Mashatu and Tuli

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Mashatu and Tuli

Activities and Highlights
Region Map


"In the far corner of Botswana, there lays a mystical place that pulses to an ancient rhythm which has been beating for well over 30000 years now. No other place in the whole of Botswana is as unique as this; rugged beauty is amplified by the striking shades of huge red-rock formations, dispersed between vast open grass plains, rolling hills, riverine bush and woodlands. Known as the Tuli Block, it is one of Botswana’s best kept secrets.

Mighty baobabs stand tall as guardians of an ancient time, watching over the Motloutse ruins, Mashatu ruins, Pitsani Koppie and many other historical sites which embody primordial Africa. These sites are filled with the air of mystical knowledge that dates back to civilisations from the Stone Age, and some believe that they are relics with spiritual importance.

Besides Tuli Block’s ancient history, the landscape is one of dramatic beauty and outstanding wildlife. Nestled in the north-eastern regions of Tuli Block, lays Mashatu Game Reserve. Known as the Land of Gants, Mashatu is amply names as it is home to both the world’s largest and its tallest land mammals, the largest antelope, as well as the largest bird and the world’s heaviest bird of flight too.

A haven to the largest population of elephants that roam on private land, these giants are said to reach up to 900 and are referred to as the Relic Herds of Shashe; a living testament to the ancient elephants who once populated the Limpopo Valley.

Mashatu Game Reserve swarms with birdlife and if you are lucky, you may get a chance to see the stunning multi-shaded blue feathers of the Lilac-Breasted Roller darting across the African sky.

Access Details

The Border Post between South Africa and Botswana at Pont Drift opens at 08h00 and closes at 16h00. Please note these Pont Drift Border Post hours are strictly enforced by the Botswana Government.

Mashatu Game Reserve is a 6 hour drive from Johannesburg (Toll fees are payable on the N1 to Polokwane - previously known as Pietersburg).

Mashatu Game Reserve is a 7 hour drive from Gaborone

Direct charter flights are available in to the Limpopo Valley Airfield in chartered, pressurised aircraft. The costs are dependent on the number of guests, type of aircraft requested and flying distance.

A private charter has many advantages - flight times are arranged to suit guests' requirements, check-in and luggage handling is quicker and more efficient, guests have a choice of airports in and around Johannesburg or South Africa and it is convenient for guests whose itinerary may require a transfer to a destination where direct scheduled flights are not available.

On arrival guests will be met by representatives from the camps.

Suggested Stay Details

We suggest a stay of between 3 to 5 nights to fully appreciate the cultural, historic and natural beauty that Tuli Block has to offer its visitors.

Type of Experience

Wonderful feeling of remoteness and wilderness.


Moshatu Game Reserve is easily accessible. Accommodation includes luxurious, spacious and lavish safari lodges, as well as safari tented camps.


Tuli Block consists of striking rock formations, areas of savannah, riverine forests, vast plains and rocky outcrops.


"The history of Tuli Block, previously known as the Tuli Enclave, dates back as far as the early Stone Age, when hunter-gatherers took shelter in the rocky outcrops and sandstone caves. With the arrival of the pastoralists in the 11th century, the Iron Age was well on its way causing a disruption in the traditional lifestyles of the original inhabitants. It is worth mentioning that South Africa’s first kingdom, which emerged in 1220 AD, was discovered around the areas adjacent to the reserve and is known as Mapungubwe, a Wold Heritage Site. It is believed that Mmamagwa was the site of the ancient dynasty’s cities.

In the 1800’s, the history of Tuli Block is synonymous with names such as Mmzilikazi and Lobengula, Cicil John Rhodes, Khama the Great, President Paul Kruger and of course battles and wars. Although a dense area of African bush and inhospitable land, Tuli was in demand causing many disputes, and like much of Africa, the area was exploited by ruthless hunters.

All that is a thing of the past, and today, Tuli Black and Mashatu Game Reserve stands testament to the passionate efforts to preserve African wildlife and its natural beauty.

Activities & Highlights

"Discover the Tuli elephants, explore baobab forests, climb impressive granite outcrops, horse-back safaris, mountain biking safaris, cultural tours, travellers can get involved with some research projects, eco training, children's programs at Mashatu, listen to nature's orchestra where specialised microphones are used to pick up and enhance animal, bird and insect sounds.

Experience primordial Africa and visit the national monument of Mapungubwe. Rich in archaeological heritage, this site uncovered mysterious artefacts, and with a knowledgeable guide, you’ll hear tall tales of times gone buy. The monument has some of the world’s oldest rock art which date as far back as 1050AD.

Visit the African village of Motlabaneng or Lentswe-le-Moriti. Explore the confines and see how the locals live in traditional houses, learn their customs and maybe even sample traditional Setswana food.

Season Travel Details

Tuli Block has an arid-desert climate, consisting of two main seasons. The rainy season ranges between September through to May with hot days.

Winter months are typically between June and August when the dry season is at its peaks. During this time, expect pleasantly warm days with very cold nights.

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