The Matobo National Park forms the core of the Matobo or Matopos Hills, an area of granite kopjes and wooded valleys commencing some 35 kilometres south of Bulawayo. The Hills were formed over 2,000 million years ago with molten rock erupting across the landscape — this has eroded to produce smooth ‘whaleback dwalas’ and broken kopjes, strewn with boulders and interspersed with thickets of vegetation.
The Hills cover an area of about 3,100 km², of which 424 km² is National Park, the remainder being largely communal land and a small proportion of commercial farmland. Part of the national park is set aside as a 100 km² game park, which has been stocked with game including black and white rhinoceros.
The area exhibits a profusion of distinctive rock landforms rising above the granite shield that covers much of Zimbabwe. The large boulders provide abundant natural shelters and have been associated with human occupation from the early Stone Age right through to early historical times, and intermittently since. They also feature an outstanding collection of rock paintings.
The Matobo Hills continue to provide a strong focus for the local community, which still uses shrines and sacred places closely linked to traditional, social and economic activities. The Matobo balancing rocks are the burial place of Cecil John Rhodes. Commanding a vista clear to the horizon, the name ‘World’s View’, could not be more appropriate for this enchanting piece of Zimbabwe.