Is it Matobo National Park or Matopos National Park?

You have heard about Matobo National Park. Or is it Matopos National Park?

We have shared so many pictures of this enchanting gallery of rocks and wildlife. In fact, we – and many others – have written several articles on it. We inform and remind you of all that awaits you when you visit the Park.

Maybe, you have been to the nature reserve. Maybe you have not. Maybe you wish to visit it soon or later. And, we hope you do.

The park is home to massive “whale backed” domes or “dwalas”. These awesome rocks are a result of years and years of erosion due to weather changes.

This erosion is a very gradual process and it is ongoing. Yes – mother nature is not done showing us her erosive power.

This weathering process will continue to act upon the incredible landscape.

Matobo National Park

Matobo National Park

Luckily for us, we can still continue to enjoy this amazingly unique Park in all its complexity.

After all –

We have several more millions of years before erosion finally reduces it to a flat and unflattering plain.

In the meantime – We carpe diem indeed!

Still, you may have also wondered – Is it Matobo or Matopos National Park?

Some folks call it Matobo National Park. Maybe you are on of them.  Others call it Matopos National Park.

Still, some use the two names interchangeably.

So – which is it? Gather around folks, it is time for a story.

Once upon a time…

Haha – just kidding. But, yes, we are travelling back into time now.

Where does the term, “Matobo” originate from?

It has been said that the Karanga people referred to the Matobo region as “madombo” meaning stones.

The distinct appearance of the rolling Matobo Hills was the reason behind the area’s name.

The founder and leader of the Ndebele nation, King Mzilikazi, is said to have named the balancing rocks “matobo”.

Matobo is a Ndebele term meaning “bald heads”.

Thus, the name of the area, Matobo, was born.

Matobo National Park

Matobo National Park

And how did the word, “Matopos” come about?

Again, history has it that White settlers are the ones who used this term.

They may have had trouble pronouncing the word, Matobo. Thus, they resorted to using Matopos instead of Matobo.

This word caught on so much that its increased usage led many to using the two words interchangeably.

So, which is it? Is it Matobo? Is it Matopos? Is it Matobo or Matopos?

The correct name is Matobo and not Matopos.

That means it’s Matobo Hills and not Matopos Hills.

It’s Matobo Hills Lodge and not Matopos Hills Lodge.

It’s Matobo National Park and not Matopos National Park.

While we are on the subject of Matobo, be sure to read our blog on all the fun facts about Matobo National Park.