page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57

20 Travel Zimbabwe December 2009 g iants The unforgettable landscape of Matobo Hills has been held sacred for thousands of years, and its spiritual importance has been documented in some of the area's 3000 rock art sites. Today, animal encounters here can leave just as big an impression on visitors as the epic surroundings. Matobo National Park sat entranced in the grass. Mere metres away was a three- tonne white rhino whose breathing appeared to be even more excited than mine. " Don't worry," said my guide, Ian Harmer, " he's only in the mood for love." We were in the Whovi Wild Area, a 105- square- kilometre intensive protection zone for wildlife in the western quarter of Matobo National Park. The backdrop is the enchanting, granitic landscape of the Matobo Hills. The fractured boulders, which perform impossible balancing acts, reminded me slightly of the area around my home in Dartmoor, England. But similarities end there. Often mimicking weathered human faces, the Matobos are a mind-boggling 1.7 billion years older, and during the day the bronzed kopjes and smooth whaleback ridges bake in the dry heat, dazzling with starbursts of sulphurous-yellow lichen. The hills are also an artistic canvas with myriad caves richly decorated with art dating back thousands of years. The fact that some of these ancient Bushman paintings depicted rhinos actually played a pivotal role in the decision to reintroduce the species here in the 1960s. The park now has 114 of the hulking beasts. Earlier in the day, before we started following the telltale midden piles of white rhino, Ian bellowed, Walking among

December 2009 Travel Zimbabwe 21