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Matobo National Park

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About Matobo National Park

Country found in: Zimbabwe
Parks total area: 424 kilometers² (164 mi² )
Year established: 1926
Park wildlife: 13 animals listed
Anti-malarial: Absolutely!

Matobo National Park map

Matobo National Park highlights

  • Unique granite scenery, with breathtaking rock formations
  • One of the best areas to see rhinos
  • The world’s densest population of leopards
  • Important archaeological sites
  • Only half an hour’s drive from Bulawayo

Matobo National Park, also known as Matobo Hills National Park, is a place of divine beauty and is the soul of Zimbabwe. It lies 35 kilometers (21 miles) south of the country’s second largest city, Bulawayo. It covers an area of 424 kilometers² (164 miles²), at the core of the Matobo Hills. The Hills are made out of granite, which was forced to the surface over 2 billion years ago and then exposed to erosion that created rock formations with an otherworldly feel. These granite rocks, which often seem to be defying gravity, are known as 'kopje', a Dutch word meaning little head, and are a distinct feature of this area.

Matobo is divided into two sections – the recreational park, and a 100-square-kilometer (38 miles²) game park, where the highest level of protection is imposed to preserve its inhabitants.

Wildlife of Matobo National Park

The park has rich and diverse flora and fauna, with 175 bird, 88 mammal, 39 snake and 16 fish species recorded here. White and black rhinos have been reintroduced to Matobo, and this area is one of the best places to spot these gentle giants. The park is also home to the world’s densest population of leopards, because their main pray - hyrax, or shrewmouse - is widely present here. Matobo is also important as the habitat of black eagles, and has the world’s highest concentration of breeding couples.

These hills have been occupied by humans since the Stone Age. San (Bushmen) lived here as early as 2,000 years ago. Many examples of their rock paintings have been preserved and can be viewed during your visit. The main archeological sites include Bambata Cave, Inanke Cave and Nswatugi Cave. The area still holds a spiritual significance to the local people, who use the shrines and sacred places located in the hills.

Park activities in Matobo National Park

The park offers great hikes of different lengths. You can also choose to view game from horseback and go on one of the horse trails. Boating can be done on some of the larger dams. For those enjoying running, there is an annual 53-kilometer-long (33 mile) road race through the park.

When is the best time of year to vist Matobo National Park?

The dry season runs from April to October, and is the best time to spot the wildlife, as there is less vegetation and the animals migrate to the waterholes. During the wet season, the nature is greener and more abundant. This is the best time for bird-watching and seeing newborn animals, although some accommodation closes and the roads can become difficult to travel.

 

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Matobo National Park tour packages

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Tour by: South African Dream

Visit the best of Zimbabwe, from Victoria Falls to three National Parks. Find wisdom in ancient traditions, enjo...

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$4357

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Tour by: Moonlight Tours Expedition

Tour Length — 27 days Group Size: Max: 22pax Price per person $ 6750 Travel in an overland adventure ve...

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$5400

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Tour by: Africa Zim Travel & Tours

Zimbabwe Tour featuring the main highlights: Victoria Falls, Hwange National park, Matopos National Park, great ...

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$2200

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Tour by: Jobovic Safaris

This tour, either in camping or lodge accommodation, will take you on a safe road trip from Johannesburg through...

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$1812

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Tour by: Eyes on Africa

Highlights • Guided Tour of the Victoria Fall • Game Viewing in Hwange National Park and Painted Dogs Centre ...

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$2400

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Tour by: Jenman Safaris

This intimate Zimbabwe Lodge Safari is a 15 day journey through the best areas and attractions that Zimbabwe has...

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$4140

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Tour by: Eyes on Africa

Highlights • Victoria Falls • Painted Dogs Conservation Centre • Hwange National Park • Rhodes Grave and Mat...

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$4000

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Tour by: Vayeni

This is a 14 day 13 night journey that includes ground and air transfers. It combines Victoria Falls with Zimbab...

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$5750

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Tour by: Afri-can International

Self-Drive Southern Africa For the more adventurous traveller or for those that don’t want to travel in a group...

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$528

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Showing 10 of 10 tour packages. Click here to see all tours.