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“Amazing landscape!!”

Matobo National Park
Ranked #1 of 14 things to do in Bulawayo
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Frankfurt, Germany
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Amazing landscape!!”
Reviewed April 14, 2013

Incredible place! The rock formations are amazing and it's so good that this is one of the very few national parks in Zimbabwe where you're allowed to leave your car. We walked around quite a bit and hiked up some rocks, which offered stunning views.
We stayed the night at the campsite (near the dam), which was also really good - a lot of privacy and clean bathrooms.

Visited August 2012
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1 Thank HelgaSt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Hamilton Parish, Bermuda
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Matobo Park - Fleece the Internationals”
Reviewed March 31, 2013

Visited the Matobo National Park at Easter 2013. The Park is situated 30Km South of Bulawayo so we rented a small car at the airport for 48 hours with the specific intent of visiting the Park. I felt that most TA contributors have over-rated the attractions here. Yes, it is huge, around 35 Km of bitumen roads to cover the interior circuit and the rock formations are very interesting and photogenic. But unless Rhodes' grave is of particular interest, there is little else. The National Parks have decided to charge twice here which, in itself, is unique. An entrance fee and then a further fee to see the 'major' attractions. And to add insult to injury there is a differential rate applied if you are an 'international tourist' i.e if you have any passport but a Zimbabwean one : $15.00 pp entrance fee plus $3 for the vehicle and then $10.00 pp (paid once) for the additional attractions. The locals pay less than half that. It almost seems as though they wish to fleece the Internationals. Perhaps it is an order from 'on high' to garnish some foreign exchange.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Sadika47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harare, Zimbabwe
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Only really appreciated when visited”
Reviewed February 17, 2013

The only problem visiting in February is you see less animals but it's wonderful to see the park so green

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ian T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hurst Green, Lancashire
Level 6 Contributor
340 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
“Great Day Out within easy reach of Bulawayo”
Reviewed February 11, 2013

I took a day trip to the Matobo Hills and the scenery was amazing. Walked up to Cecil John Rhodes grave and the views were beautiful. Also Visited Matobo Hill Lodges for lunch and that is worth a visit too.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Chris G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Esigodini, Zimbabwe
Level 6 Contributor
84 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Always worth a visit!”
Reviewed January 27, 2013

I have been visiting the Matopos since 1982 and can still never get there often enough! It is a beautiful area and there is quite a variety of things to do depending on fitness and time.

Let me start off with a word on the entrance fees. i agree wholeheartedly with one reviewer that this should be explained at the entrance gate but isn't. The park is run by National Parks and what you pay at the entrance will cover most of what you want to do. BUT (!) Rhodes' Grave and the cave painting sites are run by the Museums and you will be asked to pay again. For overseas visitors, I believe the $10 charge is excessive but it is cheaper to pay than to come back again. the ticket is also valid for all the Museums sites so you don't pay for each cave or whatever. It is also my experience that you will only have an attendant to charge you at Rhodes' Grave and possibly, Pomongwe. Retain your receipts/tickets!

Having said all that, I do believe Matopos is an outstanding place to visit. The rock formations are stunning, beautiful dams, endless walking possibilities, fishing, game viewing and so on.

Let me mention two personal favourite walks. One is Pomongwe. Start opposite the turn into Maleme Rest Camp, walk up and over the hill to Pomongwe cave (don't have to pay entry if you are just walking!) and then back along the road to the start. It is a steep climb and has some scrambles but great views. Secondly, Nanke Cave. This departs from Togwana Dam and is a long walk. Allow 3-4 hours there and back. Some steep and scrambly bits but not too bad. Just quite a long way over rough terrain. My one proviso is to go with someone who knows the way. There are some arrows and cairns but it is overgrown and rarely frequented and a very remote part to get lost in.

The Game Park : it is a beautiful drive but you can drive round for hours and see very little. that is a warning but not advice not to go. It is a very good place to see rhino which may be just about all you do but for many that would be worth it. I agree with some others that there seems to be less game in the rest of the park but look out for dassies, klipspringer and other antelope. They can be seen.

A word on vehicles : there is a good tar road as far as Maleme but these days I would recommend a high clearance vehicle for the dirt roads including the game park. It doesn't need to be 4WD if you keep to the standard roads.

I didn't stay at Maleme rest camp this time but I don't think it is quite as run down as some people seem to imply. I was there a year ago and it was basic (always has been) but clean and perfectly adequate. Some of the picnic and camp sites are a bit more run down, I will admit. The kiosk at Maleme is now functioning again though don't expect Sainsburys. Take food and plenty of liquids with you, especially if you intend walking.

Finally (I think) on cave paintings. Inswatugi is excellent and accessible by vehicle on a rough road. Nanke is also excellent but only accessible after a long walk (see my comments above). Pomongwe has nothing to see. White Rhino is a pleasant short walk but only an average display of paintings.

Finally, let me make another unequivocal recommendation for Matopos as a place to visit.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Richard H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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