Northern Tuli Game Reserve | Travel guide

The Northern Tuli Game Reserve (GR) is situated on 72,000 hectares of land in the Tuli Block of eastern Botswana, some 335 miles northeast of the capital Gaborone in southern Africa. 

The reserve incorporates several private concessions including Mashatu Game Reserve and Tuli Safari Lodge. 

Northern Tuli GR is known for its spectacular landscapes, rich and varied wildlife, Baobab trees and a host of historical, cultural and natural history attractions including the photogenic 30-metre high Solomon’s Wall, a basalt dyke cliff. 

Why visit the Northern Tuli Nature Reserve?

Safari at the Northern Tuli Game Reserve

Safari guests can expect to see the largest elephant population on private land during game drives (approx 1,200) as well as many old trees, rock formations, island mountains and archaeological finds from the stone age on their African safari adventure.

Off-road driving is permitted close to the rocky outcrops, allowing for quality wildlife viewings and adventure activities including horse riding, overseen by the superb local tracker guides. 

Animals

Apart from elephants, viewing of other large mammals is excellent, for example giraffes, waterbuck and elands. 

The Northern Tuli Game Reserve is also known to be the best area to view leopards. But also lions, cheetahs and hyenas gather to feed on the abundance of antelopes.  

Birds

Over 350 species of birds can be found at Northern Tuli including the Hamerkop, Ostrich, Senegal coucal and the three-banded plover. 

Other activities at Northern Tuli

Northern Tuli offers visitors many options when it comes to experiencing the beauty and wilderness of this region. 

The Limpopo river and Shashe rivers make for superb game viewing in the conservancy areas with animals converging on the banks of the Limpopo and the sandy riverbed.  

Walking safaris 

Explore the wildlife and wilderness via a guided walking tour, an authentic means of exploring Northern Tuli.

Horseback safaris

Horse riding safaris operate from across multiple terrains tracking wildlife along the way. 

Mountain biking safaris 

Mountain biking safaris follow different elephant trails at a leisurely pace along wildlife paths. 

Hot air balloon safaris 

Float soundlessly over the incredible Northern Tuli landscapes and see the wildlife from the air, a very unique perspective. 

Yoga retreat safaris 

Find your way back to nature on a 7-day yoga safari retreat in the Northern Tuli GR combining a unique wilderness experience with a yoga retreat and practicing meditation  whilst exploring the surrounding nature.

How to get to the Northern Tuli GR?

By Plane 

The easiest way to get to Northern Tuli is by charter plane to the Limpopo Valley Airfield. Visitors have a choice of flying from Maun, Kasane or other parks and reserves in Botswana, or from many destinations in South Africa.

The Limpopo Valley Air Taxi offers a daily semi-regular scheduled service from Lanseria, Johannesburg into Limpopo Valley Airfield (a short drive away). 

By Road

Over 7 hours and 335 miles from Gaborone, Northern Tuli is quite the distance from the capital city. 

Due to its positioning on the border, many tourists arrive from Johannesburg in South Africa, a 328 mile/6 hour drive away. Many tourists make this trip using a car rental. 

From South Africa, visitors will cross the border at Pont’s Drift where they can leave their car at the border and the lodge will pick the visitors up. The border has strict opening times, from 8 AM to 4 PM.

Tariffs & Regulations 

Entrance fee to Northern Tuli Game Reserve 

The entrance fee for the Northern Tuli Game Preserve is likely to be included in the lodge prices. 

Regulations 

When visitors enter the reserve, they must follow common sense rules including picking up waste, respecting the reserve schedules and staying in the vehicle when required. 

Accommodation at Northern Tuli

Northern Tuli has a variety of accommodation facilities including lodges and campsites. 

Lodges

Lodges offer high quality accommodation and a restaurant, bar and other facilities where guests can enjoy catered meals and drinks included. 

Mashatu Lodge has 14 luxury air-conditioned suites nearby an elephant waterhole.  Visitors can expect large comfortable double beds and en-suite bathrooms with both bath and shower facilities as well as a large swimming pool. 

Pricing starts from USD $968.

Other more budget friendly lodge options are available including the Tuli safari lodge. 

Tented camps

8 large luxury tents on elevated concrete slabs with the excellent restaurant providing all  meals for guests as well as  great service. Close to the Limpopo river and perfect for wildlife viewing. 

Classic Suites

Two classic suites are furnished and designed to the same high standard, with similar internal layouts and features to our tented suites. 

All of the suites can be made up as doubles or twins. Suites can be paired for families or friends who would like some privacy without being too far apart.

Useful information  

Geography

Located on the eastern tip of the country bordering South Africa, a trip to Northern Tuli is perfect fo international visitors from Johannesburg, South Africa and beyond. 

Weather 

The weather is semi-arid with day-time temperatures ranging from 25C/77F to 34C/94F. 

Rainfall is little and unpredictable – ranging from 300-350mm/11.8-13.8in annually – and is restricted almost entirely to the summer months, from October to April. Summers tend to be hot, while winters are mild.

Best time to visit Northern Tuli GR

During the Dry season, from May to September. 

Health 

Northern Tuli is considered a low-risk malaria area, however prophylactics are advised. Visitors entering the area should consult their doctors regarding anti-malarial medicines. 

FAQs 

Where is the Northern Tuli Game Reserve located?

The reserve is in eastern Botswana, 335 miles northeast of the capital Gaborone.

What time does the border post entrance gate open and close at?

Border post gates with South Africa open at 8am and close at 4pm.  

What animals will visitors see?

Elephants, zebras, giraffes, wildebeest, eland, leopards and wild dogs.