Tag : Matopos National Park

Standing alone…

Of the many hundreds of photos I took in the Zimbabwe Eastern Highlands, this is my favourite.
Initially a reject, this one below, grew on me! Taken very early in the morning at George’s Place in the Vumba.
Taken in the Nyanga National Park, hanging off the edge, this little guy caught my eye.
This tree (below) stands alone at the edge of a cliff,  in the Matopos at Rhodes’ Grave, over-looking a boulder strewn valley.
An old friend, below. (I visit this tree each time I climb World’s View in the Matopos.)
It’s a tough life, here in Zimbabwe!
This photo above, is taken in Nyanga – a view of Nyangane with a lone, struggling bush in the foreground!
Overlooking Mozambique, I found these trees keeping vigil…

Rhodes' Grave…

Cecil John Rhodes is buried on top of “Malindidzimu,” in the Matopos. He called the place “Worlds View.” Although to be honest, I know of way better places to view the Matopos.
Roughly translated Malindidzimu means, “Hill of Spirits,” or perhaps more specifically, “Place of Benevolent Spirits.”
The view is pretty good from here.
These two pics, above and below, are taken from a bench soon after the carpark (before the climb to the grave site.)
I couldn’t resist this red tree – I had to get it into the photo somehow!
And of course, when I was up there, had to go to visit old friends! (Above) I just LOVE this tree, although the Russian guy we gave a lift to, was not impressed with what I called a “tree!” I think he probably had more descriptive names in Russian, like “scrub” or “bush!”
If you look carefully, there is a white cross on the top of that hill. It can also be seen at Maleme Dam (a fair distance from World’s View.)

Matopos Rocks…

Two ducks? Or a lady-rock lying on her back!
You tell me!
Weird how many shapes one can see in the rocks in Matopos.P1280651
In some light, this rock seems to me to be a grumpy old man’s face!

Mshelele Dam

Ive never seen so many lilies at Mshelele dam. But who cares, it makes a lovely foreground.
These photos are all taken at lunch time, with the bright African sun making my life difficult. So I hid behind a tree to shade the lens.

Matopos Roads…

There is something about a road that enhances photos – makes you wonder where its going, or what is around the next, I guess.
This first one is taken at Mshelele Dam, one of my favourite places in Matopos.
The road is fairly bad here, so stopping for a pic wasnt much effort
I liked the colours in this one, the winter yellows and browns showing now. The gold of the grass is, of course, classic Matabeleland.
Can’t resist that pink tree.
This rock is amazing with that slab hanging off the side! The road passes so close to it, that it towers right over your head.

Nswatugi Cave…

This cave is a favourite of mine – the climb is less than several others in the area, since the car takes you most of the way!P1280599
I was able to visit this old friend of mine on the way to the cave. I hardly ever go past here nowadays, as the road is so bad. I find it more efficient to climb up from the carpark below.
We picked up a Russian guy at the main park gate (described as a ‘visitor to our country’ by the National parks rangers who asked us to give him a lift)  – poor bloke, I don’t think he knew what he was letting himself in for! Goggled at us chatting to our favourite trees and taking pics of rocks!

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Umkhaya Trees…

This year the Umkhaya trees are magnificent.
In September each year, new leaves burst out bright red, all in a couple of weeks. At much the same time, the yellow flowers provide food for thousands and thousands of insects.
Walking under this canopy, they buzzed overhead constantly. This photo (above) is taken with strong afternoon light angling in from the left – almost bleaches the strong colours.
This photo, below, is taken looking towards the Matopos Research Station fields, and the lower areas of REPS school. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodes_Estate_Preparatory_School
Quite a number of my friends went to REPS, as did my father in law. He said it was rather prison like!!! I climbed a small kopjie and took this pic (below) of the school and research station in the distance, the grove of umkhaya trees in the foreground.
Back in the day, boys who went to REPS were allowed to roam all over this part of the Matopos – I’m not sure if they still do.
Back when we were farming, we used to go to field days held at the Matopos Research Station. Beat standing at the dip!!!
That rock is calling me to climb it!
P1250334Umkhaya trees are Acacia Galpinii https://www.feedipedia.org/node/352

Wild pear…

In this pic, the white flowers are in focus, the rocks in the background, blurred. I am not sure it wouldnt be better the other way around

Evening colours in the Matopos…

I took this pic on the side of the road leaving Maleme Dam in the Matopos National Park. The colours are good at this time of the year, but evening light always helps!
Lichen on the rocks are very strong coloured this year, I’ve noticed. ‘Praps the good rainy season?
The white flowers are on a wild pear tree – plenty of them around here
Taken just before the turn off to Mshelele Dam.
We didn’t have the time to go there! Didn’t feel like making a 22km bumpy ride on the road either!
For those of you who have never been to the Matopos – its a HUGE granite batholith that has, over time, worn away into massive boulders, some with balancing rocks, precariously waiting to fall! Its only about 30km from Bulawayo on a good road, so its easy to nip out for a braai and for me, the greatest thing about it, is you can get out of your car!!! Children are allowed to run free, climb the huge granite mounds, get in touch with nature. Wikipedia does a better job with the technical details!!!!

Mshelele Dam in the Matopos National Park

Mshelele Dam in the Matopos National Park

Mshelele DamPlease excuse the road in the photos! I try always to preserve “nature” as best I can, but the road through Mshelele Camp goes right next to the dam.

Mshelele Dam fishWe decided to spend a night at this dam in order to get both sunset and early morning shots.

Mshelele Dam If you look very closely, you can see the fish eagle sitting right up there – at the top of the rocks. Late evening sun shines right on the rocks at Mshelele Dam.

Mshelele DamAcross from the ablution block is a camping site right on the water, under the Msasa trees.

Mshelele Dam

Very late evening photograph (above.)

Mshelele DamThe sun comes up behind the rocks at Mshelele Dam, and strangely, the sky is more vivid (pink and purple) than it is an hour later. Above is the first photograph of the day.

Mshelele Dam


There are fires around now and that makes our sunrises and sunsets that much more vivid…

Mshelele Dam

As the sun begins to come up, the brilliant colours fade. We packed the car ready to move on to Togwana Dam and Inanke Cave, our intended destination.

Mshelele DamIn every batch of photos, I get a “mistake” sometimes good…this one I like very much. It was taken on the banks of the Mshelele Dam, very early in the morning. So early, my camera didn’t know where to get its light from…

Mshelele Dam