Located in the eastern regions of Botswana, the Tuli Block is home to the Northern Tuli Game Reserve and the Mashatu Reserve and is renowned for its abundant African wildlife, prolific bird species, intriguing landscape and fascinating history.
© Picnic under an ancient Baobab near Mashatu Lodge
A visit to the ancient land of Tuli, the 'Land of the Giants' is guaranteed to leave a big impression on all who travel to this beautiful piece of Africa. Enthusiastic guides accompany you on your adventure as you explore the changing landscape and enjoy wonderful sightings of game animals and birds.
Days usually start with an early wakeup call, a cup of coffee or tea and a light snack before one heads out into the bush on either an early morning guided game drive or guided walk. After a few hours of exploring the surrounding area you return to your safari lodge for a delicious, hearty breakfast and a lazy afternoon reading your book, having a siesta or chatting with your fellow guests about the exciting sightings you have already had.
As the early evening approaches it is time to head out again, this time with warmer jackets on and flood lights at the ready as you explore the bush at night, seeing nocturnal animals such as Bush babies. A decadent dinner awaits you upon your return to the lodge followed by a relaxed evening gazing out at the stars above and listening to the calls of the Hyena and Lions.
There are a number of luxury safari lodges and wilderness camps available to suit all budgets and requirements. Varying tour packages book different wilderness camps and safari lodges within the Tuli Block area, ensuring your safari holiday is tailor-made to suit your needs.
Offering wonderful sightings of African wildlife on guided game drives or guided walking safaris, the Tuli area and the Northern Tuli Game Reserve within it is an exceptional destination within Botswana and definitely worth a visit. Knowledgeable and passionate guides make the experience all the more worthwhile as they teach you about the surrounding flora and fauna, providing interesting insight into the African wildlife, the plants they eat or use for medicine, and their survival techniques.
Known for its abundant bird life, the Tuli Block offers exceptional bird watching opportunities. Home to over 350 species of birds, the area is a bird watchers paradise with the mixture of species ranging from water birds near the watering holes and rivers to huge flocks of seed eating birds sighted in the tall grasses and reeds. Common sightings include Shrikes, Cormorants and Rock Thrush and Kingfishers are commonly seen hovering over the water in search of prey. Raptors and other birds of prey are also regularly sighted including White-backed Vultures, Pel's Fishing Owls and African Fish Eagles.
Known as the Land of Giants
Tuli is situated along a fault line in the Earth's crust and offers amazing scenery from massive rock formations to Karoo landscape and sharp rocky outcrops. From rocky outcrops to lush green forests that hug the rivers stand in stark contrast to the dry savannah plains just a few kilometres away, the magnificent, contrasting landscape is a photographer's heaven with each turn in the road providing a new and interesting scenery to be captured by the lens.
The towering trees of Tuli are yet another reason for the area being nicknamed the 'Land of Giants' as the huge Mashatu Tree with its Nyala berries, the oddly 'upside down' Baobab tree and the abundant Mopane tree all stretch up into the sky, making even the Elephants appear small.
Lastly, the main attraction of the area is the prolific African wildlife found here. Made up of a number of privately-owned farms that have been converted to private game reserves, including the well-known Northern Tuli Game Reserve and the Mashatu Game Reserve, the Tuli area is known for its phenomenal game viewing. Wide open savannah plains are home to huge herds of Zebra, Wildebeest and a variety of antelope, while Lion, Elephant, Cheetah and Leopard are also regularly sighted.
The Tuli Block is located 500 kilometres (310 miles) from both Johannesburg and Gaborone. Those choosing to drive to Tuli from South Africa should always check the status of the Limpopo River, as it is unnavigable by vehicles when in flood. The border post at Pont Drift between South Africa and Botswana is open from 08h00 and 16h00 and these times are strictly enforced.
The final 45 kilometres (27.9 miles) of the journey from Gaborone is not tarred and can be in a poor condition especially after heavy rain.
While there are no scheduled flights into Tuli, there is a private airstrip in the Tuli Conservation area to which one can charter a flights from any South African or Zamibian airport. or from within Botswana.
The Tuli bush experiences two seasons. The dry season occurs for most of the year with the landscape becoming drier and drier, especially towards the winter months around June to August. This is considered possibly the best time to visit Tuli as the starker bush makes spotting game much easier. Temperatures range from the mid 20's (75°F) during the day to 10°C (50°F) or colder at night and visitors are advised to pack warmer clothes and to wear layers.
The rainy season is usually hot and humid and occurs between October and May. Temperatures soar to over 30°C (86°F) and the added rain changes the barren landscape into a lush green oasis teeming with new-born wildlife and hundreds of birds.