This Park includes an Intensive Protection Zone where a large population of Black and White Rhinoceros are successfully breeding. We set off and the drivers tell us the rhinos have been spotted across the park so we drive about 15 minutes and then on foot it is, its important to be quiet and take instruction from the guides, suddenly after 20 minutes of trekking our guide spots the rhinos, a mother and baby, it is such a wonderful feeling to get so close to these amazing creatures. Mother seems a little concerned to start as she spots us but then realises we are of no threat to her and carries on feeding with her baby, it was a spectacular sight and one I will never forget. We move on after taking some pictures and leave her in peace.The park is situated in the magnificent Matobo Hills, a range of domes, spires and balancing rock formations which have been hewn out of the solid granite plateau through millions of years of erosion and weathering, truley amazing to see them all balanced on top of each other, our question was always “ How can they stay there, they look so precariously balanced? The majestic and rugged terrain of the park is a hiker’s paradise and the diversity of the vegetation supports a wide range of wildlife.Matobo meaning ‘bald heads’ was the name chosen for the area by the great Ndebele King, Mzilikazi. He is buried in the Matobo Hills just a short distance from the park.Matobo National Park is also the site of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes. He is buried at the summit of Malindidzimu -‘ hill of benevolent spirits’. He referred to this hill as having a ‘View of the World’. A short walk from the parking lot will lead the visitor to his grave, which is carved out of the solid granite hill and surrounded by a natural amphitheatre of massive boulders. We head off to climb this hill and when we arrive at the top wow the view.It was breath taking, I noticed a young local girl just sitting on the edge of a rock, as I walked passed she said “Hello” I said “You look so peaceful sitting there” she replied ” I sometimes come here to reflect it’s such a great place”.The Matobo area has great spiritual and cultural significance to the local people and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still take place.
The Park is home to a wide variety of animal species including: black and white rhinoceros, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, kudu, eland, sable, klipspringer, leopard, hyena, cheetah, hippo, warthog, waterbuck, wildcat, springhare, common duiker, crocodiles, baboons and monkeys. The park is famous for its large concentration of black eagles, which can be seen perched atop the rock formations or soaring along the cliffs in search of prey.