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Matobo Hills National Park

The Matobo or Matopos Hills - a World Heritage Site of distinctive granite hills 35 kilometres south of Bulawayo


Monument to the Shangani Patrol


Matopos Hills


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The Matobos national Park, has landscapes like nowhere else in the world

The hills are covered with an extraordinary collection of huge bare granite moulds with gravity-defying boulders scattered all over the countryside creating a quite unique and distinctly mysterious landscape

Mzilikazi, founder of the Ndebele nation, gave the area its name, meaning 'Bald Heads'

The Hills were formed over 2000 million years ago with granite being forced to the surface, this has eroded to produce smooth "whaleback dwalas" and broken kopjes, strewn with boulders and interspersed with thickets of vegetation

The Matobo or Matopos Hills is an area of granite kopjes and wooded valleys commencing

The Hills cover an area of about 3100 square kilometres, of which 440 km² is National Park, the remainder being largely communal land and a small proportion of commercial farmland.


Animals in The Matobos Hills

Part of the national park is set aside as a game park, which has been stocked with game including black and white rhinoceros

This covers some 100 km² of beautiful scenery including some spectacular balancing rocks and impressive views along the Mpopoma river Valley

The parks animal highlights are Leopard and black eagle as well as African rhinos

The highest concentrations in the world of
Leopard, Black Eagle and Raptors

There are also quite a few historical sites, such as the grave of Cecil John Rhodes with its unusual setting high up in the rocks

Today the Matobo National Park is one of Zimbabwe's prime wildlife sanctuaries with a large population of white rhino, the elusive black rhino, a variety of antelope species, baboon, rock hyraxes and a large population of leopard and black eagle

The Matobo national park is the oldest in Zimbabwe

The Matopos Hills have been included into World Heritage List, According to UNESCO, the Matobo Hills had been nominated for inclusion by Zimbabwean authorities

History of Matobos Hills

San (Bushmen) lived in the hills about 2,000 years ago, leaving a rich heritage in hundreds of rock paintings. In the many crevices and caves, clay ovens and other historic artefacts have been found.

The hills were the scene of the famous indaba between Cecil Rhodes and Ndebele leaders in 1896. Rhodes and several other leading early white settlers are buried on the summit of Malindidzimu, the 'hill of the spirits'.

This mount is also referred to as the World’s View

The hills are regarded as sacred by the Shona and many other peoples of Southern Africa.

Many rituals and other religious activities are performed in the hills. Legend has it that until as recently 50 years ago a voice could be heard in one of the hills' cave (Njelele)

Matobos Hills has a wealth of historical sights
• the Bambata Caves
• the Cyrene Mission decorated dwellings
• Fort Usher where Baden-Powell conceived his idea for the British Boy Scout movement

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