Every single year it seems like I have to go 15 rounds with my family in order to convince them to go someplace interesting for our annual family vacation. You see, they always want to go to the same old vacation spots that everybody else and their grandparents go to. You know the places that I’m talking about, beach towns, major cities, national parks… Europe.
Don’t get me wrong those are all great places, I just don’t want to go to the same places everybody else goes to see the same things everybody else sees. I want something interesting and new, I want to see something that not many people get to see.
If you are like me and want something a little bit out of the ordinary, then might I suggest Matobo National Park…
Chances are you’ve never heard of this place and that’s okay. It is actually located in Eastern Africa in the country of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe? That’s right. Sure, most people wouldn’t think of this country is a top tourist destination and they might be right, except in this case.
Matobo National Park has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site. It has over 300 massive rock paintings that are disturbingly balanced on boulders surrounded by amazing scenery.
The best time of the year to go is between April and August because that is the dry season when the weather is cool. Of course, you could go in November when it’s very hot (but dry) or the end of November through March if you don’t mind the rain and humidity of the wet season.
This is a mystical place… it has a history that stretches back almost 4,000,000 years. Wind and rain over all that time have formed the huge granite boulders into amazing shapes that you won’t see anywhere else.
Many of the boulders hide caves which were sacred sites back in the day. You can find amazing rock art in many of these caves and in fact this area has the highest concentration of that sort of art in all of Africa.
You really have to see this art to believe it. It’s not just pictures on a wall! Many of the pictures seem almost animated, depicting men running (for instant) or dancing or of course, hunting. The pictures are amazingly lifelike and detail oriented so much so that we can actually identify ancient species of animals from the pictures.
The park doesn’t boast of only big rocks, you can also be dazzled by the large array of rainbow lizards! Tourist can watch park rangers feeding these lizards and it’s quite a sight to see these little guys shoot out from under the rocks to snatch up their food and run back to shelter.
Of course, there are many other animals as well… this is Africa after all. You can see white rhinos as well as rare black ones, and antelopes, lots of different monkeys and baboons, and even zebras and leopards!
I’ll be perfectly honest with you, this isn’t the type of vacation for everyone, but if you’re looking for something amazingly out of the ordinary and off the beaten path then you can’t get much more spectacular than the Matobo National Park in Zimbabwe Africa. Why not take a chance and try something extraordinary?