Matobo National Park

About Matobo National Park

Just a short drive from Bulawayo, you'll find Matobo National Park. It’s been a true treasure of Zimbabwe since 1926 and the oldest park in the country. Here, nature has been artistically carving out stunning landscapes for ages.

On Matobo National Park Tours, you can see ancient rock art and visit the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, thus, mixing a bit of history with the natural wonders. For anyone looking to dive into a real adventure, this park is a go-to spot for Zimbabwe Safaris.

It has many trees, birds, and animals, including some you might not see anywhere else, like the impressive black eagle. That's why folks looking for an up-close look at nature come here for Matobo Safari Tours.

Matobo National Park TOURS AND SAFARIS

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Best time to visit

The Best Time to Visit Matobo National Park is from June to October for wildlife viewing, as animals gather around water sources and the vegetation is less dense, making them easier to spot. For those interested in the park's stunning scenery and bird watching, November to April is ideal, with lush vegetation and the presence of migrant birds, alongside many species displaying their breeding plumage. This period offers a vibrant mix of natural beauty and wildlife encounters.


Matobo National Park is a unique wildlife sanctuary. It is home to the elusive white rhino, making it a top spot in Zimbabwe for rhino sightings. Although lions, elephants, and buffalos are absent, the park thrives with leopards, hyraxes, the nimble klipspringer, and majestic antelopes like eland and sable. This diverse habitat, rich with rocky landscapes, offers a distinct safari experience, highlighting the beauty and variety of Zimbabwe's wildlife.

What To Experience

Travel Guide for Matobo National Park

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Matobo National Park Map and Location

Located just 22 miles south of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Matobo National Park is a marvel of nature's artistry. The park forms the core of the Matobo Hills, a landscape rich with granite kopjes and wooded valleys. It's a place where history and nature intertwine, offering a sanctuary for wildlife and a canvas of ancient rock formations.

Geographical Highlights

  • The Matobo National Park is spread across an impressive 1,195 square miles, with 163 square miles designated as the national park area.
  • A special 39 square mile area is dedicated to a game park, providing a haven for black and white rhinos among other wildlife.

Unique Landscape

  • Formed over 2 billion years ago, the terrain of the Matobo National Park is marked by smooth, whaleback dwalas and broken kopjes. This creates a stunning visual spectacle that can be witnessed on Matobo Safaris.
  • The landscape is a mix of rugged hills, large boulders, and patches of lush vegetation, making it a photographer's paradise.

Location Coordinates

  • Latitude: -20.557267391649965 (or -20°33′26.16" N)
  • Longitude: 28.5124356244742 (or 28°30′44.77" E)

By accessing the Matobo National Park Map, travellers can navigate the park's diverse landscapes, from granite kopjes to wildlife-rich areas, for an unforgettable Zimbabwean Safaris.

Matobo National Park Weather and Climate

The climate in Matobo National Park is welcoming and varied. It ensures visitors can enjoy Matobo Tours & Safaris throughout the year. Here's what to expect:

Winter Months (April to September)

  • The climate in Matobo starts cooling in April, with potential for occasional rain.
  • May to August bring pleasant days around 21°C (70°F) but chilly nights, dropping to 8°C (46°F). Warm clothes are a must for early Matobo Safaris.
  • In September and October, temperatures in Matobo National Park climb above 28°C (82°F), signalling the upcoming rainy season. This warmer period offers clear, sunny days ideal for exploring the park before the landscape transforms with the rains.

Summer Months (October to March)

  • Warmth peaks in late October, bringing the onset of the rainy season with rising temperatures.
  • November introduces a pattern of consistent but intermittent rainfall across the region.
  • The months from December through February experience frequent rainfall, though brief showers are often followed by sunshine.
  • As March arrives, rainfall diminishes and temperatures find a comfortable equilibrium between warm days and cool evenings.

Throughout the year, Matobo National Park offers a climate that is both temperate and inviting. Irrespective of your stay duration for Matobo National Park Tours, the park's weather conditions cater to a variety of activities.

From game drives in the cool early mornings of the dry season to exploring the lush landscapes after a refreshing rain shower in the wet season, every visit promises unique experiences.

The key to comfort lies in preparing for the season—warm layers for the cold and lighter wear for the warm, wetter months. This way, every day in Matobo is an opportunity for adventure.

How to Get to Matobo National Park

Getting to Matobo National Park is straightforward irrespective of whether you're coming from within Zimbabwe or landing from abroad. Here’s how you can make your way to this stunning destination on your Zimbabwe Safaris:

By Air:

  • The closest airport to Matobo is Victoria Falls International Airport, near the town of Victoria Falls. From there, it's about a 6.5-hour drive to the park.
  • Another route is flying into Harare’s Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport. From Harare, you can either drive or catch a connecting flight to Bulawayo, which is closer to the park.

By Road:

  • Bulawayo is the second-largest city in Zimbabwe. And, driving from Bulwayo is the most popular way to reach Matobo on your Zimbabwe Safari Tours.

The park's main gate is about 30km (19 mi) south of Bulawayo, with the journey taking around 40 minutes on a good road.

