Best 5 Reasons To Visit Mashatu Game Reserve In Botswana
The best 5 reasons to visit Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana, Africa that you would not want to miss are; cable cars, explore”land of giants”, wildlife, experience a guided walk, history significance. Mashatu is a vast wilderness in the eastern region of Botswana, sharing a border with South-Africa and Zimbabwe national parks. Having amazing variety of wildlife, beautiful clear skies and peaceful bird chirping of different bird species.
Mashatu game reserve is custodian to some of the famous big five including herds of elephants, leopards, lions that are usually spotted in the surroundings. Filled with a variety of flora and fauna. The word Mashatu also known as” Nyala berry” meaning the famous mshatu tree in the southern subtropics of Africa occupied by Botswana, Malawi, Southafrica among others. These trees grow along the fringe of the rivers Limpopo and Shashe.
The game reserve gets its name from these trees. Wildlife is drawn to the trees that provide shade and food for them. Mashatu is one of the largest privately owned reserves in the southern Africa, covering 72,000 acres of privately owned land in this conserved wilderness area.
Mahsatu game reserve is also known as “The land of the giants”, poised with a vast area for safari activities for example, horseback riding, cycling. on top of the safari activities, you can also have other like birding, butterflying, site seeing. These different activities in Mashatu bring a whole new and wide experience to wildlife lovers that can also take scenic photographs and personal ones.
The 5 best reasons to visit Mashatu Game Reserve include;
Crossing river Limpopo by cable car in Mashatu game reserve
- The Limpopo river maneuvers around the borders of Botswana and South Africa and can be crossed by cable car at the drift point which links Northern Tuli game reserve and South Africa’s Mapungubwe national park. Safari lovers, water in the river Limpopo reduces or dries up on the river bed roughly in the months of June to November which makes it easier to drive across. This crossing enables you to visit both Mapungunbwe national park and Tuli game reserve which is amazingly breath taking making it one of the best 5 reasons to visit Mashatu Game Reserve.
2. Exploring the “land of the giants” in Mahsatu game reserve
- Mashatu game reserve is also known as, ” land of giants”, which is one of the best 5 reasons to visit Mashatu Game Reserve because of the size of the everything in this reserve for example; elands which are the worlds largest antelopes, big herds of elephants, the world’s largest flightless birds(ostriches) and big baobab and mshatu trees. Giving you a gigantic experience of fauna and flora.
3. Wildlife in Mashatu game reserve
- Mashatu game reserve is blessed with an abundance of wildlife species that are all unique in their own way and most importantly has 3 of the big five animals including abundance of elephants, lion prides and leopards. Other than those, Mashatu also has giraffes, hyena, and cheetahs and others occasionally seen. Viewing is throughout the year, but the best time is in the dry winter months from May to September, when the water is scarce so the animals have to look for the water near rivers.
Mashatu Game reserve is one of the rarest places where you can see both elephants and elephant shrews at the same time. Shrews are small mole-like mammals which belong to different families or orders e.g elephant shrews, otter shrews, tree shrews and so on.
Their long noses resembling elephant trunks have learnt to forage for crumbs at view points in Mashatu game reserve and if you want to see or capture them on camera, you should be fast or have a focusing camera because they are one of the fastest small mammals reaching 25kph. Spot rock and yellow-spotted dassies can also be seen near the elephants because of their close relation together. They are marmot-like creatures also known as hyraxes.
4. Guided walks in Mashatu game reserve
- Experienced guided walks is one of the best 5 reasons to visit Mashatu game reserve because it enables you to leave the safety of the car on foot and into the wild adventure beyond the road tracks of course with game rangers that tend to any inconveniences, this gives you a fresh experience in terms of engaging with the small details involved in Mashatu game reserve including the termite mound, different kinds of insects like butterflies, beetles, different species of dragon flies, playing mantis among others.
This also offers a healthy element in terms of exercising while enjoying the nature walk, this is advantageous because people tend to do more of walking hence exercise because of the curiosity of what they are to see next than when they are focused on exercising only.
5. History Significance of Mashatu game reserve
- Historical and cultural significance of Mashatu game reserve is also an eye catching one because its not only a vast area for flora and fauna but it has 1000 year old settlements scattered around the area. For example having the Motloutse ruins which is a stone village near 30m high basalt dyke known as Solomon’s wall. These two historical places represent the two great ancient civilizations that grew around the fringes of rivers Limpopo and Shashe at nearby Mapungubwe and Great Zimbabwe.
They have inspired the proposed Greater Mapungubwe Trans frontier Conservation Area, that will cover 6000sqkm of Botswana, Zimbabwe and Southafrica. Other amazing historical facts are the San (an ancient civilization that mostly lived in South Africa) left on rocks while rock painting, and Colonizer Cecil Rhodes desired to run his Cape-to-Cairo railway through the strategic border area.
