One of Zimbabwe’s smaller and less well-known reserves, Matobo National Park is set just outside the town of Bulawayo and is home to several surprises.
Matobo means ‘bald heads’ in the local Ndebele language and it’s easy to see why: the park’s signature feature is its collection of granite outcrops, weathered into stacks of bare, balancing boulders. It is among these boulders that the grave of English colonialist Cecil Rhodes is found as well as 3 000 examples of Khoi rock art and even earlier Stone Age settlements.
It is also a destination for wildlife. Home to perhaps the greatest density of Verreaux’s (Black) Eagles in the world, Matobo is a destination made famous for its rhino population. Exciting rhino-tracking adventures can be enjoyed in the park’s more protected section, and since Matobo lacks lions and elephants, its main body is also a destination for easy walking safaris and horse trails. Game drives reveal a wide range of antelope and birds, and there are plenty of warthogs and monkeys to keep the park’s leopard population busy.
The best time to visit Matobo National Park is during Zimbabwe’s long dry winter from May to October. Animals are easier to see in the thinned-out vegetation and concentrate at permanent water sources as the park dries up. The period from May to August enjoys mild sunny days and cool nights; September and October can be very hot and dry while the summer rainy season from November to April is a time of periodic heavy rain and increased numbers of mosquitoes.
Perfect as part of a more extensive Zimbabwe itinerary, a Matobo safari adds diversity and beauty to the mix. Browse our pre-packaged Matobo tours and safaris or simply chat to one of our Africa Safari Experts for help: they know the right combinations for Zimbabwe and will create a fully tailored tour with the best accommodation and smooth-running logistics.