Mashatu Lodge (Main Camp) is perfect for travellers looking for luxurious accommodation in an area choc-full of wildlife! There is only one other property in the reserve – Mashatu Tent Camp. The name Mashatu means ‘Land of Giants’ and refers to the big beasts of the reserve as well as the majestic Mashatu berry trees that stand along many of the reserve’s waterways! Main Camp has accommodation to suit most types of traveller.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The majority of travellers to Mashatu access the camp through the Pont Drift Border Post, located between South Africa and Botswana, and the reserve’s Limpopo Valley Airfield.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The communal lodge is a traditional timber, stone, and thatch building, elevated above ground level and with a grand raised roof. Its interiors include a lounge/bar with dining area, the Discovery Room, and a curio shop. The lounge/bar boasts comfortable seating around coffee tables, a dining area with chic separate tables and upright chairs, bar stools, wildlife artwork, and amazing views across the reserve! The Discovery Room is full of fascinating relics, providing historical context to your stay. If you are in need of retail therapy, you need only pop to the camp’s curio shop, which stocks all sorts of African crafts as well as clothes, jewellery, and practical items such as batteries and sunscreen. In the grounds, the fire-pit is the go-to area for early morning beverages and pre-dinner drinks, with guests getting to know each other and swapping safari stories. And the spacious pool is perfect for cooling off when the temperatures soar!
Guest accommodation at Main Camp consists of 14 suites, all spaced along the site’s perimeter. In common with the communal lodge, each is made out of timber, stone, and thatch. Every suite is also raised above the ground. Inside, there is a double bed, a single bed, bedside tables and lighting, a separate lounge area with comfy seating and sufficient space for an extra bed, reading lamps, wildlife artwork, and some intriguing wall art! The en-suite facilities comprise separate WC, shower, and bathtub. Other amenities include air conditioning, a room fan, a tea-and-coffee station, a mini-bar, a safe, a hairdryer, and complimentary toiletries. The lounge area flows out through double doors onto a veranda set with chairs and a small table – here, you can spend time looking out for the local wildlife!
Activities from Main Camp focus on seeing all the wildlife of Mashatu Reserve. The range of habitats here – savanna, marshland, and riverine forest – provides homes for many different species. Also, the reserve is positioned at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shasha rivers, which attract all sorts of animals. Predators you might see include lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, wild dog, aardwolf, and jackals, while the herbivore count features elephant, giraffe, zebra, eland, impala, wildebeest, and an impressive assortment of antelopes. Chacma baboon and vervet monkey are in residence too, as are hippo and crocodile.
And the variety of birds in Mashatu is very exciting, with highlights such as Kori bustard, laughing dove, fish eagle, greater and lesser flamingos, malachite kingfisher, and much more besides! Guests can explore the reserve on game drives, guided walks, horseback safari, and biking. Cultural tours are available too, with opportunities to check out archaeological ruins some one million years old.