Mashatu Game Reserve is located in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve of Botswana and comprises 29,000 hectares (72000 acres) of privately owned land. It is situated between the Tuli Safari Area, a national park in Zimbabwe and the Mapungubwe National Park, a World Heritage Site in South Africa. Mashatu shares unfenced borders with both the South African and Zimbabwean national parks in the south and north respectively. This vast area forms part of a cross boundary wildlife conservation area protecting the substantial biodiversity of fauna and flora in this region.
Mashatu, “Land of the Giants”, takes its name from the locally sacrosanct Mashatu or Nyala berry tree (Xanthrocercis zambesiaca) and the giants that roam its terrain. These magnificent dark green trees, which are found along the rivers in the reserve, provide refuge, shade and food to a myriad wildlife. Mashatu, which is one of the largest privately owned game reserves in southern Africa, avails a sanctuary to the largest herds of elephant on privately owned land on the continent. In addition to that, the world’s tallest mammal, the giraffe, the world’s largest antelope, the eland, the world’s largest bird, the ostrich, and the world’s heaviest flying bird, the kori bustard are all part of the game drive experience on Mashatu. Add the king of the beasts, the lion and the iconic baobab tree…and you have Africa’s big seven land based giants.
Mashatu, being privately owned land, makes driving possible in uncovered vehicles to optimise intimate wildlife viewing. Qualified professional guides are permitted to take guests off-road responsibly, for unhindered sightings of animals, as well as to conduct exciting night drives. Mashatu is known for some of the finest predator and elephant viewing in southern Africa, with daily sightings of lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, This exceptionally diverse landscape includes wide open plains, grassland, riverine forests, rocky hills, marshland and majestic sandstone ridges. Photographic hides add an aspect to the adventure safari, which is unique and thrilling to professional photographers or lovers of wildlife. These added adventures are guaranteed to bring visitors into intimate contact with the remarkable wilderness found at Mashatu.
Mashatu Game Reserve Activities
Cycling: Making use of game trails, elephant paths and some free riding, professional mountain bike guides will lead the cyclists through the ever-changing landscapes, while viewing an array of interesting plants and animals. The
terrain over which guests cycle is relatively flat and caters for everyone from a novice to experienced mountain bikers.
Photographic Safaris: PhotoMashatu is professionally run by a concessionaire on Mashatu and offers guests sessions with a qualified, resident wildlife photographer. These sessions take place in an underground photographic hide. The Matebole elephant hide was built using two large shipping containers, adapted for comfort, which have been sunk into the earth to give ground level views across a waterhole. The hide has become world famous for award-winning photographs, built to maximise the photographic potential of the animals that visit the waterhole in the dry season.
Walking Safaris: Walk Mashatu offers the wilderness lover, the bird watcher, the keen botanist, the intrepid hiker and the nature lover, the most personal experience: walking in the Land of Giants, with a highly experienced guide. Distances covered depend on the guest ability and preference. Guests can opt to walk from the Mashatu Lodge or Tent Camp as a day activity, or walk from camp to camp.
Limpopo Horse Safaris: Limpopo Horse Safaris takes pride in its reputation of having the most finely schooled horses for safaris in a wildlife area. There is nothing more exhilarating than cantering on horseback alongside herds of antelope or zebra, over the wild open plains of Mashatu, kicking dust up under the setting sun.
Only skilled and regular horse riders should consider riding at Mashatu. In the interest of safety only competent riders, who are able to control a horse at all paces, are permitted to partake in this adventure
Mashatu Game Reserve Accommodation
Mashatu Lodge: Mashatu Lodge is an oasis among the undulating and seemingly endless plains of the wild. Burning torches at the camp’s entrance lure safari-goers home where they experience the embodiment of sublime hospitality. 14 luxury suites lie along the camp’s perimeter and are designed to allow absolute privacy and a communion with the bush and its inhabitants.
The Mashatu Tent Camp is almost one with the environment; blink and you might miss it! This tented camp is the leisure choice for the guest who seeks the ultimate one-on-one bush experience and who prefers a more intimate environment (and no children under the age of 12).
Mashatu Euphorbia Villas: This new, flagship 5* camp accommodates 16 guests in 8 villas, high up on the edge of a cliff, with unimaginable vistas across the Mashatu plains. It is an African paradise offering heated, private plunge pools, only 4 guests per vehicle and is run completely off solar energy. This elegant hideaway is sure to leave a lasting impression.
How to get to Mashatu
- Scheduled charter flights between both Johannesburg and Maun, which fly into Limpopo Valley International Airfield situated on Mashatu.
- Daily scheduled flights from Johannesburg into Polokwane followed by a very easy two-hour road transfer.
- A 5 ½ hour road transfer or self-drive from Johannesburg
- Flights to Bulawayo on packages which combine with the Matopos and Hwange