Matobo National Park Zimbabwe

Matobo National Park Zimbabwe

Matobo National Park lies in the southwest of Zimbabwe. This top tourist destination is famous for its range of huge balancing granite rocks, its stunning scenery, and its cultural history. The park has significant populations of black eagles, black and white rhinos. In addition, this is the location of Cecil John Rhodes’ grave (founder of British Colony, Rhodesia).

The Matobo Hills some 35 km south of Bulawayo are a profusion of distinctive granite landforms, densely packed into a comparatively tight area, that rise up to form a sea of hills. Their forms have resulted from the varied composition and alignment of the granite rocks, which responded differently to millions of years of weathering. These extraordinary granite rock formations have exerted a strong presence over the whole area – both in natural and cultural terms.

People have interacted with, and been inspired by, the dramatic natural rock formations of the Matobo Hills for over many millennia. This interaction has produced one of the most outstanding rock art collections in southern Africa; it has also fostered strong religious beliefs, which still play a major role in contemporary local society; and it demonstrates an almost uninterrupted association between man and his environment over the past 100,000 years.

Size of Matobo National Park

The Hills cover an area of about 3100 km² (1200 sq mi), of which 424 km² (164 sq mi) is National Park, the remainder being largely communal land and a small proportion of commercial farmland. The park extends along the Thuli, Mtshelele, Maleme, and Mpopoma river valleys.

Location of Matobo National Park

The Matobo National Park forms the core of the Matobo or Matopos Hills, an area of granite kopjes and wooded valleys commencing some 35 kilometers (22 mi) south of Bulawayo, southern Zimbabwe.

How to get to Matobo National Park

The very accessible Matobo National Park is located 50km/31mi south of Bulawayo. The access road and most roads in the park don’t need a 4WD.

Your main point of entry into Zimbabwe is Victoria Falls Airport, located near the town Victoria Falls. It is possible to drive to Matobo from Victoria Falls. The distance is 540km/335mi, and the drive takes about 6½ hours.

Things to do in Matobo National Park

Rhino Safari

A Rhino Safari on foot with a professional guide in the shadows of the Matobo Hills is one of the most iconic safaris in Africa. Feel your heart pound as you get close to one of the world’s most handsome and endangered animals, all whilst in the company of a trained professional guide.

Cave Paintings

The Matobo Hills National Park has some of the most magnificent prehistoric caves and bushman artwork to be found anywhere in the world and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Village Tours

A trip to visit the local inhabitants of the Silozwe Valley in the Matobo Hills is a cultural treasure for those who wish to learn more about traditional African culture.

Hiking & Exploring

Are you the sort of traveler that likes to get your boots on the ground, feel the earth under your feet, explore off the beaten track? Then the Matopos National Park is the place to visit. The granite hills offer you a hike of all levels. When you visit Matobo Hills Lodge, we will put you on the right track.

Visit Rhodes Grave

The famous British colonialist, Cecil John Rhodes is buried in the Matobo hills. Rhodes’s grave sits atop a granite hill known to local inhabitants as “Malindidzimu,” a Khalanga word that translates to “the hill of benevolent spirits”. From the grave, there is an awe-inspiring 360° view in every direction of the Matobo Hills. Rhodes spent many an afternoon pondering life’s great questions at this exact spot which he called “A view of the world.”

When to visit Matobo National Park

Wildlife viewing in Matobo National Park is at its best during the Dry season, from June to October. Animals are more easily spotted since they gather around water sources, and the bush is thinner. Fishing, hiking, and visits to some of the San rock-art sites are less season-dependent.

Where to stay in Matobo National Park

Matobo accommodation is limited to a handful of safari camps and lodges so our selection will make planning your safari so much simpler, Matobo Hills LodgeMatopo Ingwe LodgeBig Cave CampAmalinda Lodge.

Activities to do in park

Climbing mount Meru from Arusha national park
Game drives in Arusha national park
Primate walks in Arusha national park
Walking safaris in Arusha national park
water fall hikes in Arusha national park
Canoeing on Lake Momella

How to get there

How to get to Arusha national park

Popular tours and safaris

3 Days Arusha national park safari
4 days Arusha national park safari
5 days hike Mount Meru

Best time to visit the park

Best time to visit Arusha national park

Where to stay in the park

Hatari Lodge
Lake Duluti Lodge
Mount Meru game Lodge
Rivertrees country inn
Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge


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