46 mm
MAX TEMP 26.5 ℃ / 80 ℉
MIN TEMP 11 ℃ / 52 ℉

June to August

Winter in Matobo

Traditionally this is the best time to visit Matobo as the dry season continues. The bush becomes less dense. However mornings and evenings are cold in the Matobo so bring warm clothing for game drives and being outside.
AVG RAINFALL 3 mm
MAX TEMP 21 ℃ / 70 ℉
MIN TEMP 4 ℃ / 39 ℉

September to October

Spring in Matobo

This is a great time to be in the Matobo Hills. Day and night temperatures warm up in late September and October as temperatures and humidity increase prior to the start of the summer rains.
AVG RAINFALL 54 mm
MAX TEMP 29 ℃ / 84 ℉
MIN TEMP 15 ℃ / 59 ℉

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Did you know
  • HistoryThe hills were formed over 2 billion years ago
  • Famous PeopleFinal resting place of Cecil John Rhodes