Reserve Mashatu spread over an area of about 30 thousand hectares, occupied by forests, including the “iron” tree, and river valleys in the northern part of Tuli Block, on the border with South Africa and Zimbabwe. It is named after the majestic machatu tree found only in the Zambezi and Limpopo valleys. At Tuli Block, huge rock formations rise out of the open plains, giving a fantastic view to the landscape. This land has a rich archaeological heritage and an interesting history. The famous colonizer Cecil John Rhodes in the XIX century. He was going to build a railway “Course to Cairo” through these lands. The reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, elands, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, anteaters, earthwolves and other animals, as well as more than 350 species of birds. These lands are also home to the largest population of elephants on private land in Africa. It is the remains of a huge herd of the Shashe herds that used to migrate through the northeastern region of the Limpopo Valley in Botswana. The elephant population in Mashatu is estimated at about 700 heads.
How to get there. By air charter from Frankistown, Kasane, Gaborone or Johannesburg, or by land transfer from Frankistown (three hours) or Johannesburg (five hours).
Gaborone. The government, commercial and industrial center of the country on the banks of the famous Limpopo River, known from the tale of Korney Chukovsky. It is connected by good roads and air links with South Africa and its nearest neighbors. The Gaborone nature reserve is located near the capital. It was established in 1988 as an educational center for wildlife. Despite its small size (less than 600 hectares), today it is the most populated reserve in all of Botswana. The capital houses the National Museum and Gallery, the famous Thapong Visual Arts Centre. Every year in March-April, Gaborone hosts the Maitising festival – one of the largest musical and cultural shows in South Africa. 50 km from the capital there is a curious ethnographic museum Kgosi Sechele I, whose exposition is dedicated to the history and culture of the Bakwena tribe – one of the main ethnic groups of Botswana.
How to get there. Flight from Johannesburg.
Lekubu/Kubu Island (Lekhubu/Kubu). Near the southwestern corner of the Sua basin is the uninhabited island of Lekubu, a layer of ancient rock that rises 20 meters above the sea of salt. This is a national monument where you can see the banks with stunted baobabs and ancient fossils of unknown origin. Lekubu Island is a physical evidence of the former existence of a vast inland sea that covered the entire surrounding area.
Manyelanong Nature Reserve. Manielanong is the name of a mountain north of the village of Otse, 15 km from Lobatse on the Gaborone road. The sheer cliffs of the small Manielanong Wildlife Sanctuary protect a vulture (African lamb) colony known for many years as the Otse vulture colony.
Kama Rhino Sanctuary. The residents of Serowe, Mabeleapodi and Paje in Botswana’s Central Region have established the Khama Rhino Community Sanctuary to conserve Botswana’s remaining rhinoceros population and restore both black and white rhino populations. The reserve is located 25 km north of Serowe on the Orapa road and covers an area of 4300 hectares of the Kalahari Desert, as well as the Serowe depression (a lowland that fills with water during the rainy season). There are many smaller similar lowlands scattered throughout the park. It offers guided tours of established hiking trails and trails led by qualified rangers.
Moremi-Manonnye Gorge. One of the most picturesque gorges in the country. At its bottom you can see a series of numerous natural reservoirs and waterfalls of unprecedented beauty. The lowland covered with lush vegetation is hidden from view by granite mountains. To attract tourists, the Moremi-Manoni Nature Conservation Foundation is actively working here. Drotsky’s Caves An imposing cave system in the Gcwihaba Hills near the Namibian border in northwestern Botswana, where ancient mountains suddenly rise out of the Kalahari plateau. The caves are decorated with stalagmites and stalactites reaching ten meters in length. But in this waterless region there is almost no water, and therefore the animal world is poor. The most impressionable visitors to these places say that this is how the Earth will look after the “end of the world.” For example, the mobile camp Moremi Camp in the Okavango Delta consists of several small tents with one or two camp beds inside and a sanitary tambour outside. The camp is designed to accommodate 10-12 tourists. They are served by two guides and four assistants. Savannah safari is carried out on two off-road land cruisers. On the territory of the camp there is a campfire site, a dining room under an awning, tarpaulin tents-showers. All domestic inconveniences are more than compensated by unforgettable impressions from “nose-to-nose” meetings with elephants, lions, crocodiles, hippos, giraffes, kudu, colorful sunsets in the savannah and dinners by the fire.