It was Mzilikazi who christened the balancing rocks of the Matobo National Park, Sindebele – “The Bald Heads”. This levitating landscape has been inhabited for forty thousand years, by man and beast, as the many ancient San paintings here will attest.
This has long been rhino territory and remains so today in the game park. It is also sacred ground and amongst the cracks and crevices of the Matobo Hills is the Ndebele’s rain shrine to Mwari, the god of their ancestors.
The British imperialist Cecil Rhodes (after whom Rhodesia was named) is buried here at his own request, but there has been some controversy over whether he will stay. The spiritual struggle between the resting place of Rhodes and the rights of the Mwari is a political tug of war.
Should it be the park, or the people, who have been squeezed out by farmlands and nature reserve? At present, the park survives, guarding its rhino from poachers and its rock art from the rain. The people survive outside its boundaries but do come in to cut thatch.