S H A L I M P O ~ T h e J e w e l o f B o t s w a n a ' s S a f a r i D e s t i n a t i o n s
Three African Countries, two Mighty Rivers, Boundless Wildlife and Cultural Heritage unite at ~ S H A L I M P O
THE NORTHERN TULI GAME RESERVE
This beautiful corner of Eastern Botswana with its fantastic vistas of flowing hills, dramatic landscape, of colorful Mopane expanses with fingers of broken riverine bush, rocky inselbergs and sandstone formations jutting out like lone sentinels keeping guard over the rich animal and plant-life tapestry speckled and dotted across the African vista.
In more recent years active conservation and formalization of joint initiatives by landowners to protect the area's natural beauty and wildlife started to take shape, and between the late 1950's and 1960's there was a conservation drive with farming operations winding down and bigger emphasis being placed on the wildlife and natural beauty of the area.
The Limpopo Game Protection Association was first formed in 1964 by some of the landowners and this was most likely the commencement and infancy of the Northern Tuli Game Reserve as it is known today.
This joint conservation effort spear-headed by some very ardent and respected conservationist and indeed owners assisted with the conservation effort that has been very fruitful leading to its present day state of 36 freehold properties making up the Northern Tuli Game Reserve. The reserve is home to Mashatu Game Reserve, Nitani Private Game Reserve, Tuli Safari Lodge, Tuli Wilderness Trails and Nokolodi. The reserve covers an area of approximately 72000 ha.
The reserve falls within the glorious summer rainfall region of Southern Africa with its warm day's, cool African nights and has a semi-arid tropical climate creating those perfect blue skies with plumbs of white cloud.
The areas rainfall is received predominantly in the form of late afternoon thundershowers, between the months of October and May and in the winter months a high-pressure cell over the central area of Southern Africa creates fine dry weather perfect for an early game walk and lazing by the pool. Daily temperature ranges from between 5°C min to 42°C max.
The reserve's geological history and makeup is as fascinating and in keeping with the rest of the reserves appeal. It forms part of the Karoo super group and is underpinned by Sandstone and Karoo sediments dating back approximately 190-280 million years.
At around 100 - 183 million years ago there ware volcanic eruptions initially induced by the breaking up of Gondwanaland causing large amounts of lava to be ejected, the remnants of this phenomenon can clearly be seen in the capping of basalt over the sandstone along the Limpopo River. There are also numerous Dolerite dykes in the area as a result of glacier movement during the Post-Achaean period.
With the exception of flood plains, areas adjacent to rivers, water courses and natural depressions where the deeper and richer soils are found, the majority of soils in the area are shallow and poor with little structure due to the parent material and arid nature of the region. These soils have low percentages of organic materials present thus enhancing the lack of proper soil formation, high permeability and low water retention which leaves the area prone to erosion and distinct vegetation differences are notable if you look carefully.
Forming part of the Limpopo drainage system the reserves, mighty Limpopo River runs from west to east and is situated on the southern side of the reserve bordering South Africa. There are two large feeder rivers, which flow into the Limpopo River in this area namely the Shashe and Motloutse Rivers. The Shashe River forms the reserves northeastern boundary with Zimbabwe and flows in a southeasterly direction joining the Limpopo at the point where the three countries meet (Shalimpo).
Both the Shashe and Motloutse are seasonal sand rivers and with the Limpopo forms the life line of the reserve as deep pools of permanent water are present in these rivers for most of the year making it possible for animals to exist and thrive in the reserve throughout the year.
Botswana's Best Kept Secret … TULI - Land of Giants.
SHALIMPO - Contact Details
Tel +27 (0)21 686 6056
Fax +27 (0)21 689 9795
Photography courtesy of Africa Imagery - www.africaimagery.co.za
The Coetzer Family and Shalimpo Guests
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