The Matobo Hills are located to the south of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city. The area covers about 3,000km2 in total, of which about 400km2 is protected by the Matobo Hills National Park.
The breathtaking shapes and deep valleys of the Matopos Hills were formed by river erosion over 2000 million years ago. The granite was forced to the surface and eroded to produce smooth surfaces among broken hills, strewn with boulders and interspersed with chunks of vegetation. This landscape led to its name, “Matopos Hills”, meaning “Bald Heads” in Ndebele.
Matobo Hills was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. The Matobo Hills has one of the highest concentrations of rock art in Southern Africa dating back at least 13,000 years. The paintings illustrate evolving artistic styles and also socio-religious beliefs. The whole bears’ testimony to a rich cultural tradition that has now disappeared. The rich evidence from archaeology and from the rock paintings at Matobo provides evidence that the Matobo Hills have been occupied over a period of at least 500,000 years.
The park has sections earmarked as a protected area for game, including a healthy number of the endangered black rhino and also white rhino, but the area is also one of Zimbabwe’s most intriguing wildlife sanctuaries with a variety of antelope species including kudu, sable and eland, as well as baboon and a large population of leopard.
Amalinda Lodge is a unique four-star luxury lodge set in the granite boulders of The Matobo Hills, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This exclusive, privately owned & family run safari lodge is the premier accommodation in the area. Tucked away in an ancient bushman’s shelter, Camp Amalinda boasts a spa, infinity rock pool, library, wine cellar, sunset lounge, show kitchen and many varied activities. Ranging from game drives to rhino trekking, cultural tours, hikes to the renowned San Bushman paintings.
Khayelitshe” is an Ndebele word that describes a home, in the context of a rural home ekhaya where traditionally the entire family resides. The surroundings of Matopo which are characterised by huge boulders (litshe) of weathered granite, balancing and leaning against each other, give one the impression of a land of silent giants.
Matopo has the world’s highest concentration of rock art that can be seen through a series of short hikes to well-known sites, many of which are sacred.