Botswana is often referred to as the safari capital of Southern Africa, and boasts an array of internationally known National Parks and Game Reserves. The Okavango, Moremi or Chobe are classic wildlife hotspots on any reputable safari itinerary, and rightly so. However, African Travel Gateway would like to introduce you to a unique and refreshing lesser known region, with a Botswana-esque safari flavour firmly intact … the Mashatu Game Reserve within the Tuli Block.
Located in the extreme south east of the country, the Tuli is way off the beaten track, and as a result, mostly overlooked by the majority of safari travellers. The easiest access is by road from South Africa, a convenient 5 hour drive from Johannesburg. There are lots of surprises here. For starters, the friendly and hospitable customs officers at the Pont Drift border post greet their visitors upon arrival off a charming cable car ferry across the Limpopo River. A memorable arrival indeed!
One’s first impressions of Mashatu are varied: from wide open spaces to majestic sandstone ridges (among the oldest on earth) imposing on the spectacular landscapes. Wild-land cut by dramatic dry riverbeds, intimating a once wetter forgotten time. Superb elephant encounters come standard. Great game viewing may be highlighted by rare mammal specials such as Brown hyena and Selous mongoose. A must for the wildlife connoisseur. Furthermore, a fantastic choice of accommodation options, a vibrant cultural history, and an exceptional understated quality imbibe a unique sense of place.
In short, Mashatu has the X-factor!
But it’s the dramatically broken landscapes that epitomise this under-rated destination. It’s atop a Mashatu look-out where the magic comes alive. The endless sea of bush, adorned by herds of eland, impala, zebra and elephant - and that precious commodity of empty space - stretches to all corners of the horizon. A refreshing outlook (in both senses of the word) within the relentless Kalahari flatlands that define Botswana.
Please view our suggested African Safaris for 10 Southern & East African countries, or read further articles on African Safaris & Conservation