Botswana
 
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Book with peace of mind with Africa A-Z - PROVIDING EXCEPTIONAL AFRICAN SAFARIS AND TOURS SINCE 2004 (Free, no-obligation quotes)  
WE HAVE BEEN DESIGNING TOURS FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS SO CAN OFFER EXPERT KNOWLEDGE ON SAFARIS IN AFRICA.
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Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana is the largest private game reserve in Southern Africa, occupying the area between the Shashe and Limpopo rivers south of the Tuli Circle.

 
Mashatu Game Reserve - elephantsMashatu covers 29,000ha (72000 acres) of savannah plains, riverine forests, open marshland and rugged outcrops of sandstone and is situated in the centre of the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area.

The name comes from the Mashatu or Nyala trees - round-topped leafy giants which cover the huge open spaces of this wilderness. This beautiful sanctuary is home to seven of Africa's giant phenomena - the Limpopo River, the African Elephant, the baobab tree, the eland, the ostrich, the kori bustard and the endless African sky.

The elephants of Mashatu are known as the relic herds of Shashe, which once roamed the Limpopo Valley in vast numbers. The elephants became extinct locally for about 60 years, but after 1947 they started slowly returning to the Tuli Block.

Today, visitors may drive into the midst of these mighty herds and marvel at how their numbers have been restored by conservationist Mike Rattray and his exceptional field officers. Elephants are not all you'll see on the game drives. A ranger and tracker at the helm in open four-wheel-drive safari vehicle, linked by two-way radios, will follow the spoor of lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, spotted hyenas, bat eared foxes, aardwolves, cheetahs, kudu, Burchell's zebras, bushbuck and baboons. Spotlight-assisted night drive safaris may reveal porcupines, aardvarks, spotted genets and civets, in addition to the larger carnivores. Other antelopes are eland, impala and steenbok.

Over 350 bird species have been identified in the area. Birding safari's are becoming popular.

Game drives and walking trails (with armed guides) are offered. Night drives are permitted to enable the visitor to witness rare and elusive nocturnal creatures such as the aardwolf, caracul, porcupine and leopard. These are not usually permitted in Botswana's national parks, so many visitors miss seeing nocturnal predators which are reasonably common sightings in Mashatu.
 
Mountain biking or Horse riding safaris within the reserve have become a popular adventure sport to combine game viewing with the excitement of approaching wild animals in the natural habitat. Armed game rangers oversee such excursions and add to the experience through their extensive knowledge of the bush.

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