Located 35km south of Bulawayo, in Zimbabwe, the Matobo Hills are a mass of extraordinary granite landforms: kopjies, spires, domes, and balancing rocks.
Formed over 2 billion years ago, with an enormous granite plateau pushing through to the earth's surface, and subjected to millions of years of weathering, it is one of the most distinctive, picturesque destinations in Africa.
Covering an area of approximately 3100km², the Matobo (or Matopos) Hills also house the 424km² Matobo National Park, which features the World's densest population of leopards and black eagles. Other wildlife within the park include black and white rhinoceros, sable, impala, eland, kudu, zebra, cheetah, giraffe, and hyena.
The Matobo Hills also fascinatingly feature one of the highest concentrations of rock art in whole of southern Africa - providing an almost complete picture of the everyday lives of Stone Age foraging societies.
For this reason, and as a result of the powerful way through which the local communities still associate deep-rooted religious traditions with the rocks formations, the Matobo Hills were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. Within the local Mwari religion, the Matobo rocks are believed to be the seats of God, and various ancestral spirits. Sacred shrines, found within the hills, are spaces where connection can be made with the spiritual world.
There are over 3,000 rock art sites registered within the hills, dating back to at least 13,000 years ago. Found within caves and crevices, these rock paintings reveal a rich heritage and cultural tradition. Whilst in the area, or while staying in Bulawayo, make sure to visit the incredible Inanka Cave, the Pomongwe Cave, White Rhino Shelter, Bambata Cave, and the Nswatugi Cave.
Did you know? Ndebele King, Mzilikazi, gave the area it's name - matobo meaning 'bald heads'. Fittingly, he was buried within the hills at the time of his death in 1883.
Accommodation in Matobo Hills includes lavish safari lodges, picturesque self-catering spots, and much more. Book your Matobo Hills accommodation, today.