Big Cave Camp
Matopos Hills, Matopos Hills and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
At a Glance
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
From mid May through to early August the days are warm and clear but the night time temperatures can drop below freezing. September through to May is generally hot in the day and warm at night, The Matopas sees rain from late November to April.
The best time for game viewing is from August to early November, water is scarce, the bush has died back and game congregates around the pumped waterholes. Birdlife is prolific during the rainy season, and although the game has dispersed due to readily available surface water, this is still a great time to experience The Matopas Hills as the area hums with life.
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Big Cave Camp is set atop one of the great granite kopjes of the Matobo National Park. This is a luxurious thatched lodge in an iconic location with dramatic views over the surrounding World Heritage Site.
The Matopos Hills is dominated by a landscape of massive granite boulders, shaped and smoothed over billions of years. Covering 3000 square kilometers of Western Zimbabwe, this area is one of the most important historical sites in Southern Africa. Bushman rock art, dating back 1000s of years, combines with more recent Matabele and colonial history to create an incredibly atmospheric context to this dramatic landscape.
The kopje Malindidsimu, the 'place of spirits', renamed by Rhodes as 'The View of the World', and know more commonly today as 'World's View', is an area of particular spiritual significance. To this day the area continues to be viewed in spiritual superstition by local communities. Rhodes himself is buried on Malindidsimu, as are a number of other white settlers, close to the graves are the monuments to the men who died during the hard fought battles of the Matabele Wars in the late 19th century.
Big Cave is set in the heart of the Matopos, the seven cottages ingeniously incorporate the surrounding geological features. This 'Lodge on the Rocks' is an intimate retreat ideally positioned to explore this ancient and magnificent environment.
The seven thatched A-frame cottages are built in amongst huge granite boulders. The cottages are built with thatched roofs, keeping them cool in summer and warm in winter. Each has an en-suite bathroom and a private balcony. There is a honeymoon suite and family rooms for those with small children.
Children of all ages are welcomed at Big Cave Camp.
The main living area is set against a beautiful backdrop of granite boulders, cleverly incorporated into the design of the lodge. The Leopard’s Lair has a bar, lounge and communal dining area, and there is a cosy library for those wishing to spend a quiet moment learning more about the history of the area or catch up on some reading.
Outside is a natural rock pool for cooling off, and the pool boma, a refuge from the midday sun where ice cold drinks are served throughout the day. In the evenings guests sit around a traditional camp fire and share stories of the day’s activities.
There are a wealth of diverse activities on offer at Big Cave. Game viewing is available from the lodge and in the Whovi Game Park. The Whovi is a specially protected area for both white and black rhino, one of the last significant populations in the country. Opportunities to track, view and photograph these magnificent animals, on foot and by vehicle are not to be missed. The park is also home to a wealth of plains game, guests can also experience some great leopard sightings as the cats stretch out on the boulders to enjoy the warmth of the sun.
The Matopos boast one of the highest concentrations of birds of prey anywhere in the world, Big Cave offers some truly unique opportunities for the bird watching fanatics.
The area is fantastic mountain biking territory, cyclists can ride through the national park and throughout Big Cave property.
The Matobo Hills also has one of the highest concentrations of bushman rock art in the world. These famous rock art galleries can be visited on foot or by 4x4. An amazing glimpse into an ancient culture.
Explore the Matopos Hills
The rocky landscape of the Matopos is a mysterious place. Rich in spiritual significance for the Ndebele people, and boasting over 2000 San rock art sites. Learn about the myths and legends of one of Africa's most significant cultural areas.
The Matopos National Park is one of the best places in Southern Africa to track rhino on foot. WIth the knowledge and experience of your professional safari guide, get up close to this critically endangered species.
View of the World
Visit the tomb of Cecil John Rhodes, the View of the World. Known as the dwelling place of spirits for the fallen British and Matabele soldiers who gather here at sunset. The views are utterly spectacular and the location charged with energy.
Zimbabwe is one of the best places in Africa to experience walking in the bush. The guides are of the highest quality, the game is fantastic and the different environments, throughout the country, are well suited for exploring on foot.
Location & directions
Matopos Hills, Matopos Hills and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
The Bulawayo airport is approximately 65km from Big Cave Camp and airport transfers can be arranged.
How to get there
International flight to Johannesburg from the UK followed by a short flight to Bulawayo and a drive to Big Cave Camp. Driving: Harare (6 hours), Hwange National Park (4 hours) and Victoria Falls (6 hours)