25Apr

Big Cave Camp Activities

Plenty to see and do in this tranquil and hallowed land

The Matobo Hills is home to the greatest variety and density of birds of prey anywhere in the world – including the Black Eagle, African Hawk Eagle and the rare Cape Eagle Owl Visits to raptor nest sites, bird watching and sightings of ‘life-list’ species. 140 known species of bird life in the area

Big Cave activities
Black eagle (Verreaux;s)

One of the worlds largest concentrations of San rock art

Ancient bushmen used the granite faces as a canvas for their unique and extraordinary art

rock art
Nswatugi Reticulated Giraffe

Forty thousand years ago the caves and crevices carved out of these rocks became home to Zimbabwe’s earliest inhabitants, the “San”. Twenty thousand years later “San” artists began painting on the walls of caves and rock shelters, using special pigments and natural minerals that have survived the onslaught of climate and time.

Big Cave wildlife
leopards often seen around camp

The world’s densest population of Leopard due to the abundance of hyrax (dassies), which make up 50% of their diet – regularly heard at night at Big Cave

Swampy valleys known as dambos or vleis, due to runoff from the whaleback mountains

The grandeur and stillness of the hills has contributed to their hallowed reputation, especially to the Shona and Ndebele people. Many rituals and other religious activities are performed in the hills. Before the colonial era, it was the headquarters of the spiritualist oracle, the Mlimo.

traditional healer near Big Cave
traditional healer

Is ideal for walking,swimming and birdwatching the greatest variety and density of birds of prey anywhere in the world

views around Big Cave camp
The view from Inanke towards the Sotcha Ridge

The view from Inanke towards the Sotcha Ridge

San Rock Art

With the main periods of painting being between 320 and 500 C.E.. In the many crevices and caves, clay ovens and other historic artefacts have been found and various archaeological finds date back as far as the Pre-Middle Stone Age, around 300,000 B.P

artefacts in the Matopos Hills
Kalanga Grain Bins

Many caves contain superb galleries of Bushman paintings, one of which is Bambata, located no more than 10 km from Big Cave Camp

Bambata Caveis also a major archaeological site located in the west of the national park, north of the game park on the Kezi-Bulawayo road. The frieze includes elephants, giraffes, warthogs, tsessebe and mongoose.

Inanke Cavehas the most extensive paintings, located in a remote cave accessible by a three-hour hike from Toghwana Dam. Along the route of the hike is an iron age furnace.

rock art
Inanke Shaman Power Painting

Nswatugi Cavecontains beautiful friezes of giraffes, elephants and kudu. Access is from Circular Drive, west of Maleme Dam

zebra rock art
Nswatugi – Outline drawing zebra

Pomongwe Cave, near Maleme Dam, was damaged by a preservation attempt in 1965, where linseed oil was applied to the paintings. Archaeological digs within and downslope of the cave revealed 39,032 stone tools, several hearths, with the main fire-making areas were in the centre of the cave floor. Bone fragments showed that hyrax formed a major part of the meat component of the diet of early human inhabitants of the cave, which also included tortoise and larger game animals. The oldest material on the site is probably pre-Middle Stone Age.

White Rhino Shelteris a small site near Gordon Park, on the main tarred road through the park. The frieze includes the outline of a large rhinos, which is said to have inspired the re-introduction of the species in the 1960s.

rhino found in the Matopos Park
game drive in the National Park

‘Bald Heads’ and Matobo reflects the correct vernacular pronunciation of the area

Mother With Child Rock Formation
rock formations

Mother and Child

Teddy Bear Rock
balancing rocks of the Matopos

Teddy Bear Rock

Matopos National Park
natural rock bridge

Natural Rock Bridge

cycle race
cycle challenge
Walking Efifi
easy walks around the Matopos

Walking Efifi

Big Cave
boulders surrounding Big Cave

The boulders above the lodge make a great place for a ceremony or blessing.

yoga class
Yoga – Head stands Big Cave ridge

Yoga – Head stands Big Cave ridge

MANAGEMENT: Manageress, Learner guide on property and specialist guides available on request.


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