Mashatu Tent Camp is an excellent option for anyone looking for an authentic approach to safari in the magical Kalahari region. The name Mashatu means ‘Land of Giants’, referring not only to the big beasts of the region but also to the majestic Mashatu berry trees that stand alongside the reserve’s waterways. Mashatu Tent Camp is one of only two properties here – the other is Mashatu Lodge (Main Camp). Tent Camp is the wilder option, and it does not accept children aged under 12 years.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Most travellers access Mashatu through the Pont Drift Border Post, between South Africa and Botswana, and the reserve’s own Limpopo Valley Airfield. A stony track leads to the campsite, which is within a wooded area.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
At the heart of the property is the gazebo, an open-air timber, stone, and thatch structure containing lounge and dining spaces as well as a bar. Comfortable sofas and campaign chairs are positioned around coffee tables, while a long table flanked by upright cushioned chairs provides a convivial setting for communal meals, with the bar to one side. Guests may also dine in Tent Camp’s boma, which has amazing views over a floodlit waterhole! The hide overlooks the waterhole too, inviting travellers to while away many a happy hour watching the local wildlife. Finally, a tidy track takes you to the plunge pool, which is flanked by sunloungers and parasols. This is the perfect place to cool off and generally relax in between activities! Tall trees surrounding the pool provide ample pleasant shade.
Guest accommodation at Tent Camp consists of eight tents, all connected to the communal areas along neatly laid pathways. Each tent is Meru in style, with an additional layer extending beyond the entrance to create a veranda. A concrete plinth makes for solid flooring, softened inside the tent by matting. The interiors also include a double bed or twin beds, a bedside table and lighting, a writing desk and stool, and sufficient storage space. At the back of every tent, there are outdoor washing facilities – flush toilet, washbasin, and classic bucket shower!
Tent Camp offers a great assortment of activities, with lots of opportunities to explore Mashatu Game Reserve – game drives, guided walks, horseback safari, and biking. As the reserve contains a variety of habitats – savanna, marshland, riverine forest – and it is situated at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers, it is home to a real wealth of wildlife! Among the predator count are lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, wild dog, aardwolf, and jackals, while herbivores you can expect to see include elephant, giraffe, zebra, eland, impala, wildebeest, and a thrilling range of antelopes.
You can look out for hippo and crocodile too, as well as chacma baboon and vervet monkey. And the birding in Mashatu is truly superb, featuring highlights such as greater and lesser flamingos, malachite kingfisher, fish eagle, Kori bustard, and laughing dove. Travellers who like to take in a bit of culture will relish tours to check out archaeological ruins over one million years old!