Mashatu, Tuli Block

The Land of Giants, a hidden gem in Eastern Botswana

Little known Mashatu, in the Tuli enclave of Eastern Botswana, offers some of the finest year round game viewing in the region. Staggering scenery, abundant game, impressive predator numbers and a fantastic range of unique safari activities- Mashatu is fast attracting the attention it deserves. With direct flights between the Okavango, Joburg and Kruger, it has never been easier to visit this enchanting remote corner of Botswana.

Mashatu, known as The Land of Giants, is aptly named for the many titanic features and creatures to be found in the Reserve. The name actually comes from the glorious and prolific Nyala Berry trees which line the Limpopo River’s edge.  In spite of its magnificence, this destination is largely unknown – a secret Eden appealing to those looking for a unique and remote safari experience in luxury.  Abundant wildlife and birdlife afford incredible sightings for the nature enthusiast, whilst intriguing cultural and historical sites will excite and inspire the explorer.  The Reserve is fantastically interesting for families, with a huge assortment of experience and activities offered.

Located within the Northern Tuli Reserve, Mashatu is an astounding 29,000 hectares in size.  This area is also known as The Tuli Enclave due to the eastern point protruding outwards between Zimbabwe territory to the north and South African soil to the south.  Just as Chobe sits on the confluence of countries and rivers, so does Tuli.  The Shashe and Limpopo rivers converge here with the Limpopo flowing eastwards, eventually reaching the Indian Ocean.

Importantly for wildlife and conservation, Mashatu and the Northern Tuli Reserve is part of an impressive transfrontier initiative, which allows for the free and natural movement of animals between the three adjoining countries.

Home to imposing rocky outcrops, Africa’s largest private reserve Elephant population, plentiful groves of the fantastical Baobab as well as the World’s largest antelope – the Eland – the World’s largest bird – the Ostrich – the World’s tallest mammal – the Giraffe and Africa’s heaviest flying bird – the Kori Bustard, which also earns the distinction of being Botswana’s national bird.  Add to that: Africa’s “King of the Jungle” – the Lion, the World’s fastest land mammal – the Cheetah as well as one of Africa’s rarest predators: the African Wild Dog.  Lovers of Leopard will not be disappointed with regular sightings of these sleek and beautiful cats resident here.  Birding enthusiasts will find paradise in the huge varietal and numbers of different species– particularly during the summer migratory months of November-April – with over 350 species in residence.  However, Mashatu delights all year round, every season enjoying distinct differences and specialities.

Mashatu’s great uniqueness stems from its incredible biodiversity, varied terrain, rich vegetation and ecosystems which provide habitats for a particularly wide-ranging and dynamic wildlife populace.  It is also the only wildlife Reserve in Botswana where numerous significant archaeological and paleontological remains may be found.

Steeped in history and culture, discover prehistoric relics including dinosaur footprints estimated to be up to 100 million years old, be over-awed by arresting geological formations including dolerite dykes and Solomon’s Wall.  Visit the unexcavated, yet captivating, sandstone ridges of the Mmamagwa Ruins.  Legend has it that they are likely to be the burial place of olden-day treasure, whilst fascinating ancient rock art and engravings depict the times of primitive communities.

More recent historical developments will be revealed during your stay.  The Tuli region was a hot spot for the influence of European missionaries, the impact of Cecil Rhodes leading to the protection of Botswana by the Victorian Empire.

There is undoubtedly more to Mashatu than meets the eye!

Mashatu has various accommodation option,  with three very distinct and different options to suit different tastes and ideals.  From the contemporary to the classic, they all offer fully inclusive experiences with delicious meals, lovely wines and a high level of service.

Access to the Reserve has improved in recent years, a direct flight between Maun and Mashatu now runs three times a week, along with a direct flight between Joburg and Mashatu. Another flight links Mala Mala Reserve in Kruger making a fantastic combination. There is a small airstrip in the Reserve complete with immigration and customs facilities, so guests can easily fly in from South Africa and do all formalities on site without the hassles and queues found in larger airports.

By road, most visitors come in via South Africa’s Pont Drift border.  This is a short 2 hour journey to the Reserve.

Activities –Mashatu Private Reserve offers a great spectrum of activities, both from the Reserve’s 3 luxury lodges, as well as with specialist partners operating in the area.

  • Popular morning and afternoon game drives feature strongly, with the informative and friendly guiding of rangers who have intimate knowledge of the animals, flora, birdlife and cultural sites. Sensitive, quiet communication between vehicles ensure that all guests enjoy a superb safari experience, as guides and trackers network to find the exciting and sometimes, more elusive, animals to be found here.
  • Professional photography coaching and tips are on hand for those wanting to improve their skills and capture those special moments
  • Photographic hides ideal for observing animals as they interact in their natural environment, without any knowledge of an audience
  • Horseback riding for experienced and adventurous riders is available. For passionate riders looking to fully immerse in the incredible riding here, week-long safaris on horseback are recommended
  • Unique “Room of Discovery” museum offers an opportunity for visitors of every age to engage in the Reserve’s incredible historical, cultural and geological background. Bones, artefacts, rock and relics create an interesting and inspiring insight into millennia gone by.  Special programs for children encourage stimulating and fun assemblies
  • Trail-cycling activities in the variable terrain are a unique way to explore this “big country”
  • Walking safaris and trails in the wilderness ensure “up close and personal” sightings of Africa’s iconic creatures

Accommodation in this Area

From $635 per person

Mashatu Tented Camp

In the eastern corner of Botswana, Mashatu Private Reserve offers superb year round game viewing. Mashatu Tented Camp offers a down to earth authentic safari experience in an exclusive reserve with a fantastic range of safari experiences. Game drives day and night are the mainstay, while walking, horse riding, cycling and visits to the photographic hide complement the experience. Mashatu Tented Camp is an affordable camp delivering great game viewing and is a hidden gem.

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From $830 per person

Mashatu Lodge

Mashatu Lodge offers a luxurious safari experience and a fantastic range of safari experiences. This beautiful lodge is popular with couples and families alike and the range of activities ensures there is something for everyone, from slow safaris in the photo hide to adrenaline pumping horse riding and cycling safaris. Mashatu Private Reserve lies in the wild and remote environs of eastern Botswana and boasts some of the region’s finest and year round game viewing.

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From $1,000 per person

Mashatu Euphorbia Villas

Mashatu Euphorbia Villas is a new five star luxury lodge in the spectacular Mashatu Game Reserve, in the far east of Botswana. This little known area offers some of the best year round game viewing in Botswana as well as an wonderful arrange of safari activities. As well as day and night drives guests can enjoy horse riding, cycling, walking and the photo hides. This stunning new lodge will surely put Mashatu on the map.

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