  • For those up for a longer drive, coming from Victoria Falls is an option. The trip covers 540km (336 mi) and takes roughly 6.5 hours.
  • The park is also accessible via the Robert Mugabe Way, leading directly south to the park’s boundary, or from Gwanda through the Thuli Makwe road.

Once you arrive at Matobo, the park's roads are decent and allow access to key sites like Rhodes’ grave easily. However, for more remote Matobo Attractions like Nswatugi Cave or the Whovi Wilderness Area, a high-clearance 4WD vehicle is recommended.

Hence, arranging your visit to Matobo National Park could not be simpler.  Most of our Zimbabwe Safari Packages include pick-up from airports or hotels, ensuring you reach Matobo with ease. This accessibility makes your Zimbabwe Visit a journey filled with anticipation and excitement.

Matobo Wildlife

Let's look into the wonders of Matobo National Park, a must-see for anyone interested in Zimbabwe Wildlife. This park is like a big outdoor playground where you can spot some cool animals.

  • Rhinos Galore

Matobo is one of the best places to see rhinos, both black and white in Zimbabwe. They're pretty rare, but here, they've got a safe home.

  • Sneaky Leopards

If you're into big cats, Matobo's got lots of leopards. They're hard to spot, but that just makes it more exciting when you do see one.

  • More Than Just Big Cats

There are no lions or elephants here, which means you can walk around more safely. But there are plenty of other animals, like antelopes, giraffes, and zebras, to make your Zimbabwe Safari Trip awesome.

  • Walking Adventures

Since the big scary animals live elsewhere, you can walk around and explore. It feels like you're on a real adventure, just you and nature.

The Best Time to Visit Zimbabwe for Matobo Safari is from June to October because it's easier to see animals then, but honestly, Matobo is great any time of the year. With Matobo Safari Tours, you're in for a treat, seeing animals and enjoying nature up close. It's all about having a good time and making memories on your Zimbabwe Safari.

Matobo Birdlife

If you love birds, visiting Matobo National Park is like hitting the jackpot. It's a must-visit spot for anyone on a Zimbabwe Birdlife Safari. With over 320 bird species hanging out in this park, you're in for a real treat.

  • Eagle Eye Candy

This place is famous for its eagles, especially the Verreaux’s eagle. It's got more of these black-and-white beauties than anywhere else. Plus, you can spot loads of other eagles and birds of prey soaring around on Matobo Safaris.

  • Feathered Friends

Apart from the majestic eagles, you’ll find colourful characters like the boulder chat and quirky mocking cliff chat. The park is a stage for the cool African pygmy goose, the flashy Cape batis, and the loud purple-crested turaco, making bird-watching here super fun.

  • Wing Visitors

Between November and April, birds from far-off places drop by, adding to the park’s already bustling bird scene. It’s when the park dresses up in its bird best, with lots of them showing off their fancy breeding feathers.

Birding is great all year round in Matobo National Park, but if you want the park to be extra birdy, visit between November and April. That's when you get to see not just the locals but also the visitors from afar.

In short, Matobo National Park is a bird-watching paradise where every look-up is a chance to see something amazing. The birdlife is going to keep you hooked on Matobo National Park Tours.

Matobo National Park Attractions and Experiences

Matobo National Park is a jewel in Zimbabwe which is packed with some amazing activities that promise delightful memories. If you're looking for Things to Do in Zimbabwe, this park should be at the top of your list.

Let's dive into what makes Matobo a standout Place to Visit in Zimbabwe.

  • Step Back in Time

The hills of Matobo are alive with ancient rock paintings and carvings, telling stories from thousands of years ago.  You can book a guided tour to explore these historical masterpieces and get a glimpse into the past.

  • Spectacular Views

Cecil Rhodes’ burial site offers some of the most breathtaking views in the park. It’s clear why this spot was chosen for its serenity and beauty. Take a moment to soak in the vistas; it’s a perfect photo opportunity on Zimbabwe Safaris.

  • Wildlife Wonders

Matobo is a sanctuary for rhinos, offering a rare chance to see both black and white rhinos in their natural habitat. Don't miss out on our guided rhino tracking session or a safari drive to spot these and other majestic creatures.

  • Panoramic Pleasures

For a view that will take your breath away, hike up to Malindidzimu, also known as World’s View. The peace and panoramic beauty here are unmatched. Bring your camera to capture these epic sights.

  • Cave Art Exploration

Bambata Cave is a cultural treasure chest with its ancient rock art. Joining a guided tour will give you insights into the lives of the cave's ancient inhabitants.

Matobo National Park is a popular Tourist Attraction in Zimbabwe where nature, history, and culture meet. If you want to witness Zimbabwe’s heritage at its best, you must visit the above Zimbabwe Attractions.

Entrance Fees and Rates for Matobo National Park

If you're planning a trip to Matobo National Park, the good news is it's pretty affordable.

  • International visitors need to pay $15 per person to explore this beautiful spot.
  • And if you're coming with a car, there's a small fee of $6 per day for the vehicle.

