Matobo National Park

Steeped in history and ancient mystery Zimbabwe's Matobo National Park is a small and beautiful nature reserve crammed with birdlife, wildlife and, some say, spiritual power.

The Matobo National Park is a small park (compared with Hwange National Park or Chobe National Park ) covering 44,500 hectares in south-east Zimbabwe, about 30km from the country's second largest city of Bulawayo.

Of all the parks in Zimbabwe, Matobo National Park has to be one of the most scenic. This is a bold statement given the likes of Nyanga National Park in the Eastern Highlands and the shores of Lake Kariba and Matusadona .

But we'll stick by that statement on account of the endless stretch of granite outcrops, balancing rocks and aching serenity of the Matopos Hills after which the Matobo National Park got its name.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Matobo National Park protects Zimbabwe's highest concentration of San rock art preserved for millennia in the countless caves and overhangs of the Matobo Hills.

The park has a particularly high concentration of raptors including and is famous for its black eagle population and its diverse habitats support an astonishing concentration of African birdlife.

Thanks to feint outlines of rhinos in the ancient rock paintings, the park was re-stocked with black and white rhino both species have since thrived in the area. A walking rhino-tracking safari has to be one of the greatest wildlife adventures of a lifetime up there with gorilla trekking and the great migration.

Matobo National Park also has one of the highest concentrations of leopard found anywhere in Africa. The rocky outcrops and dense undergrowth provide perfect cover for hunting and breeding. The park has a mixed vegetation ranging from open grassland, rocky woodland habitats providing for a great diversity of wildlife including black and white rhino, zebra, wildebeest (gnu), giraffe, kudu, eland, sable, klingspringer, leopard, hyena, cheetah, warthog, waterbuck, wild cat, duiker, rock hyrax, baboons and monkeys.

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