Matobo National Park Safaris
Matobo National Park in Zimbabwe is a stunning destination that offers visitors the opportunity to explore the unique landscape and wildlife of the Matobo Hills region. The park is named after the bald-headed granite rock formations that rise from the rolling hills and provide a dramatic backdrop to the 3,000 km² park. The area is so captivating that even Cecil John Rhodes chose it as his final resting place.
More About Matobo
While the animal populations of Matobo National Park have been affected by heavy poaching in recent decades, the park still boasts 88 mammal and 39 snake species. Visitors can expect to see a range of wildlife such as leopard, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, and various types of antelope, including the sable, kudu, and impala. However, the park's biggest draw is undoubtedly its rhino population. Matobo National Park is one of the few places in Zimbabwe where visitors can see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
Rhinos can be found in monitored areas of the park where their populations are growing thanks to diligent conservation efforts and individual protection. The park's lack of predators and elephants makes it a safe place for visitors to enjoy guided bush walks and get up close to wildlife on foot. This unique opportunity to explore the African bush and see rhinos in their natural habitat is not to be missed.
Activities in Matobo
Matobo National Park in Zimbabwe is a unique destination that offers a range of exciting activities for visitors to enjoy. From game drives to guided bush walks, there are plenty of ways to explore the park's diverse wildlife and stunning landscape.
One of the most thrilling activities in Matobo National Park is tracking wild rhino on foot. Thanks to diligent conservation efforts and individual protection, the park is home to growing populations of both black and white rhino, making it an incredible opportunity to see these magnificent creatures up close.
In addition to wildlife experiences, Matobo National Park is steeped in history and culture. Visitors can explore the many rock art sites scattered throughout the park, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the San people who inhabited the area for thousands of years. Another must-visit site is the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, who fell in love with the area and decreed that the Matobo Hills would be his final resting place.
For those looking to soak in the stunning natural scenery, the park offers a variety of walking trails and hikes that lead to breathtaking viewpoints. From the top of the Matobo Hills, visitors can take in panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Matobo National Park in Zimbabwe is during the dry season, which typically runs from May to October. This is the peak tourist season in the region, as it offers the best game viewing opportunities. During this time, the grass is shorter, making it easier to spot wildlife, and the animals tend to gather around water sources, providing excellent photo opportunities.
The weather during the dry season is also mild, with cool temperatures in the mornings and evenings and warm afternoons, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities such as hiking and game drives.
However, if you're interested in seeing wildflowers, birdlife, or exploring the park's many cultural sites, then the rainy season (November to April) may be a better time to visit. During this time, the park is lush and green, and the landscapes are breathtaking. It's also a quieter time to visit, with fewer tourists and lower prices.
Month-by-Month Guide to Weather
The rainy season is in full swing, with high temperatures averaging around 29°C (84°F) and occasional thunderstorms. The park is lush and green, with an average of 14 rainy days and 161 mm (6.3 inches) of rainfall.
Temperatures and rainfall remain high in February, with an average of 14 rainy days and 157 mm (6.2 inches) of rainfall. It can be hot and humid, so visitors should bring plenty of water and stay hydrated.
The rainy season begins to taper off in March, with temperatures averaging around 27°C (81°F) and an average of 10 rainy days and 98 mm (3.9 inches) of rainfall. The park is still green and beautiful, with plenty of wildlife to see.
April marks the start of the dry season, with temperatures dropping slightly to an average of 25°C (77°F). There are usually around 6 rainy days and 46 mm (1.8 inches) of rainfall during this month.
The dry season continues, with cool temperatures averaging around 20°C (68°F) in the mornings and evenings and warmer afternoons. There is usually little to no rain during May, making it an excellent time for outdoor activities.
June to August:
These are the coolest months of the year, with temperatures ranging from 9°C (48°F) to 23°C (73°F). There is no rain during this period, making it the best time for wildlife viewing.
Temperatures begin to rise in September, with daytime temperatures averaging around 28°C (82°F). There is usually no rain during this month, but visitors should be prepared for occasional hot and windy days.
The end of the dry season, October is hot and dry, with temperatures averaging around 30°C (86°F) during the day. There may be occasional thunderstorms, but they are not as frequent as during the rainy season.
November and December:
These are transitional months, with temperatures and rainfall gradually increasing as the rainy season approaches. Visitors should expect occasional thunderstorms, but the park is still beautiful and green during this time.