Around Matopos National Park
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
Just south of Bulawayo we detour around Matopos National Park, and route-find on dusty walking tracks for hour after hour until we reach the stunning Silozwane Cave. The cave is set part-way up a rocky mountainside with stunning views, and contains a vast array of very well preserved cave paintings. They depict people, animals, hunting and more, and even after thirty minutes I spot things I still had not seen yet.
When we pry ourselves away it’s late in the afternoon, so we just drive a few miles away and find a brilliant clearing to wild camp. Just at sunset as we’re lighting a small fire two local men wander over to check us out. It’s clear they want to make sure we’re not up to no good, and as soon as we shake hands and introduce ourselves they make it very clear we are welcome, and it’s absolutely no problem for us to camp here. One of the men just lives a few hundred yards away, and he insists we can ask him if we need anything at all.
Just after sunset his son wanders past herding cattle, and so of course we wave, smile and shake hands. He doesn’t speak any English, thought it’s easy to see he is extremely excited to meet real life white people.
In the morning we’re up before the sun and venture into the park proper, hoping to catch sunrise on the stunning rock formations. The park is extremely peaceful and natural, and we sit for hours trying to take in the expansive views. By luck we stumble across the grave of Cecil Rhodes, founder of Rhodesia – now called Zimbabwe.
The entire park and surrounds are stunning, and the nearby city of Bulawayo is full of beautiful architecture. It would be easy to spend weeks exploring just this region of Zimbabwe!