Tag Archives: Botswana

Mashatu

At the south eastern corner of Botswana lies the Mashatu Game Reserve, a privately owned chunk of land. We made it safely across the river and were picked up at the border, loaded into a big jeep and brought to our next camp.

Perhaps not as fancy or plush as our last stop (which will forever be hard to beat), Mashatu offers incredible wildlife and honestly, better game drives.  The driver and tracker actually look for tracks and there is no walky-talky noise to distract or pollute the quietness.  There is a great sense of vastness and space in Mashatu. 

Even the animal behavior was different than in Timbavati, where we would see isolated animals or groups of the same animal together. However at Mashatu, the animals’ would comingle and mix.  There would be wart hogs close to the car, a stoic male Kudu a few meters away, then zebra, giraffe, impala and wildebeests all grazing in the same vista. 

Elephants roam the area too. At one point we saw two big families of almost a hundred elephants and twenty or so babies emerging from the forest. Even now writing about it makes me swell with emotion.  It is incredible to find yourself in the company of such huge creatures – each with a unique personality and aura of dignity.

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Botswana Border Cross

We made it to the Botswana border and temporarily left Ingrid under a big tree full of monkeys.  This is where we found our next adventure.

I think the space between two border posts is very an interesting and curious phenomena. Normally there is just a gate or fence that separates two countries’ official border posts, but sometimes there is a gap of land a kilometer or so between passport stamping stations.

Where are you officially in that time/space paradigm? Are you the responsibility of where you just came from or of where you’re heading?

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Anyway, the space between the border posts at Pontdrift was particularly worthy of note. First we abandoned our car under a tree outside of the South African border post but we were not quite in Botswana yet. Then we walked to unimpressive corrugated structure  where an old rusty cable car (the size and shape of a cage) awaited.  Luggage went first, trusting that someone on the other side is going to protect it for us.  Then when the next cage showed up, we hopped in, clanged the door shut and floated across a brown muddy river (imagining crocs just waiting underneath for an easy meal). 

Then we were in Botswana. 

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