MATOBO HILLS LODGE
- Country lodge
- Matopos National Park
- Diverse African wildlife
- Incredible San rock art
Matobo Hills Lodge is situated on a private game reserve bordering Matopos National Park, 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Bulawayo.
The Matopos is an area of great beauty and is home to the white and black rhinoceros, sable antelope, leopard and klipspringer. Bird life is prolific and includes the world’s largest concentration of black eagles. Once the home of the San (Bushman), this area contains the richest source of their rock art found anywhere.
Certain areas of the Park have religious significance for the Ndebele people, and it was here that they buried their great king, Mzilikazi. Cecil Rhodes was also laid to rest on the crest of the ‘Hill of Benevolent Spirits’.
||Landscaped into the rocks on a granite ridge, Matobo Hills Lodge offers views across the wild Maleme Valley and Mount Ififi. Raised walkways and a swimming pool built into a natural cleft in the rock provide a picturesque setting. There are 17 lodges, all of which have en suite bathrooms. Meals are enjoyed in a thatched dining room or open-air gazebo. A wide range of activities are available and are designed to introduce guests to the many facets of the Matobo Hills.
Drives to areas of scenic and historical interest include visits to the famous painted caves and to the sites where the Matabele armies and the white settlers clashed during the 1896 uprising. Guests can also visit the local Ndebele and Kalanga communities where they continue to live their traditional life, mixing past beliefs with modern ideas.
The outstanding beauty of the Matobo Hills near Bulawayo, steeped in tribal history and ancient magic. get close to the White Rhino - in cave paintings and for real. Contemplate the lonely grave of Rhodes, or wander amongst the massive granite boulders, under the watchful eye of the proud Black Eagle. Visit a traditional Matebele village and meet the spiritual wardens of the sacred places, where past and present co-exist. The Matobos is an area of great beauty and the lodges are built along a granite outcrop. The Matobo Hills Lodge reflects the gentle spirit of these hills. Landscaped into the rocks of a granite ridge, the lodge offers views across the wild Maleme Valley. Raised walkways, shady gardens and a swimming pool built into the rock provide a picturesque setting. A wide range of activities are available, designed to introduce guests to the many facets of the Matobo Hills. Drives to areas of scenic and historical interest include visits to many of the famous painted caves and to the sites where Matebele armies and the white settlers clashed during the uprising of 1896. Rhodes' "View of the World" is best seen at sunrise when the grand and isolated loneliness of the man's life is reflected in his choice of final resting place. A full day trip to the Khami Ruins (a World Heritage Site), and the historical places and traditional markets in Bulawayo is also available. A popular choice is a visit to the communal areas where the local Ndebele and Kalanga people continue to live their traditional life, mixing past beliefs and lifestyles with modern ideas and attitudes. Beautiful ethnic handicrafts can be purchased in the villages. Game drives in open safari vehicles into the designated high-conservation areas are offered, and horseback trails are also available. The birds of the Matobo, in particular the birds of prey, make the area of special interest to the ornithologist and the amateur bird watcher.
Situated 50km from Bulawayo in a private wildlife reserve bordering Matobo National Park.
Matobo Hills Lodge is situated within a private wildlife reserve bordering Matobo National Park (50km from Bulawayo)
Matopos hills is an area of exquisite beauty, the lodges accommodation units are built upon a granite outcrop with sweeping panoramic views over the surrounding hills.
There is a separate lounge/bar which commands spectacular 360-degree views of Mount Ififi and the Maleme Valley
On Site Activities
The Lodge has a fleet of open safari vehicles and a staff of trained guides. Walks and drives to areas of scenic and historical interest include visits to the famous rock paintings, the historical battle sites and to the grave of Cecil John Rhodes at World's View. Local guides are on hand to take visitors into the nearby tribal area where Ndebele and Kalanga people continue to live a traditional life style. Game drives are conducted into the Matobo Hills National Park in search of black and white rhino, giraffe, zebra, sable antelope, leopard and a host of other species. The Matobo area is famed for the density and variety of bird species and for its bewildering population of brightly coloured lizards. Times of activities vary seasonally but guests are personally advised each day of departure times and options available.
In an area of exquisite beauty, the lodge's accommodation units are built upon a granite outcrop with outlooks over the surrounding hills. 34 beds in seventeen luxury hilltop lodges; 13 twin bedded and 4 double bedded. All lodges have shower, bath toilet and basin and wall-to-wall carpet. Extra beds on request.
||- Thirty four beds
- Luxury hilltop lodges
- thirteen twin-bedded lodges
- 4 double-bedded lodges
All Lodges have: Shower, bath, toilet and basin, wall-to-wall carpet, electrical socket - square 13 amp., 220v., extra beds on request
Facilities and Services
A separate lounge/bar which commands spectacular 360 degree views of Mount Ififi and the Maleme Valley. A swimming pool has been built into the granite dome to resemble a natural rock pool. Laundry, gift shop, swimming pool, conference facilities for 40.
