Mashatu Main Camp
Old-school lodge with diverse adventures, landscapes and great game viewing
Mashatu Main Camp
Mashatu lies within the northern Tuli—a remote, wild and varied landscape. It offers an assortment of adventurous activities, prolific and exclusive game viewing and comfortable, private accommodation. More than a thousand elephants roam this privately owned reserve, along with a dense population of predators, including leopards, hyenas, lions, cheetah and wild dogs. Mashatu also boasts a rich cultural history, including the Mapungubwe Dynasty, some of Cecil John Rhodes' endeavors and a few AngloBoer War battlefields. A complex geography, complete with basalt-capped sandstone and famous dolerite dykes, massive perennial rivers and dry rocky outcrops make this reserve about more than just the impressive wildlife.
At the lodge
The most appealing feature of the main area is the large swimming pool and its neatly manicured lawns. The "Gin Trap" bar nearby is a play on the cruel, indiscriminate method once used to catch "problem" animals, but this one offers a far more soothing view - the camp's waterhole. There is a traditional boma and a rather featureless dining room; the lounge areas, although comfortable, are a bit outdated and stale. There is also a very corporate TV lounge and conference centre. The Discovery Room (museum) is a far more interesting place to be between activities.
The lodge's fourteen air-conditioned suites resemble tents in no way, shape or form, but rather look and feel like an old hotel. While the exteriors might need a bit of a facelift, inside, the spacious rooms are tastefully decorated with black and white photographic prints. The wicker furniture, wooden ceilings and polished floors add to the traditional atmosphere. The en-suite bathrooms have both a large shower and a bathtub as well as double basins.
A wide array of activities awaits the adventurous traveller. Besides the productive game drives, one can also go for a guided half-day nature walk, or even a 3 or 4 day walking trail. Alternatively, go mountain biking or horse-riding (only for experienced riders) through the reserve. These activities pose an additional cost, but are well worth it. Like the walking trails, they can either be planned to last several days and incorporate overnight stays in rustic bush camps, or simply be an alternative to the morning or afternoon game drives. Keen photographers can even book an exclusive photographic safari, complete with specialized vehicle.