Keep in mind, that these prices can change, so it's smart to double-check before you go. This way, you're all set for your Matobo Safari Tours, ready to enjoy the stunning views and wildlife without any surprises.

Matobo National Park Culture

Matobo National Park is a special place filled with history and culture. It's known for its stunning landscapes and ancient rock art, making it a great spot for Zimbabwe Safaris. Here's what makes it so unique:

  • Ancient Art

Long ago, the San Bushmen painted scenes of animals hunting on the rocks, showing us how life was thousands of years ago. These paintings are a big reason people come for Matobo Safaris.

  • Sacred Sites

The park is also important for spiritual reasons. There are special places among the hills where people have worshipped for centuries, connecting with the land and their ancestors. Matobo National Park Day Trips often include visits to these sacred spots.

  • Heritage

In 2003, UNESCO recognized the park for its cultural importance. It's a place where the bond between people and nature is celebrated, making it a must-see for those on Zimbabwe Tours.

All in all, the Matobo National Park offers a deep dive into the roots of human history and our connection with the earth. It's not just about the stunning views but also about understanding the stories and beliefs of those who lived here long before us.

Best Month to Visit Matobo National Park

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January in Matobo National Park is part of the wet season, with warm days averaging 28°C/82°F. Rain falls on several days, but showers are usually short, allowing the sun to shine through. This month offers lush scenery, making it a vibrant time for Matobo National Park Safari Tours amidst the greenery.


February continues the wet trend with regular, brief showers that rarely last all day. The park's landscape is at its most vibrant, with daytime temperatures around 28°C/82°F. It's an excellent time for Matobo Tours, as the sun often comes out after the rain, highlighting the park's beauty.


March sees the wet season starting to wane, with temperatures ranging from warm days to cooler nights. The rainfall slows, making it easier to explore the park. This transition period is still a great time for Matobo National Park Safari, offering both lush landscapes and comfortable safari conditions.


April marks the beginning of the dry season in Matobo National Park. While there might be occasional rain, days start cooling down, making morning safaris crisp. This month introduces clearer skies and diminishing rains, perfect for wildlife viewing.


May brings cooler, drier weather with daytime temperatures around 21°C/70°F and chilly mornings. The park's wildlife starts to become more visible as water sources dwindle. This month is ideal for Matobo National Park Safari Tours, requiring warm clothing for morning drives.


June continues the trend of cool, pleasant days and cold early mornings. With the dry season well underway, wildlife viewing becomes exceptional. Daytime temperatures remain comfortable, making park tours a delight for visitors looking to explore the park's natural beauty.


July in Matobo National Park offers clear, sunny days and cold nights. It's peak dry season, with wildlife congregating around waterholes, enhancing safari experiences. Despite the cold mornings, the pleasant daytime temperatures make it a popular time for Matobo National Park Safari Tours.


August sees the continuation of the dry season with sunny days and cold mornings. The weather is perfect for wildlife observation, as animals are easier to spot. This month is among the Best Time to Visit Matobo National Park, offering excellent conditions for safaris and outdoor activities.


September's weather starts warming up but remains dry, ideal for spotting wildlife and bird watching. Temperatures climb, making days warmer, perfect for exploring the park. This month signals the end of the dry season, maintaining great conditions for Matobo National Park Tours.


October is the hottest month, with temperatures soaring before the onset of the rains. It's still a good time for wildlife viewing as water sources are limited. The landscape begins to change, offering a unique backdrop for safari tours just before the wet season begins.


November brings the start of the wet season, with steady but sporadic rains refreshing the park. It's a transitional time, offering a mix of sunny days and showers, which can add a unique element to your safari, as new life begins to emerge in the park.


December is amongst the wettest months, with frequent showers that transform the park into a lush, green landscape. The rain doesn't usually last all day, providing plenty of opportunities for sunny tours. It's a beautiful time to see the park rejuvenated and vibrant.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Matobo National Park is located in southern Zimbabwe. It's known for its unique landscapes, balancing rocks, and rich history, making it a captivating travel destination.

In the park, you can see a variety of wildlife, including the white rhinoceros in a special game park area. Other sightings may include leopards, hyraxes, and several antelope species, enhancing the Matobo Safari Tours experience.

The flora in Matobo National Park is diverse, with over 200 species of trees. This botanical variety contributes to the park's beauty and supports a rich ecosystem.

The best way to experience Matobo National Park is through guided Matobo Tours, which can include historical explorations, 4WD adventures, and wildlife watching, offering a comprehensive view of the park's natural and historical treasures.

Matobo National Park Tours offers fun activities like walking, biking, and driving to see animals. These let you get into the wild and see the park's beauty.

The Best Time to Visit Matobo National Park is from June to October. This period offers the best wildlife viewing opportunities as animals gather around water sources and the vegetation thins out.

For a safe visit, always follow park rules, stay in designated areas, and consider guided Matobo Safari Tours for expert insights and security, especially when exploring wildlife-rich zones.

Yes, Matobo National Park is home to ancient San rock paintings, especially in the Nswatugi Cave. Exploring these historical sites is a highlight of many Matobo Tours, offering a glimpse into the region's rich cultural past.

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