Mashatu Game Reserve

Mashatu Game Reserve comprises 29,000 hectares (72000 acres) of privately owned land in the conserved wilderness area known as the Northern Tuli Game Reserve. The reserve lies in the eastern extremity of Botswana where the great Limpopo and Shashe Rivers converge. This exceptionally diverse landscape includes wide open plains, grassland, riverine forests, rocky hills, marshland and majestic sandstone ridges


Mashatu, “Land of Giants”, takes its name from the locally sacrosanct Mashatu or Nyala berry tree (Xanthrocercis zambesiaca) and the giants that roam its terrain. Mashatu Game Reserve is situated at the confluence of the great Limpopo and Shashe Rivers in the remote eastern corner of Botswana. This area is known historically as the Tuli Enclave and it is here where the three countries; Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe converge. In addition to this large conservation area, Mashatu Game Reserve offers refuge to the largest elephant population on a private reserve on the African continent


This diverse landscape of open plains, grassland, riverine forests, rocky hills, marshland and majestic sandstone ridges can be reached in a number of ways Our suggested two-night itinerary, which has been specifically crafted to create the most immersive Mashatu experience possible. This itinerary is not cast in stone, but serves as guide to what you can experience at our magnificent game reserve within a short period.

Mashatu Land of Giants

I have been very fortunate as for many years I was a judge and guest speaker for Sabi Sabi. A private game reserve bordering the Kruger National Park in the Sabi sands reserve. During this time, I was very pleased that I was able to hone my skills and became quite proficient. Being the publishing editor of Camera&Image at that time, Richard du Toit, in my estimation one of the world’s foremost wildlife photographers contributed many articles for publication that was so enjoyed by our readers. I also used to have dealings with Martin Harvey whose work was entered into the Agfa Wildlife Awards at that time, along with Richard’s.

Having an extensive career as a professional commercial photographer, I did find out just what it took and was needed to become a professional wildlife photographer. In a future edition, I will dedicate an article to the discipline and requirements of becoming proficient as a wildlife photographer. As I still have images taken for the Agfa Wildlife Awards, I will share some of these images with you in a future edition.


Meticulous planning and thorough knowledge of what it is you want to achieve is paramount. I was a guest at Mashatu, and all that I could do was to use my knowledge and experience to react to the situation that I found myself in. Fortunately, the camera I was using at that time was adequate being Nikon’s D300. This camera was a 12.3-megapixel semi-professional DX-format digital single-lens reflex camera. The lens, Tamron’s 70-300f 4.5-5.6, that I had on review at that time. Neither of these would have been my camera equipment of choice but in hindsight enabled me to achieve a few remarkable pictures. The Nikon D300 is no longer manufactured.

The elephant sighting was the best I had ever encountered as well as some of the birdlife. Mashatu must rate as one of the best wildlife conservatories in Botswana and maybe even in Africa. If you ever get the chance to visit, it is my most definite recommendation that you do.

Other game, birds and general images of Mashatu