Northern Tuli & Mashatu Game Reserve
Far off Botswana’s (lightly) beaten track, and often accessed via South Africa, Tuli offers stunning scenery and wildlife near Kipling’s ‘great grey-green greasy Limpopo’, with incredible photographic opportunities from world-renowned hides, and exciting activities.
The photography hides here are a dream for any photographer or anyone who wants to get close to the wildlife. Amazing!
In a far eastern corner of Botswana is a narrow tranch of land known as the Tuli Block bordering a sliver of Zimbabwe and a much longer stretch of South Africa. In the north-eastern sector of this block is the Northern Tuli Game Reserve (incorporating Mashatu Game Reserve) - 72,000 hectares of privately-owned land which is conserved for the protection of its ecology, flora and fauna, and history mostly by means of wildlife tourism.
Thanks to the Limpopo River, this land retains water all year round so it’s a true haven for its wildlife. The landscape is a mixture of rocky hills and sandstone ridges, riverine bush and savannah grasslands. Tuli’s treescape is impressive, with its many mopane forests complemented by huge leadwoods, knob thorns, purple pod terminalias and apple-leaf trees.
- Wildlife of Tuli: 350 bird species and 48 mammal species make this area their home: elephants, zebras, impalas, wildebeest, warthogs, giraffes . . . plus all the major predators. You also stand a good chance of seeing eland here (the largest antelope), and there are some unusual species such as the aardwolf, porcupines, bat-eared fox, and honey badger which can also be seen here.
One special aspect of staying in Mashatu Game Reserve is their brilliant photographic hides. There has been many an award-winning shot taken from these hides. (Note: they are closed from December to February).
- Activities in Tuli: This is a superb place to get a bit more active on your safari. Go horse riding, mountain biking, walking, get photography tuition, and you can also visit ancient archaeological ruins.
- Places to stay in Tuli: In Mashatu, there is Mashatu Main Lodge of the tented camp – both are excellent. And Tuli Safari Lodge is also an excellent choice.
- When to go: Tuli’s main rainfall arrives between November and March, mostly in the form of late afternoon downpours. We don’t think the rain should stop you – and you can get green season deals from November to April (not inc late December). Hides are closed all December to February.