Mashatu Photo Safari

At a Glance

Schedule Overview


  • Meet at Pontdrif Border Post
  • Transfer to Mashatu Tent Camp
  • Afternoon game drive
  • Accommodation at Mashatu

DAY 2 – 4

  • Morning game drive
  • Afternoon game drive
  • Accommodation at Mashatu


  • Morning game drive
  • Transfer to Pontdrift Border Post
  • Journey home

With the dry season starting to take effect, the colours of Mashatu have changed to red and yellow, interspersed with soft greens. Along the rivers however, it remains very green and it is not uncommon to find leopard reclining in one of the large Mashatu trees. Predator viewing is at its best now. Thee soft rays of the winter sun make lion, leopard and cheetah really glow. As usual, the cheetah are found on the open areas, allowing for easy, close up viewing. Water is starting to become a premium and it is not uncommon to find elephants digging in the riverbeds for water, which lies just below the surface. At the waterholes, doves and guinea fowl come down each day to drink and attracts birds of prey and gabar goshawk (also melanistic) and tawny eagles are commonly seen. With the birth of giraffe in May, there are always a few deaths – this always attracts black-backed jackal, spotted hyaena, white-backed vulture, lappet-faced vulture and even cape vultures. The water bath in camp is a hive of birding activity and offers probably the most comfortable bird photography ever from the lounge, 3m away!

This photo safari is designed to get photographers of all levels into the best areas to ‘get the shots’. Here is where you take your wildlife photography from ‘good’ to ‘great’. By learning the tips, techniques and methods of taking great wildlife images with professional photographers, you will gain great insight and knowledge while improving your wildlife photography.

* On this photo safari guests will have access to the photo hides


Land of giants

Mashatu Game Reserve is located in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve of Botswana which is situated between the Tuli Safari Area, a national park in Zimbabwe and the Mapungubwe National Park, a World Heritage Site in South Africa. Mashatu comprises 40% of the Northern Tuli Game Reserve and it shares unfenced borders with both the South African and Zimbabwean national parks in the south and north respectively. This vast area forms part of a cross boundary wildlife conservation area protecting the substantial biodiversity of fauna and flora in this region.

Mashatu is the epitome of all that defines wilderness areas in Africa. Visitors are charmed by the vast open spaces; the biodiversity of wildlife from the gigantic to the miniscule; the majestic skies unfettered by smog; the tranquility interspersed with birdsong and sounds of the wild. Part of this charm is the unexpected adventure safari over and above the game drives: horse-back safaris, cycling safaris and walks in the wild. Photographic hides add an aspect to the adventure safari which is unique and thrilling to their patrons be they professional photographers or lovers of wildlife. These added adventures are all tailored to bring visitors into intimate contact with this remarkable wilderness.

The Mashatu Game Reserve camps are an expression of the warm hospitality of Africa’s people. Relaxation is key, that why we chose the intimate bush experience of Mashatu Tent Camp.

Early morning and evening game drives every day bring visitors into close contact with the fascinating wildlife which inhabits Mashatu, promising a different nature experience with each drive.

Mashatu Game Reserve is a place to connect you to the soul of what life on earth is meant to be.

Booking Form

Complete this enquiry form to book


Arrival at the Pontdrif border crossing between South Africa and Botswana at 12:30. This photo safari starts and ends at this border, so it is your responsibility to arrange your own transport. If you need transport to be arranged for you please email me at for a quote and options. There is a secure parking area at the border where you will leave your vehicle.

Your professional photographer and host will meet you at the border. From there it is roughly an hour’s drive to Mashatu Tent Camp. Once you’ve arrived at camp there will be a short orientation and a chance for you to settle into your tent to unpack and get your photographic equipment ready. We will meet at the terrace for high-tea from where we will leave on our first afternoon game drive.

The first drive is about enjoying, relaxing and to get familiar with the photography from the vehicle and to get familiar with the Mashatu landscape and photographic opportunities. On this drive the aim is to take photos ‘as you are used to’, so that it sets the benchmark to measure the images taken at the end of the photo safari against.

Before Dinner, the guide will give a short presentation showing a variety of images and how, by using specific aspects, you can alter and change an image dramatically.

During the next three full days the daily schedule will remain approximately the same. The times are flexible and might vary slightly depending on the sunrise times, the sightings and our activities (e.g. we might decide to have an extended morning in the hide). Generally we follow this schedule:

05:00     Wake-up and meet for coffee and a small meal

05:30     Morning game drive or photo hide

10:00     Brunch

11:00     Rest and own time

14:00     Photo presentation, workshop and guest photo feedback (not compulsory)

15:30     Meet for high tea

16:00     Afternoon game drive or photo hide

20:00     Dinner in the outdoor boma and then retire to bed for another day of more great photography

Our last day begins with an early morning game drive as usual after which we have brunch and then a drop off at the border at around 12:00. This is unfortunately the end of your photo safari. We say goodbye at the border and wishes everyone a safe journey back home.


Mashatu Tent Camp

Without stealing away any luxuries, accommodation is in a tented camp situated in the northern reaches of the reserve. Twin luxury safari tents offer you a luxurious rest in bush surrounds. Each tent has two large single beds, an en-suite bathroom with flushing W.C and its own private veranda to relax on. Breakfast and lunch are served in a main dining area whilst dinner is served in an out door boma overlooking an adjacent waterhole. There is a central lounge area to relax in, a plunge pool and a bar. A hide overlooks the waterhole next to the camp.

A 30 minute vehicle transfer from Mashatu Main Camp is a refuge that is very different. The Mashatu Tent Camp is almost one with the environment; blink and you might miss it! This tented camp is the leisure choice for the guest who seeks the ultimate one-on-one bush experience and who prefers a more intimate environment (and no children under the age of 12).

Eight completely private tents are tucked under the branches of enormous trees, accessible via meandering pathways. The tents themselves are spacious and comfortable and large enough that adults need not duck to move around in. Each is mounted on a concrete platform and has its own private outdoor en-suite facilities, including W.C. and shower. Imagine showering under the stars!

Instant camaraderie is the norm at this unique camp. Meal times are shared without pomp and ceremony, either in the open-air thatched gazebo, or in the boma (enclosure) overlooking the floodlit, well-populated waterhole. The camp’s plunge pool invites guests to cool off and escape the relentless heat typical of the summer months. The sturdy and shaded hide also overlooks the waterhole, and here bush enthusiasts can sit quietly and witness animals going about their day, completely unaware that they are being watched. It is humbling indeed to be an observer, to be part of the perfect, natural world. (The camp also offers the best lemon meringue tart in the world! This is Isak’s favourite and will be one of the highlights of your stay!)


About this wonderful trip


US$ 2,900 per person sharing

* Ask about SADC discounts

  • US$ 700 per single supplement
  • 40% deposit confirms your place
  • Balance payable 4 weeks prior to the trip for final confirmation

The above costs include:

Costs do not include:

Terms and conditions are clearly described in the PDF brochure under “Booking Information”