Overview – Matobo NP
Matobo National Park has huge scenic appeal with balancing granite rocks towering above the plains. Wildlife viewing has become less productive over recent years due to heavy poaching. Lion and elephant are absent. Several well-preserved Bushman rock art sites are open to the public.
Pros & Cons
- Dramatic rock landscape
- Great birding destination, especially for raptors
- Excellent rock art
- Good park for self-drive visitors
- Accommodation options for different budgets available
- Limited variety of safari animals (no elephant and lion)
- Small park with limited road network
Matobo has no lion or elephant, but white rhino is spotted quite regularly. This park has reputedly Africa's largest concentration of leopard, which love to move around the rocky outcrops (koppies) at dusk and dawn. Another animal associated with the rocky terrain is the klipspringer, which is often found in groups hopping from rock to rock.
Two types of rock formations dominate the scenery. Huge, smooth, gray, granite whaleback hills rise up from the plains. Even more dramatic are the balancing piles of angular shaped rocks – which look like giant children’s toys carefully stacked on top of each other.
Weather & Climate
Fair weather is the order of the day during Matobo’s Dry season (April to October). Sunny days are the norm, with the early-morning chill of these months quickly forgotten. During the Wet season (November to March), however, the sun is often obscured by unrelenting drizzle or heavy afternoon downpours.
Best Time to Visit
The second half of the Dry season (April to October) coincides with the high season at Matobo. But you’ll rarely be troubled by anything resembling a crowd here. You will, however, get to see plenty of wildlife at this time, with the animals huddling around the available water sources. The wetter months are favored by birders, who come to witness the passage of migratory birds.
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Matobo NP Safari Reviews
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Most Helpful Expert Review
Brian is an award winning travel writer, author of safari books and regular contributor to magazines such as BBC Wildlife and Travel Africa.
Lost in a lonely world of granite
It was Mzilikazi, the first great leader of the Matabele , who called these bare granite summits the Matobo because to him they resembled a huddle of bald heads. Today these strange, brooding hills are still a holy place, riddled with caves...
Latest User Review
Matabo is a great destination, scenic wise. We stayed at the Shumba Shaba Lodge in a spectacular setting.