Bulawayo & Matobo National Park
The Historic town of Bulawayo
Bulawayo is Zimbabwe’s 2nd largest city , after Harare , and is in the heart of Matebeleland district and the homeland of the Matebele people – one of Zimbabwe’s two main tribes. The town grew in the late 1900’s as a commercial & Industrial centre due to its train link with South Africa and in its day was a bustling , vibrant city occupied by wealthy merchants .
The legacy of this is a host of historical buildings from a bygone era which are fascinating to visit, notably the Railway Museum, Art galleries and the National History Museum in the town centre. Bulawayo is popular for self drive client as a stopover en route to Matobo National Park which is about 45 mins drive from the city.
There are also several ancient sites, similar to Great Zimbabwe, within reach of the city – such as Khami Ruins to the north west. We can arrange city day tours (walking and in vehicle accompanied by a guide) as well as day trips out to Khami Ruins as well as a popular Prospector’s pub crawl – around the old pubs in the centre of Bulawayo.
Matobo National Park
Another of Zimbabwe’s great natural wonders, the Matobo Hills cover an area of almost 2000sq kms just half-an-hour’s drive south of Bulawayo. Within it the small, easily accessible national park contains some of the region’s most arresting scenery. It is a beautiful area – very under-rated and easily reached either by car from Bulawayo.
Huge piles of red-tinged granite boulders (kopjies) litter the landscape, interspersed with wooded valleys and vegetation; giant smooth whalebacks rise up from the plains; rocks and boulders balance at improbable angles. Apart from the inherent beauty, the hills are also famous for the high numbers and good quality rock paintings that abound.
Game is found throughout the Matobo Hills, including white rhino, leopard and Africa’s largest concentration of leopard and Verreaux’s (aka black) eagles. There are no lion or elephant – meaning that you can walk freely, making for a much more personal experience.
Cecil John Rhodes was so taken with the place that not only did he request it be turned into a park, but also asked to be buried here. He was laid to rest at the “place of the spirits” although Rhodes preferred it be known as “view of the “world”.
The Matobos are rich in cultural history, both native and colonial and also have a diverse fauna and flora including rhino, giraffe, sable and impala to name a few. Activities include sightseeing, historical outings, game drives, walks, horse riding and relaxing.