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Mashatu Madness/Tuli-tastic: our first trip to Botswana, August-Sept 2014


Tdgraves

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Afternoon drive, 31/8/14   The new guests had all arrived. A group from Australia, including a man in a wheelchair with their pilot/guide and a group of 12 South African friends who come to Mashatu

Morning 2/9/14 - Mashatu Elephant Hide   One of the novel things about Mashatu is its' elephant hide. A man-made structure dug into the ground so that you are looking and shooting practically at th

Morning drive: part two   Had to separate the posts as I was worried that I'd lose what I had done and there are rather a lot more photos to come.   A mother cheetah and cubs, less than 24 hours a

Soukous

some of the best photos so far. Super stuff @@Tdgraves.

i can assure you not all British men are the ones you encountered. I even like birds. B)

Go on, now you'll tell me they were using Nikon. :o

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Tdgraves

some of the best photos so far. Super stuff @@Tdgraves.

i can assure you not all British men are the ones you encountered. I even like birds. B)

Go on, now you'll tell me they were using Nikon. :o

Thanks @@Soukous

 

I'm not 100% sure, as I was trying to ignore them and they had short lenses, but I think that they were Nikon...the professional photographer definitely had a Nikon

 

Their wives were on a horse riding safari and they gave the impression of knowing it all, which completely failed when they tried to identify birds....

 

We have met some "normal" british people on safari before, but whenever anyone is odd, rude or boring, they seem to be british!!

 

Ps half-pithed!!! :)

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graceland

No matter the vehicle mate debacle, you managed some beautiful sightings and great shots. I imagine Richard favored youall a bit :rolleyes: and would stop at any and all you requested.

 

Love the cheetahs and elies - and leaping ballerinas; sometimes hard to capture for me.

 

I've met folks at camps who absolutely refused to even answer a "hello, nice to meet.." Makes me work even harder to irritate them with my kindness :D

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Tdgraves

No matter the vehicle mate debacle, you managed some beautiful sightings and great shots. I imagine Richard favored youall a bit :rolleyes: and would stop at any and all you requested.

 

Love the cheetahs and elies - and leaping ballerinas; sometimes hard to capture for me.

 

I've met folks at camps who absolutely refused to even answer a "hello, nice to meet.." Makes me work even harder to irritate them with my kindness :D

I think you are right @@graceland - he had known us for four days and he had just met them. Maybe I'll try your trick next time?

I always find leaping impalas difficult, which is why we were keen to try as it looked like a promising opportunity....

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Tdgraves

So four nights, 5 leopard sightings, 5 cheetah sightings and 4 lion sightings. With cheetah and lion cubs and African wild cats. We also saw 11 new bird species (that we identified -I'm sure there were more that we didn't I.D). Not bad!

 

We really enjoyed Mashatu and will definitely return.

 

The TR will continue as a separate thread (as it is in RSA), but not until we get back from the KTP.

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amybatt

I believe I exclaimed out loud "HOLY CRAP" at the first elephant at the elephant hide shot. Good glory, that's incredible. Now I'm thinking of adding this to my next itinerary...what a great experience for you. Thank you for sharing!

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As I have said before Mashatu was my first safari experience and we will return in the future as well....@@Tdgraves great pictures and TR.

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Tdgraves

Thanks @@SSF556 I've just been looking at a map wondering where else I could combine it with......

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@@Tdgraves...we combined it with Mala Mala back in 2007. I know Mala Mala has changed ownership though. We flew directly from Mashatu to Mala Mala via Polokwane..picked up another couple plus we had to do customs.

 

I think Mashatu could be a destination in itself...especially for someone who wants to drive from JNB like you did or who may have a fear of flying on small planes. It would be nice to get to Zimbabwe if a tour operator provide flights or even a flight to Maun but those are some big distances and may be cost prohibitive in a small plane.

 

Mashatu is amazingly close to SA but still out in the middle of nowhere....which makes is a great place.

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Tdgraves

@@Tdgraves...we combined it with Mala Mala back in 2007. I know Mala Mala has changed ownership though. We flew directly from Mashatu to Mala Mala via Polokwane..picked up another couple plus we had to do customs.

