A long day's driving today to get to Matobo National Park. We fuelled up and hit the main highway, driving on tar for a change. The road was better than we expected though potholes were of a distinctly superior class. Apparently you can tell a drunk driver here because he drives in a straight line… sober people are all over the road dodging potholes.
We were surprised at the lack of villages and people in this part of the country. The occasional farmhouse and farm from the old regime times was evident, with the house in ruins and shacks built next to it, the fields more full of weeds than crops. Closer to Bulawayo, the second biggest city in Zim, there was more population and more small farms but none of the countryside looked too prosperous. Bulawayo however looked like a prosperous city, with the traffic under general control and all the citizenry smartly dressed. There was a notable absence of white people; we saw but one white man in the whole city. Looks like they have all gone.
The landscape changed with huge granite bathyliths, bare and looking like mini Ulurus, poking up out of the ground. Granite boulders atop granite boulders became the norm. We arrived at Matabo National Park, also called Rhodes Matabo NP, as here lies Cecil Rhodes in his grave. We arrived at the grave location and walked up to the top of a huge granite mound. The views were some of the most spectacular we have ever seen anywhere; it was impossible not to take photo after photo! The grave at the top of the granite mound was dug, or rather chiselled, 2 metres into the rock. A plain brass plate lies atop with his name engraved. Just down the hill, a spectacular monument to 34 "brave men" who all died trying to take this part of the country from the local tribe.
We camped by a lake and as usual sat around the fire finishing off a glass or two of wine before bedtime.