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Cecil John Rhodes

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Cecil John Rhodes, business man, mining entrepreneur and a politician in Southern Africa – his legacy and memory still lives on.... Cecil John Rhodes will always be known as an aspiring leader. He was extremely fascinated by the beauty of Zimbabwe as well as the potential it held and saw Zimbabwe as a truly extraordinary region. Born in England, he relocated to a warmer Africa as his health improved in a drier climate of South Africa. Cecil John Rhodes lived to be 49 (5 July 1853 – 26 March 1902) and was buried in Zimbabwe on top of a magnificent mountain in the area now known as the Matopos National Park.

He may not have lived very long but he accomplished a lot of amazing achievements in his short life; he started the successful diamond company called ‘De Beers’, founded the state of Rhodesia(which was split into 2 areas and is now known as Zimbabwe and Zambia), was elected into the Cape Parliament in 1881, became the prime minister of the Cape in 1890 and founded an abundance of enterprises in Zimbabwe.

Nearing his death, Cecil John Rhodes requested that he would like to be buried on top of the flat mountain near his land (in Matopos National Park). He was unaware that this was sacred ground belonging to the Ndebele... The Ndebele referred to this mountain ‘Malindidzimu’ which means ‘dwelling place of the generous spirits’. They allowed Cecil John Rhodes to be buried on top of this Zimbabwean Mountain (a month after his death) but requested that instead of a gun salute they would pay their respect to him with a ‘Hayate’ (a respectful silence)… he was the only European to ever be given this tribute.

Cecil John Rhodes also wanted his burial site to be called “view of the world” as he thought it was the most magnificent site around; overlooking the matapos rocks, massive boulders and exquisite scenery.

In the Bulawayo museum there is a copy of his original will which hangs on the wall. Above this is a plaque that states that Rhodes was a perfect example of someone who, in a short lifetime, accomplished many works. The plaque also points to one goal that Cecil John Rhodes followed throughout his life, it reads: "to render myself useful to my country." Visiting the grave of Cecil John Rhodes is highly recommended; the calmness overwhelms you, the views are amazing and the grave site is spectacular.

Have a look at our Zimbabwe safaris below... There are also other Zimbabwe attractions below that you might want to visit on your Zimbabwe Safari.

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