Tuli Safari is a seven night mobile safari, which covers approximately 120 miles over the course of the week and is scheduled from March to November. Each riding day ends at beautiful camps with welcoming walk-in tents, full size beds, fresh cotton linen and hot showers. The safari embraces fine dining in the wilderness and every evening is a delightful mix of good food and good company.
Day 1: Meet your guide at the border. Short transfer to the reception area overlooking the Limpopo river, in time for a light lunch. Enjoy an introductory ride to check you are suited to your horse, before embarking on your first ride out to our Two Mashatus Camp. This will be your first opportunity to experience the beauty of the Mashatu Game Reserve and view the wildlife on horseback. Mashatu Game Reserve is home to the largest herd of wild free-roaming elephants on private land in Africa, and, although not a guarantee, it is almost assured that there will be great viewing of these incredible creatures. As evening falls at Two Mashatu Camp, relax in the cool of the thatched rondavel lounge and dining areas, before enjoying a three-course dinner and getting to know your fellow adventurers for the next seven days.
Day 2: Sunrise and the dawn chorus, with tea or coffee which is brought to your tent, sounds the start of your first day. Following a light breakfast, it’s time to mount and depart from the dense woodland that hugs the Limpopo River, and head towards the rocky hills that delineate the edges of the great river valley. As the ride traverses the heartland of Mashatu, you will encounter plentiful game: plains game, many giraffe and herd of elephants. Having meandered across the hills with vast views back towards South Africa, the ride arrives at Tree Camp in time for lunch. This is a very unique camp; any childhood dream of sleeping up in the arms of a tree, will be completely fulfilled here. Nestled in the bough of a giant Mashatu tree and two ancient Leadwood tree, this Selinga deck, 4 meters off the ground, will be your retreat for the night. Overlooking the Majale river, it is possible to watch the wildlife from above, coming down to drink at the river. That afternoon enjoy your first Mashatu game drive exploring the area along the West of the Matabole River returning to Tree Camp for sundowners on the deck. Dinner is served in the on the deck under the branches, overlooking the Majale river.
Day 3: The safari passes through the centre of Mashatu to the ancient rock formations synonymous with the Limpopo Valley. Giant Baobab trees continue to scatter the landscape as they have for centuries. Whilst riding alongside the banks of the Motloutse River, discover the old Leadwood ‘Kgotla’ (or enclosure used for the traditional law court of a Botswana village). This open-air enclosure forms the perfect, secure camp for the night. In the afternoon, we embark on a game drive, this area of mashatu offers some of the best game viewing in the reserve. We draw the day’s adventures to a close with sundowners at the ancient “Amphitheatre” rocks. Back at the Kgotla, dinner is enjoyed around a large log fire. The night is spent with a ceiling of stars and Africa’s nighttime melody to sing you to sleep; a veraciously rare experience which is just about as far away from city life and the modern world as anyone can imagine.
Day 4: The sandstone formations, including the famed Solomon’s Wall, one of the numerous dolorite dykes in the area, are explored on horseback. Some of the oldest civilisations in southern Africa settled in this valley. Archaeological evidence in the area includes middle and late stone age tools, rock art and the legendary Mapungubwe Dynasty. Mapungubwe means “Place of the Jackal” in the Venda language and this dynasty existed around 1220 AD. The Mapungubwe topography itself is ancient and timeless, and combined with marvelous wildlife sightings, it makes for an incredible riding experience. This afternoon enjoy another game drive in this game rich area.
For the most visually stunning and ethereal sundowner, we visit the Mmagwa hills. A short climb up the sandstone ridge, brings us to the site of the Mmamagwa Ruins, which is of a similar period to Mapungubwe (13 century). To date these ruins have not been excavated and have been left alone. It is conceivable that similar treasures to those found at Mapungubwe (for example the golden rhino) could be buried here. After a short climb, enjoy sundowners beneath a beautiful baobab tree with a breath-taking view of the area.
Day 5: Today the safari roves through the open bush from the western side of Mashatu.; winding along ancient trails, stamped into the soil by centuries of migrating elephants, and enjoying wonderfully long canters. After an exhilarating ride through this timeless countryside, a relaxing lunch in the eaves of the Tree Camp is very welcomed. Later that afternoon, your guide will take you on a game drive in the Jwala are towards the northwest of Mashatu.
Day 6: Today the ride roams through the Pitsane River Valley. The river is fed by a spring high in the hills and its regular watering holes attract the wildlife, guaranteeing excellent sightings. The area is steeped in history: the Zeederberg Trail, a stagecoach line that connected the towns of the Transvaal (South Africa) to the newly forged settlements of southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), once traversed theses open plains. The coaches would ford the Limpopo River before trailing the Pitsane River into Zimbabwe. En route there was an old British supply post, Bryce’s Store, which was destroyed here in a skirmish between British and Boer soldiers during the Boer war in 1899. Today bullets, buckles and other remains can be found in the rubble around the store. Our days journey comes to a close at Two Mashatu camp, where there is opportunity to relax by the swimming pool. A guided bush walk to one of the nearby koppies for sundowners is the afternoon excursion.
Day 7: Today’s riding promises abundant game and spectacular views into the Limpopo River Valley. En route, we explore the remains of an old Boer fort on a rocky outcrop, and drop down into the wetland area, which is always a bit cooler and is usually host to plentiful game enjoying the lush grasses. In the summer months, this is also a great opportunity to enjoy cantering through the shallows of the Limpopo River and watch the elephant taking a bath. There is time to relax in camp, have a cooling swim in the pool, before either an afternoon bush walk or short ride, and a crowning sundowner.
Day 8. Your last ride in the Limpopo valley is a great opportunity to snap one last picture of elephants and a long and winding canter through the scattered Mustard bush with your guides. Arriving back at the stables with plenty time to enjoy a hot shower and a tasty brunch you get to s ay farewells to safari companions and new found friends, it’s time for your onward journey.