Tuli Block is a narrow fringe of land at Botswana's eastern border wedged between Zimbabwe in the north and east and South Africa in the south.
Tuli Block Photo Expedition
We made the border crossing fom South Africa into Botswana’s Tuli Block to try two of their premium photo destinations, Tuli Wilderness and Mashatu Game Reserve.
We started at the less up-market, but still exclusive, Serolo Camp in Tuli Wilderness. It is situated in northern Tuli Block. That meant we had to travel through dry river beds and really bumpy parts before reaching the camp. We were not on time due to the border not accepting credit cards, that is another story, and arrived more or less minutes before the first game drive.
We saw many different animals in this part of Tuli Block and what we like the most was the game walks, the bush dinner and the meeting with the Spotted Hyena mother and pup. All three where nice additions to the stay. I really like the camp and that you slept in Meru-style tents with a flush toilet and shower indoors. It is so enjoyable to be able to listen to the night sound and hear the lions roar or the hyena call.
The area was dry this time of year and most animals were found near water sources. The only animal, except birds that we found elsewhere was of course Elephants that moved around eating the Mopane. The Mopane forest where kept short by the Elephants and that area looked ravaged to say the least.
As a photo destination Mashatu delivers. I liked the photo hides and our guide Kirsten Frost. Both hides offered different opportunities and gave us plenty of material even if we didn’t see a single elephant or any bigger predator at the hides. The best sighting we had must have been the Chacma Baboon troop that spent time drinking in turns.
Video: Giraffes at Mashatu Game Reserve
The game drives gave us all the big cats from close quarters. It was nice to see two different Cheetah families, the lion pride with cubs, the Spotted Hyena den and the Leopardess. Still I missed something during the game drives and I think it was the element of being surprised. The rangers were knowledgeable. They knew the area inside out, the animals whereabouts and that meant I felt less connected with the experience. I do understand the concept around this as this is an upmarket Game Reserve. Still this isn’t the safari experience I want for myself, but for a photo workshop the place would be excellent.
It was a good experience with great lodging, plenty of good food, nice hides, game drives that delivered and plenty of photo opportunities during both hide sessions and game drives.
My thoughts of Tuli Block
When I look in the rearview mirror I can say that I liked both Tuli Wilderness and Mashatu Game Reserve. I liked the safari experience better at Tuli Wilderness, but Mashatu Game Reserve gave me more photo opportunities. Combined with Mapungubwe National Park they could make for a really interesting photo workshop.
Please enjoy my Photo Album from Tuli Block in Botswana.