independentguide

for the independent traveler by independent travelers

Matopos – the place of benevolent spirits

Posted by dan on January 25, 2011

 

Charles Dume Sana - meaning Praise the Lord - and his family

Charles Dume Sana - meaning Praise the Lord - and his family

It’s been called the place of benevolent spirits, and Cecil Rhodes, as he wished, was buried there at Malindidzimu hill. Today Zimbabwe is off the main tourist path, but even when it was on the main route few people visited the Matopos region – also known as Matobo Hills. Much of the area is a national park – the Matobo National Park -and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is close to the town of Bulawayo and shorter or longer safaris and treks can be organized locally. The local people belong to the Ndebele tribe, which is split into a southern and northern branch – first live in South Africa, the second in the southern part of Zimbabwe and parts of Botswana. The following images were made in 1996 in a small Ndebele settlement just outside the national park, where I’ve spent a week staying at Fortune’s family with two fellow travelers, Mark from Holland and Ian from Scotland. People are almost self-sufficient – if the season is good – and earn a little cash from making carvings or working in town – and would love to receive visitors in their homes. It is a magical and sacred landscape – as powerful as the Red Center in Australia, the Sinai mountains in Egypt or Hampi in India – and could develop into a trekking, cultural and retreat destination, if things were going better in the country. The locals would definitely deserve it – let’s hope things will get better one day.

More about the Ndebele:

Northern Ndebele people, located in Zimbabwe, and Botswana
South Ndebele people, located in the South Africa

More about the Matobos National Park:

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matobo_National_Park
Matobos National Park official website: http://www.zimparks.org/?option=…

Useful link:

Matobo Conservation Society: http://www.matobo.org/

 

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