Shashani Matobo Hills
Shashani | Matobo Hills, Zimbabwe | GPS (Google Maps) -20.4916569, 28.1864676
Shashani Matobo Hills is situated on a private game reserve, only a short drive away from Plumtree and approximately an hour’s drive from Bulawayo on the border of Matobo National Park.
Shashani Matobo Hills has 10 individual en-suite lodges, which are comfortably furnished and have private verandas. Each lodge is spaced widely on the edge of a huge rock dome with views over a wooded valley and the characteristic granite dwalas.
The main building has a comfortable lounge and bar with adjoining dining room, all open-fronted towards the breathtaking view, and a large fireplace takes the chill out of winter evenings. The swimming pool is ideally placed to gather the sun’s warmth and to offer beautiful views over the surrounding landscape whilst relaxing.
Less than an hour’s drive through beautiful landscape, you can visit the iconic giraffe paintings at Nswatugi Cave or Worlds View and Cecil John Rhodes’ Grave.
Number of Rooms
10 individually-placed en-suite lodges.
Swimming pool, lounge, bar, dining room and fire pit area.
Bush walks, visit rock paintings and grain-bin sites on the property, game-watching activities, visit the attractions of Matobo National Park.
Local Zimbabwean Cuisine
A common local dish to try is ‘sadza ne nyama’ which is a stiff maize porridge with a meat gravy (commonly a tomato chicken or beef) and spinach type relish. Rice, pasta, and potato-based foods (french fries and mashed potato) also make up part of Zimbabwean cuisine. A local favourite is rice cooked with peanut butter, which is eaten with a thick gravy, mixed vegetables and meat. One can also find local snacks, such as maputi (roasted/popped maize kernels similar to popcorn), roasted and salted peanuts, sugar cane and sweet potato.
Most camps are situated in remote areas, so some generate their power with Generators and others solar units charge batteries located at each tented room to provide lighting. In major cities electrical appliances run on 220/240V AC accessible via 14-amp, British type 3 square-pinned plugs. It is advisable to bring your own universal adapters as well as appropriate phone and other appliance adapters.
English is the official language of Zimbabwe and most Zimbabweans are fairly fluent. More than two thirds of the population speaks Shona as their first Language. About one in five Zimbabweans speak Northern Ndebele.
Daytime temperatures can range from 25°C to the high 30s, even 40s in low-lying areas. Night-time temperatures can drop to 15-20°C. Winter is between May and August, which brings slightly lower average daytime temperatures, with little if any rain. Night-time temperatures can drop below freezing, especially in the west of the country, something the traveller should remember! Before the onset of the rains, during September and October, hot, dry daytime conditions dominate.
Summer rains dominate the seasons, usually lasting from November through to April, and bring relief after months of drought. Rainfall frequently occurs in brief but heavy afternoon downpours and dramatic thunderstorms.
What To Pack
When thinking of the amount of clothing you will require please bear the following in mind:
- Basic toiletries (e.g. soaps, shampoos, conditioners, etc) will be provided in all the safari camps that you will be visiting. As you are on safari mainly casual clothing is required.
- Please note that whites and bright colours are NOT advised whilst on safari. Neutral shades like browns, khakis and greens are best.
- A warm fleece/jacket for early morning or evening game drives. It can become very chilly in the early mornings and evenings even in the summer. In mid winter months a beanie and pair of gloves are useful.
- Wide brimmed sun hat.
- Camera with battery charger, extra batteries, adequate memory cards and a good dustproof and waterproof camera bag.
- Binoculars (some lodges provide these to borrow).
- A good pair of sunglasses (preferably polarized). If you wear prescription glasses it’s recommended to bring a spare pair. If you wear contact lenses, it is recommended that you bring a pair of spectacles in case you get irritation from the dust.
- Basic first aid kit that contains band aids, pain killers, Neosporin, antihistamine cream / tablets and diarrhoea medication.
- Personal toiletries, sunscreen and insect repellent.
- A universal plug adapter to fit a standard UK 3 pin square plug socket.
Cameras and Video
Be careful when photographing public buildings or sensitive sites like military installations or the airport (this is strictly prohibited). Always ask permission if you want to photograph a building where there are guards on duty. Please be sensitive when photographing or videoing local people and their villages. Always ask the guide first. The best times for photography are the last few hours before sunset and the first few after sunrise and polarizing filters can help reduce haze and glare during the day.
Prior to travel, please check with your doctor what may be required.