The attractions of eastern Botswana are today, one of its best-kept secrets. In the past however, it was populated by a civilisation that we know very little about. Some of the ruins at Mashatu pre date the nearby mysterious Great Zimbabwe ruins, and there is a permanent on-site archaeologist to enlighten you as to its ancient inhabitants.
The Tuli block became its awkward long narrow shape when it was given to Cecil John Rhodes in the late 1800’s to build a railway line. There were far too many small rivers to cross, so the line was eventually constructed further west.
There are few fences in the entire Tuli area which permits unrestricted travel for animals along a large section of the Limpopo River. As a result most game farms and private lodges see migrant populations of impala, wildebeest, kudu and zebra as well as resident bushbuck, waterbuck, warthog and hippo. Nearer the Motloutse River you can add hyaena, elephant, lion, leopard and cheetah to the list.
Mashatu boasts the single largest population of elephants on privately owned land (in excess of 700), and you are almost guaranteed to see lion and leopard while staying there plus a zebra, giraffe, eland, impala, steenbok and cheetah.
During night drives you are likely to encounter the strange-looking springhare, which resemble small kangaroos as they hop around in the headlights. Genet, lynx, leopard, porcupine, aardwolf and aardvark are all shy nocturnal animals that might be seen.
There are a wonderful variety of birds here, some who soar and others who prefer to keep their feet on the ground. Circling in the thermals you will see lappetfaced vultures, majestic black eagles and martial eagles, while darting to catch insects are brilliantly coloured bee-eaters, kingfishers and rollers,. On the ground are ostriches, huge kori bustards, saddle-billed storks and the rather peculiar-looking ground hornbill. Other birds to watch out for are giant eagle owls and Meyer’s parrots.
Rainy Season: Rain falls any time between September through to May and the area turns green and many of the antelopes give birth. Mid-summer months are December, January and February.
Dry Season: The land is arid and dry during the Winter months of June – August. There are few insects around and although it is cooler, it is still very pleasantly warm during the daytime with cold nights.