While overlooking the ‘Land of Giants’ from the towering vantage points on Mmamagwa Hill, one is embraced by the stillness of time immemorial. Down in the valley, as far as the eye can see, lie the sweltering Mopane plains of the Mashatu Game Reserve – a sweeping wilderness of immense and unimaginable beauty; one that unfolds like an intricate tapestry into savannah, riverine forests, marshland, endless plains and sandstone outcrops. The ‘Land of Giants’ is a totally unpeopled wilderness in eastern Botswana. Here, at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers, you will unearth a diverse paradise thrumming with birds, plants, wild animals and insects.
On The 22nd of June 2006, the Honourable Ministers of Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which saw the formation of the Limpopo-Shashe Trans frontier Conservation Area (TFCA). Later, on the 19th June 2009, the TFCA was renamed the Greater Mapungubwe TFCA to reflect the cultural uniqueness of the TFCA.
Sandwiched between the Tuli Safari Area of Zimbabwe in the north and the World Heritage Site of Mapungubwe in the south is the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, of which Mashatu Game Reserve makes up 40%. This portion of Botswana is the initial component committed to the TFCA process. This will increase once the process commences.
It is well known that, whilst Mashatu Game Reserve is a favourite safari adventure destination, it is also world renowned for its diverse and significant cultural history, which includes:
- Early Stone Age sites, between 500 000 and one million years old.
- The origins of the San and the Khoi people, going back at least 120 000 years.
- The Mmamagwa Ruins on Mashatu predate Mapungubwe, which in turn predate Great Zimbabwe and Tumela in the Kruger National Park.
- The Northern Tuli Game Reserve was the site of the most northern conflicts of the South African War or Boer War Battles, the first being on Mashatu on the 20th of October 1899.
With the Limpopo Valley Airfield being a recognized port of entry into Botswana (there are Customs and Immigration Officers on site), it is expected that Mashatu will also become a stepping stone for international flights linking both the Kruger National Park and Johannesburg in South Africa with the attractions present in northern Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.