Restaurant and Bar Facilities
Meal times are at the usually accepted times but can be dependent on game drives and will vary seasonally. All meals are Table d'hôte with a wide selection of dishes. Meals are taken in a thatched dining room or open air gazebo depending on the weather.
Transfer from Bulawayo airport return US$50 - 70km away. Road transfers on request.
Transfers by road to/from Hwange approximately 300kms - three hours.
Transfers by road to/from Masvingo approximately 330kms - three and a half hours.
Amenities & Services Include:
Laundry, gift shop, swimming pool, Weddings (up to 80), conference facilities for 40
What to see and Do
- Matobo Hills Lodge has a fleet of open safari vehicles and a staff of trained guides who operate a wide range of touring activities. Walks and drives to areas of scenic and historical interest include visits to the famous cave paintings, to the historical battle sites and to the grave of Cecil John Rhodes at Worlds View
- Local guides are on hand to take visitors into the nearby tribal area where the Ndebele and Kalanga people continue to live a traditional lifestyle
- Game drives are conducted into the Matopos National Park in search of black and white rhino, giraffe, zebra, sable antelope, leopard and a host of other species. The Matobo area is famed for the density and variety of its birds of prey and for its population of brightly coloured lizards
- The safari activities on offer at Matopos hills lodge are all designed to introduce guest to the many facets of the Matobo Hills. Times of activities vary seasonally but guests are personally advised each day of departure times and options available
Distances and Transfers [min 3 people]
Bulawayo Airport to Matobo Hills Lodge : 70km or Bulawayo to lodge : 50km
Transfers by minibus from Bulawayo or the airport are available.
Transfers by road to/from Hwange approx.. 300kms. (3 hrs)
Transfers by road to/from Masvingo approx.. 330kms. (3 and a half hrs)
MATOBO HILLS NATIONAL PARK:
The Matobo Hills, some 24.9 miles south of Bulawayo, are remarkable for their unusual scenery and the diversity of their flora and fauna. They are also a focal point of much of Zimbabwe's history and prehistory. The hills are reached via a good tarred road from Bulawayo, which leads to the National Park headquarters at Maleme Dam, and are crossed by a network of viewing tracks.
The hills cover about 790 000 acres and have been eroded from an exposed granite batholith thought to be over 3 000 million years old. Hump-backed domes ('dwalas') have resulted from exfoliation of the granite; crenellated ridges, often surmounted by remarkable 'balancing rock' formations, have been formed by erosion along regular fault lines in the rock.
In most of the area the hills are aligned into steep ridges, often densely wooded on their lower slopes, and separated by valleys containing numerous streams, springs, seeps and vleis. They support a flora ranging from lichens, figs and aloes to Brachystegia species, mopane trees and over 100 grass species. Human habitation in the Matobo Hills stretches back at least 40 000 years.
The evidence for this long period of habitation comes from the deep layers of human detritus excavated from the many caves and rock shelters in the hills. The Matobo region is particularly well known for the number and quality of its Stone Age rock art sites. Among the most important are Nswatugi Cave, Bambata Cave, Silozwane and Pomongwe.
The hills were the scene of the famous indaba between Cecil Rhodes and Ndebele leaders in 1896. Rhodes and several other leading early white settlers are buried on the summit of Malindidzimu, the 'hill of the spirits', 27.3 miles south of Bulawayo. Some 105 000 acres of the region is now included in the Matopos National Park, which dates back to 1904 when a game enclosure was established on the northern edge of Matobo Hills and stocked with sable antelope, waterbuck, reedbuck, zebra, eland, giraffe and a camel.
Today's national park includes the Maleme, Mpophoma and Togwana Dams, many of the more spectacular hills such as Malindidzimu, Inungu and Pomongwe, and most of the region's finest examples of rock art. A northerly extension, lying along the Maleme-Bulawayo road, forms the Matopos Recreational Park.
The hills were named Amatobo, meaning the 'bald-headed ones', by the Ndebele king, Mzilikazi; later this was corrupted to 'Matopo' by white settlers.
The Matopos National Park is a candidate for World Heritage status under the UNESCO World Heritage convention because of its outstanding cultural and natural importance.
Game Viewing / Activities:
Except for indigenous species such as bushbuck, klipspringer and leopard, most of the mammal population has been reintroduced in recent decades. The biggest concentrations are to be found in the Whovi wildlife section west of the Bulawayo-Kezi road. A buffalo herd of 200 was shot in the early 1980s to comply with veterinary regulations concerning the control of foot-and-mouth disease.
The unmistakable depiction of white rhinoceros in one of the cave paintings encouraged the Department of National Parks and Wild Life to reintroduce this species and more than 30 animals are now spread through the park, both inside and outside the fenced wildlife area.
Out of the 189 mammal species indigenous to Zimbabwe, 88 have been recorded in the Matobo Hills. Duiker, steenbok, reedbuck, impala, bushpig and warthog occur throughout the park, and the region also has Zimbabwe's highest density of leopards, which prey on the abundant populations of dassies, baboons and other smaller species. About 330 bird species have been recorded, including 40 species of raptors and the highest density of black eagles recorded anywhere in Africa.