 

I think Mashatu could be a destination in itself...especially for someone who wants to drive from JNB like you did or who may have a fear of flying on small planes. It would be nice to get to Zimbabwe if a tour operator provide flights or even a flight to Maun but those are some big distances and may be cost prohibitive in a small plane.

 

Mashatu is amazingly close to SA but still out in the middle of nowhere....which makes is a great place.

We combined it with timbavati and sabi sands this year, which is why I was looking at other options. Mala Mala has never appealed. Unfortunately you can't take rental cars from South Africa into Zimbabwe, otherwise that would be the obvious choice. I imagine a charter flight into the delta would cost $$$$$$

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@@Tdgraves.....yea we will never return to MalaMala....not our style. Mashatu will probably not pair well with the Okavango just because of the distances and like you said money to get a flight. If we lived in South Africa and owned our own 4x4 it would be a no brainer.,..you could drive from Pontdrift to Maun...which be they way according to google is a 10 hour drive...so still a long time. So again Mashatu is probably going to be paired with just South Africa Kruger camps.

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amybatt

So I gather then that there isn't the equivalent of the Kenyan "SafariLink" flights between Mashatu and other areas in Botswana? I'd love to combine that with the Kwando camps for a two week trip, but if it's cost prohibitive or even impossible to fly between the two, then maybe not.

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Tdgraves

@@amybatt we drove from joburg, so I didn't look into it too much. I know that they have scheduled flights between mashatu and mala mala, in sabi sands and sell packages to both as they are owned by the same group. I think, but am not 100% sure, that anything else would require a private charter. It is possible to fly to polokwane and have a road transfer but I imagine that you would have to fly via joburg to maun from there, so would take longer and not necessarily cheaper.....

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Atravelynn

Parade in and parade out. Cooperative elephants! How nice the impala leaped for you.

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@@amybatt...check out this link...starting in May 2015 there will be limited roundtrip flights from JNB to Mashatu...it is pricey though...r/t for 2 will be roughly $1600.

 

http://mashatu.com/by-air/

 

CHARTER FLIGHTS TO MASHATU

We are excited to announce a scheduled flight service into Limpopo Valley Airfield on Mashatu. Commencing May 3rd 2015, guests will fly non-stop from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. This service will be operated twice a week by Angel Gabriel Aeronautics in association with Comair Flight Services.

 

Important details are:

 

The service will facilitate guests transit through the international terminal at OR Tambo.

The flights are non-stop into Limpopo Valley Airfield which is on Mashatu Game Reserve.

Guests clear customs and immigration into Botswana at Limpopo Valley Airfield on Mashatu.

A late morning departure from OR Tambo to Limpopo Valley Airfield and an early afternoon departure from Limpopo Valley Airfield to OR Tambo will enable guests to co-ordinate most connections with international and domestic flights.

The flight takes approximately 60 minutes one way.

All flights are in a pressurized turbo-prop aircraft.

The fare will be $ 400.00 nett one way per person, or $ 755.00 nett return per person.

Edited by SSF556
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Tdgraves

Thanks @@SSF556 I was wondering more about onward flights to other safari destinations, but this is progress compared with flights to/from sabi. I think the prices compare favourably to other safari flights

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@@Tdgraves.....yea conveinant getting to jnb,...but more than likely you will miss the flights on air bots and airlink to maun for example...which means a stay over in jnb.

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jeremie

Fantastic trip report and amazing sightings. Your pics of cheetah are fabulous. I love the picture of the baby cheetah in the tree.

 

I had no idea of the existence of Mashatu and have been amazed by this place.

Thank you very mucho for this nice TR

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Tdgraves

Thanks @@jeremie

 

We hadn't heard of it either. We liked it so much we are returning this year!

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Lets try and keep Mashatu a secret...not everyone needs to know about it... :ph34r:

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jeremie

Just one question:

I have once read on one post or article that lions were extinct in Tuli area. I guess I read too quickly and that refers only on certain areas of South-eastern areas of Botswana. Could you please give me further information to understand that statement.

I understand Mashatu is part of a reserve of different private ranches without any fences, I guess lions are present in all the ranches.

But what about the Northern part of Tuli region?

 

Thanks

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