Tag Archives: Mashatu

2 Up & 1 Down

Two highlights and one instant-sad from Mashatu

First, I found a porcupine quill! Some people go on safari on search of leopards or big majestic game. I however, was desperately looking for a nocturnal porcupine. This quill was like finding a clue that the illusive creature really exists. 

The next highlight was our stop at the main lodge for the… The Discovery Center”. It offered a great excuse to geek out over the giant animal bones.

 I could only dream about taking them home with me.

Plus, it was winter and we didn’t get a chance to see any crocodiles or snakes in the wilderness. While I definitely think it’s cheating since they were kept in a mote, we did get to see

Then Tragedy Struck!  I was so concerned about loosing my precious quill that I tucked it away. When we finally made it back to the border post, I hopped out, grabbed my backpack and walked away. 


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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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