Matobo National Park

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Matobo National Park is a wonderful area dotted with huge boulders and ancient San paintings, especially in the Nswatugi Cave. In the Pomongwe Cave an early attempt to save the paintings resulted in their near obliteration. There are also many old grain bins that used to be perfect places for hiding the weapons, people used to fight the colonizers. You can also still see some of the hidden clay ovens that where used as iron smelters to make weapons. Also hidden in a rock cleft is the Ndebele people's sacred rain shrine, where people come to pray to god Mwali. The Ndebele consider the whole area to be a spiritual center and some peaks, such as Shumba, Shaba and Shumba Sham are believed to bring misfortune.

Cecil Rhodes was also thrilled by the sights of Matobo and he built a railway to the area, to provide easy access. Less than two km from the northwestern entrance you can still see the remains of the rail terminus. When Rhodes died on 26 March 1902 his body was buried at Malindidzimu (View of the World) amid colorful boulders, as he had requested.

There is a superb array of wildlife in the area, including both white and black rhino at the Whovi Game Park, as well as the world's largest concentration of black eagles.

The park's headquarters is at Maleme Dam. The area around Maleme Dam gets very crowded during weekends and holidays. There are many camps throughout the park and tours can be arranged there. Matobo National Park is 400 km southwest of Harare, not far from Bulawayo.

Matobo's best known landmark is the granite dome of Inugu, though it is outside the park.


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