Cape Town to Tanzania 2014

Solo trip for 12 months - Toyota Hiace 4x4 van

Matobo National Park

July 21, 2014  —  Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe

The Matobo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It consists in two areas; one is a game park and the other is a recreational park. In most parks, I manage to present you nice pictures of animals, but this time I practically didn't see any animal. Thus, I will show the next best thing; pictures of rocks.

I am not joking, this park is famous for its granite rock formations and offers some majestic scenery. All those pretty rocks also hide a superb treasure of rock paintings. I spent several days exploring the park and hiking to go see some caves where one can find magnificent paintings dating from 3 000 to 10 000 years. These paintings have been done by the San people; the same people that have drawn the rock paintings that I showed you in the sections about Botswana and Namibia.

Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Here is what makes this park extraordinary... It is surprising to see these enormous rocks that seem to be in perfect balance on top of each other.
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
It reminds me of Quebec in autumn.
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Track through the park.
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
These granite blocks must weigh several tons.
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
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Malindidzimu Hill

Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Tomb of Cecil Rhodes.

This hill, also named 'World's View', is where Cecil Rhodes has been laid to rest according to his wishes. This business and political man owned a big part of Zimbabwe and in its time, the region was called Rhodesia since he was the founder of the country. Rhodes became rich by exploiting the mining resources of the country such as diamond through the company he founded: the British South African Company. You will notice that the name Cecil Rhodes will appear a few times. He was also present in the Nyanga Park, among other places.

Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Memorial for soldiers that died in this place.
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
View from the top of the Malindidzimu Hill.
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
View from the top of the Malindidzimu Hill.
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Bambata Cave

Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe

Hidden on the side of this hill is the Bambata Cave. I have explored this area for hours in order to successfully find the location of this cave.

Even though these paintings are partly destroyed, the pictures are somewhat astonishing. Don't forget that these drawing have been made more than 3 000 years ago.

Bambata Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Bambata Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Bambata Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Bambata Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
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White Rhino Cave

The quality of the paintings in this cave is impressive.

White Rhino Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
2 wildebeests and 3 persons.
White Rhino Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
The white rhino.
White Rhino Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
White Rhino Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
The quality of these two wildebeests is extraordinary.
White Rhino Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
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Nswatugi Cave

Nswatugi Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Another cave with superb paintings.
Nswatugi Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
An antelope.
Nswatugi Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Nswatugi Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Two giraffes.
Nswatugi Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
A zebra.
Nswatugi Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Several species of antelopes.
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
The cave is hidden behind those trees.
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Silazwane Cave

Silazwane Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
View from inside the cave.
Silazwane Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Silazwane Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Silazwane Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Silazwane Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Silazwane Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Silazwane Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Silazwane Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Silazwane Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Silazwane Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Silazwane Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
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Inanke Cave

This cave was quite a walk. The total round-trip distance should have been 16 km. Since the trail was poorly indicated, I wandered around in the hills and I finally managed to find the cave. Instead of the anticipated 16 km, I ended up walking more than 22 km. Fortunately I have a GPS to find my way around.

Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
On the trail, I stumbled upon some rock paintings.
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Despite all the detours I have taken to reach the cave, I am quite happy about this hike. The landscapes were quite beautiful.
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Again, some more rock paintings on the way to the cave.
Inanke Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Finally, I reach the Inanke Cave.
Inanke Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Inanke Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Inanke Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Inanke Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Inanke Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Inanke Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Inanke Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Inanke Cave - Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park - Zimbabwe
The cave is well hidden on the side of this cliff.