Explore a diversity of landscapes and unique habitats in the Kalahari fringelands of Eastern Botswana.
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Mashatu is a 31,000-hectare privately owned game reserve that lies within the Northern Tuli Game Reserve in the southeastern corner of Botswana. The name Mashatu refers to the endemic nyala berry trees, groves of which are found winding along the banks of the Majale and Limpopo rivers. Mashatu Game Reserve has diverse vegetation and landscapes, from undulating mopane veld and wide-open plains to riverine thickets and craggy sandstone hills.
The reserve is known for some of the best predator viewing in Botswana, with near daily sightings of lion, leopard and cheetah, as well as hyena, black-backed jackal and the African wildcat. It’s one of the few places where there’s a chance to see the rare brown hyena. There’s a full range of plains game, including giraffe, eland, zebra, the largest herds of elephant on private land in Africa, and about 350 different species of birds including the kori bustard.
Mashatu Game Reserve is known as the "Land of the Giants" as in addition to the fine Nyala trees, it is home to the African elephant, lion, giraffe, baobab tree, eland, ostrich and the kori bustard. But it's also a good venue to see little things on foot: to witness the intricacies of the wild animals of Africa, to learn about the hidden secrets of nature, to find the smaller creatures hidden in their bush homes and to see how the eco-system involves the inter-relatedness of species.
There is a good selection of luxury accommodation options in Mashatu, and all offer guided dawn walks as an alternative to a morning or afternoon game drive.
Tuli Safari Lodge is one of the longest established lodges in Botswana. Set in beautiful grounds, the large tent and stone units are fan cooled. It is close to the Limpopo river, and there is good walking direct from camp in an area of eroded sandstone koppies and baobab and shepherd's trees.
Mashatu Lodge is in the heart of the reserve overlooking a waterhole. The airconditioned rooms have bush views, and warthogs and bushbuck roam in the camp. For a more rustic experience, the Tented Camp is the best option. As at main camp, there is a swimming pool, but the tent accommodation and outdoor showers feel closer to nature. A hide at the waterhole provides close up views on visiting wildlife.
The newest accommodation option is at Mashatu Euphorbia Villas. Blending amidst euphorbia trees on a hilltop, it has a truly spectacular and unique modern design, and each villa has its own plunge pool.
Mashatu Game Reserve is accessed via Limpopo Valley International Airport. Self-drive visitors can reach the reserve via the quiet Pont Drift border crossing, about six hours drive from Gauteng. Vehicles can be securely parked at the airfield parking for rendezvous with Mashatu guides and game viewing vehicles.
Walks are tuned to the conditions and guest wishes, and are usually around 3 hours in duration. They provide the perfect opportunity to get some exercise, while focusing on the smaller, and often most fascinating, creatures of Mashatu. Although many opportunities arise to view big game, the focus is on the little, often overlooked aspects of the bush - tracks, plants, insects, etc.
Conservation levy of $10.00 per person per night
All meals, snacks, teas, coffees and one complimentary sundowner drink per afternoon game drive
A guided game walk and game drive or two guided game drives per night’s stay
Transfers between Mashatu Lodge and the Limpopo Valley Airfield, Pont Drift Border Post or Mathathane Village
All beverages Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic
- Extra walks are $65 pp