The sacred land to the Ndebele people, and rightly so, the Matobo Hills have a transcendental quality to them. The serene silence that surrounds the precariously balanced boulders is enough to satisfy any spiritual craving.
The other-worldly scene leads visitors through paint-splattered passages of lichen toward caves filled with intricate drawings from ancient hunter gatherer civilisations. The terracotta rock formations are decorated with reds, yellows, greens and blacks and as are their famously fluorescent inhabitants: the lizards.
It’s therefore humorous that the word ‘Matobo’ derives from a more literal place. As much as these bellowing boulders are magical and sublime, they also resemble something else.
A local term for ‘a man with a balding head’, the Matobo Hills don’t take their name from their rich history or cultural prevalence but – frankly – what they really look like… A few bulbous heads popping out from the vast landscape.
Nevertheless, this unscathed valley highlights the raw power of Africa. The Matobos are also home to the resting place of Cecil Rhodes. Visiting this controversial grave amongst the kopjes, not only supplies some of the most unique views in Zim, but also historical insight. Cecil Rhodes was the founder of Rhodesia and despite a contested reputation, he was the first and only white settler to get the traditional blessing from the Ndebele tribe.