Little Known Natural Wonders
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Little Known Natural Wonders

A brief look at one of nature's phenomena near Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, Cecil Rhodes grave and worldÂ’s view.

The Balancing Rocks at Matopos

Thirty two kilometres south of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, in the Matopos Hills, lies a place called “World’s View”. There are many instances of huge piles of balancing rocks here, and many look as if they were piled up by humans, rather than by nature. There are different sizes of boulders, with the average one probably around the size of a small car. Many are rounded, (caused by erosion) and many of the piles are four or five layers of rocks stacked up, but the one thing they all have in common is that they all look like they would blow over at the first whiff of wind.

They must be better balanced than they look, as they have stood the test of time and the elements for many thousands of years.

These rock formations, perched on the top of the “Kopjes”, (the local word for hill - pronounced “copy”), are caused by erosion, weather and time. The stone is granite, which was once molten magma and the fractures occurred as it cooled and solidified. Erosion then exposed these rocks by wearing away the surrounding earth. This left them open to rain, which in turn ran down the rocks, finding a natural path through the cracks, turning them into gullies, through which more water ran and so on, until separation occurred.

It is interesting to note that these rocks feature on the paper money issued by this country.

Archaeologists have discovered relics in this area that date back as far as 50,000 to 100,000 years ago, and as these hills contain many caves this would have made a good place for the bushmen, hunter gathers, to live. Whoever lived here left a lot of rock paintings, so a trip here will provide all sorts of excitement - a spectacular view, the rocks and rock paintings.

Cecil Rhodes, according to his wishes, is buried here, with the simple inscription “Here lies the remains of Cecil John Rhodes”.

Mr. Rhodes founded the diamond company De Beers which used to deal with over 90% of the world’s diamonds, but now this is reduced to 40%. Despite this claim to fame, he is best known for founding the state which later bore his name – Rhodesia – until it was taken over and re-named Zimbabwe.

Cecil Rhodes was thought to be the richest man in the world at his death and as such could have chosen any resting place. The beauty of the view from here, which he called a “view of the world”, (you can see to the horizon), is the one he wanted to share forever. He lies in a space between two large boulders with stunning views over the countryside and the horizon.

Near this spectacle is also the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, Hwange National Park and further on Victoria Falls is not to be missed .

photo courtesy of Google images and  Wikimedia Commons

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Comments (5)

Interesting, informative and well written presentation..thanks

Ranked #6 in Africa

Interesting story about these rocks and their creation.

Interesting write and enjoyable read.

Very interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

Liked and voted up!