Other than the best 5 reasons to visit Mashatu game reserve, there are very many other reasons to visit the reserve like;
Enjoying the year round scenery; Mashatu landscape made up of baobab- stubbed plains, riverine forests and open grasslands. Being located in the semi-desert zone, there is less difference between the dry season and wet season. The wet( green) season gets the upper hand because of its wild flowers blooming in the bushes.
Local communities; the local communities in Mashatu participate in basket weaving and making palm wine which they have perfected for guests to use in terms of buying the baskets and tasting the fine wine made that provides a fun and cultural experience.
When to visit Mashatu Game Reserve
Mashatu game reserve is open throughout the year but May to September is the best time to visit because it can impact safari prices and availability. This is highly contributed to because this is when the animals migrate from afar to drink from rivers in the semi-arid environment, leopards are easier to spot in the dry riverine bush also looking for food.
From may to September which the dry season; animals congregate near water, which makes them easier to find, not as hot in the middle of the day. From October to April which is the wet season; scenery is lush with skies bright, many baby animals around, elephants and elands attracted to new vegetation forming large herds and also migratory birds makes this the best time for birding. What makes the difference is what season you want to come but every season has as much as the other season has to offer.
How to get to Mashatu game reserve
There are two ways you can gain access to Mashatu game reserve and it is by road or air transport. By air transport, you can get to Mashatu via a charter plane to the Limpopo Valley Airfield near Mashatu Lodge. The Limpopo valley provides flights from Lanseria, Johannesburg, weekly flights are available and as well as scheduled flights to Polokwane airport in south Africa.
And by road, Mashatu is located on the eastern tip of Botswana, a 7 hour drive from capital Gaborone. In Johannesburg car hire is available with both self driven and chauffeur driven vehicles to get there. From south Africa, visitors can cross the border via Pont’s Drift where you live your car and a driver from the lodge will pick you up from this point. The border is strictly opened from 8am to 4pm.
Accommodation in Mashatu Game Reserve
Mashatu game reserve also has one of the best accommodation facilities situated in their camps that involved with the warm and welcoming hospitality of Africans. these are classified in the lodges, villas and camps.
These include Mashatu Euphorbia Villas, Mashatu Lodge or Tuli Safari lodge and the adventurous Mashatu Tent Camp. Lodges in Mashatu provide bar, restaurant, and accommodation. 14 luxury suites lie along the camp’s border, designed to allow absolute privacy and contact with the bush and its inhabitants because in Mashatu game reserve relaxation is is a key focus for the visitors. For more formal luxuries, guests can find all the requirements met at the Mashatu lodge with different kinds of rooms that favor both those and those without family at the trip or holiday. The air-conditioned suites include elegant black and white prints of Africa’s most pleasant animals keeping the nature vibe.
Lodges in Mashatu Game Reserve
This is for the wealthy people who are willing to have a luxurious stay at Mashatu game reserve. 14 luxury suites lie along the camp’s border, designed to allow absolute privacy and contact with the bush and its inhabitants because in Mashatu game reserve relaxation is is a key focus for the visitors. and some of them include;
– Ndou Safari Lodge; this is situated in the beautiful Soutpansberg 60km driving distance from Pont border entering Botswana consisting of the 3 farms in the All-days, Limpopo region of Southafrica. they provide double rooms with facilities like WiFi, swimming pool air conditioning, all inclusive and so on.
– Mashatu Lodge; this is situated in the Northern Tuli Game reserve near Zimbabwe, 29000 hectares in Mashatu Game Reserve overlooks Mali and Bojale rivers. Activities like swimming, free WiFi and air conditioning are all included in the wages here.
Villas in Mashatu Game Reserve
– Mahsatu Europhbia Villa consist of environmentally advanced solar and water systems which harmoniously blend with the natural surroundings, the 8 secluded villas exude an earthy glamour. They include WiFi, solar heated plunge pools, swimming pools.
Camps in Mashatu Game Reserve
– Serolo Safari Camp; This is located in the near the shady floodplain of the Limpopo river, with massive riverine trees including the fabulous apple-leaf trees. Here elephants, leopards, bush-backs can be seen drinking from the water hole just below the camp.
We at Kubwa Five Safaris took an in depth search about Mashatu Game Reserve in for those luxurious and fun lover out there and came up with the best 5 reasons to visit Mashatu Game Reserve. Kubwa Five Safaris is the company to turn to to have a fantastic and adventurous trip to Mashatu because just like Mashatu Game Reserve, Kubwa also prioritizes luxurious and adventurous trips.