Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park occupies a total area of 44 500 hectares. Established in 1953, the Park was awarded Unesco World Heritage Status in June 2003.
Matobo (or Matopos, Matobos) National Park is one of the oldest and most popular National Parks in Zimbabwe. The Park is home of the very rare white rhino and the black eagle. The other attraction are the rock paintings, which can be found almost in every corner of the park. Some of the paitings are believed to be amongst the best preserved ones in Africa.
Matobo (meaning “the bald heads”) National Park is set in a sea of fascinating rock formations. The best known and most popular formation is the “Mother and child” (see the pic). The Park is also home of the grave of Cecil Rhodes, who was buried here.
Where to sleep?
Zimbabwe's political crisis hit the tourism sector pretty hard. Therefore the number of accommodation establishments dropped rapidly, but is now recovering. Please click here for a nice selection of lodges in the Matopos area as well as Bulawayo, the 2nd largest city in Zimbabwe.
How to get there?
The park is located 34 kilometres south of Bulawayo along the Kezi/Maphisa Road. The Main road to Maleme is tarred while all other Park roads are gravel and mostly in good condition. Durintg the rainy season the road to Toghwana requires 4 wheel drive vehicles.
It used to be a bit easier as Zim was not as struggled as it is today. In nowadays the most convenient way of getting there is joing an organised tour. Other options are going there by car (check the news, forums about petrol availability first | Make use of google maps for a detailled and individual route description.) or by train. The train is connecting Victoria Falls with Bulawayo and Bulawayo with Harare. If you plan to travel from eg South Africa to Zimbabwe with a rented car, make sure that you are actually allowed to cross the border. Some companies do have pretty strict rules on that!