​Wildlife & Animals – Matobo NP

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip has traveled through Zimbabwe several times and is the author of more than 20 guidebooks to various African destinations.

Philip is the Zimbabwe expert for SafariBookings and author of more than 20 guidebooks to Africa.

Philip is our Zimbabwe expert and author of more than 20 guidebooks to Africa.

Matobo National Park supports low wildlife densities and lacks certain key species such as lion, elephant and buffalo. Several other alluring animals, including black rhino and giraffe, are restricted to Whovi Wilderness Area, a fenced western annex that accounts for one-quarter of the park’s area. Matobo is one of the best places in Zimbabwe to see white rhino.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
GiraffeOccasional
HippoOccasional
ZebraOccasional
WildebeestOccasional
White RhinoOccasional
LionNone
HyenaOccasional

Wildlife Highlights

The rocky outcrops and crevices of Matobo are prime leopard country. Unfortunately, however, these beautiful spotted cats are very secretive and seldom reveal their presence to human intruders. The rocks of Matobo also form the natural habitat of the rock hyrax, rock elephant shrew and klipspringer (a medium-sized antelope whose Afrikaans name means ‘rock jumper’). Other wildlife includes eland (the world’s largest antelope), tsessebe, greater kudu and sable antelope.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

From June to October, during the middle and end of the Dry season, is the best time for wildlife viewing. Wildlife is easier to spot at this time because vegetation is thinner and animals gather around predictable water sources. However, Matobo is not a prime wildlife destination, and other activities such as fishing, hiking and birding can be enjoyed throughout the year.

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