Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Mashatu Game reserve, Botswana


The last coach trip I did was in June 2017 and it  took me from Venice to Budapest.
This time the trip was from Johannesburg to the Pontdrift border post with Botswana.
And all for what turned out to be THE most awesome book launch.

The coach had to bid us farewell on the South African side of the border.
The filling out of paperwork and the stamping of passports was dealt with efficiently
and with a minimal amount of fuss.
The border officials on both sides even complied with my request to
"Please use a page that already has stamps on it"

A short game drive later, this was the sign that greeted us as we drove into the camp
I have American friends who have returned here annually for the past 5 years.
They have raved about it after every visit...
And I was about to discover why.

Even though the rains had not yet arrived,
the camp was a riot of greenery.
And the pool was certainly not a mirage caused by the energy sapping heat. 

Looking back towards the main entrance.

I decided to concentrate on looking for two things before being shown to my room.
1] Any room that had air conditioning
2] Anywhere that had a strong Wi-Fi signal.
This lounge met both of those requirements.

So much so, that this section became my "office" for the duration of my stay.
Working at a proper desk alleviated the back-bending discomfort of working at coffee table height.

This seating area near the breakfast deck offered a great, but distracting view.
Wonderful for relaxation, but not so great for working.
And this was a working trip

Some of the décor, lit by the early morning sunlight.
All the public spaces were decorated with a minimum of fuss and clutter.

My cabin in the woods...well not quite the woods,
but an enclosed area within the camp perimeter.
The accommodation was rustic, but the bed was comfortable and I was not assailed my mosquitoes.
And, I did not really spend any time here other than to sleep.

I though this was one of the guest suites...
Turned out to be the public toilets near the dining area!

These stairs lead down to a public bar and seating area,
where guests can enjoy a drink and a chat before going into dinner.
The boma dining area is through the doors at the far end of the bar.

For the two evenings that we were in camp, dinner was served here.
African buffet style.
A great way to meet new people and to exchange the game drive sightings.

The camp walkways were subtly lit at night,
giving the foliage an almost ethereal feel. 

The early morning light streams in from the East, lighting a lounge
 as well as the breakfast area.

The camp waterhole.
It might look quiet in the early morning,
but there had been a hyena here the night before.
This is Africa.

The sun creeps in to light the tables that await our return from the morning game drive.

I was fortunate to spend several hours at the Mashatu hide.
At first there was not much action,
but that soon changed and we eventually ended up
having about 300 hundred elephants "parade" past our waiting lenses.

 
The hide is run by this photo safari company.
To find out more about them,
visit their website:

There is PLENTY of food on offer...
Breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner is included in the various packages on offer.
But never fear...if you have too much to eat...

You can always jump onto one of these and cycle off the calories.
This lodge is where the legendary "Tour du Tuli" starts and finishes.

Cycle Mashatu
To find out more, visit:

 David Evans, Managing Director of Mashatu.
Listen to what he has to say about this awesome camp:

Want to know more about this very special property?
Visit their website: 


David Bristow is the author of  Running Wild.
Hear what he has to say about the book:


Want to know more about their back catalogue and current publications?
Then visit their website:




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When I head off to the bush, I like to feel comfortable and look good.
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My first pair of "vellies"...
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One of my problems is often lack of battery power
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I have tried many "powerbanks",
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This is where this Powerbank has the edge...
it can recharge my phone up to 7 times,
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