Matobo National Park
Matobo, meaning ‘bald-headed ones’ in Ndebele, is named after the stacked, balancing granite rock formations dotted across the 3,000 km² of rolling hills. This understated national park was founded in 1926 and sits at the centre of the Matobo Hills region. The landscape is a spectacular combination of hills, granite kopjes and dense vegetation. It is easy to see why Cecil John Rhodes had his heart stolen by the area and why he decreed that the Matobo Hills, an area considered the spiritual home of Zimbabwe, would be his burial place.
About Matobo National Park
As a result of heavy poaching in recent decades the animal populations of Matobo National Park are not as impressive as in other areas of Zimbabwe such as Hwange. However, there are 88 mammal and 39 snake species to look out for on a safari in Matobo National Park.
Living within the park are leopard, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe and several different type of antelope, including the sable, kudu and impala. However, the park’s biggest draw is rhinos, which can be found in monitored areas where populations are growing as a result of diligent conservation efforts and dedicated individual protection. Due to the lack of predators and elephants, the park is safe to enjoy bush walks and get close to wildlife on foot.
Matobo National Park Wildlife Safaris
The highlight of most trips here is rhino tracking in Matobo National Park. Both white and black rhinos are found in the area, but white rhino are more commonly sighted. With round-the-clock armed guards, these rhino are extremely comfortable with human presence and getting close to them on foot is an exhilarating experience.
Game drives and walking safaris are a popular way to experience the park, with excursions to see ancient San rock art and the tomb of Cecil John Rhodes up at the breath-taking World’s View also available. Cultural visits, trips to the railway museum, fishing and cycling are other recommended things to do in Matobo National Park.
Birding in Matobo National Park
Recorded species of bird in Matobo National Park exceed 320. The park is renowned for raptors – there are 35 varieties that have all been recorded here, and the rare Verreaux’s eagle can be found here in higher densities than anywhere else in the world. African hawk eagles, martial eagles, lanner falcons and black-chested snake eagles are all seen in the Matobo National Park too. Between November and April migratory birds can found in the region.
Best Places to Stay in Matobo National Park
There are a number of wonderful lodges near Matobo National Park. Properties are of an excellent standard and full of character. A variety of activities can be enjoyed from almost all accommodation in the area.
Best Time to Visit Matobo National Park
During the dry season from June to October wildlife viewing is at its peak in Matobo National Park. At this time period vegetation is thinner and animals tend to concentrate near the water making them easier to find.
Weather During the Year
How to Book a Matobo National Park Safari Holiday
To discuss your Zimbabwe safari holiday, Matobo safari packages and tailor-made itineraries, speak to one of our Zimbabwe experts today by contacting us here.