Matobo National Park, Unesco Site, Zimbabwe
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 Hills some 35 km south of Bulawayo are a profusion of distinctive granite landforms, densely packed into a comparatively tight area, that rise up to form a sea of hills. Their forms have resulted from the varied composition and alignment of the granite rocks, which responded differently to millions of years of weathering. These extraordinary granite rock formations have exerted a strong presence over the whole area – both in natural and cultural terms. People have interacted with, and been inspired by, the dramatic natural rock formations of the Matobo Hills for over many millennia. This interaction has produced one of the most outstanding rock art collections in southern Africa; it has also fostered strong religious beliefs, which still play a major role in contemporary local society; and it demonstrates an almost uninterrupted association between man and his environment over the past 100,000 years. Visit Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe Epic Route © Monika Newbound