Page 45 - Discover Botswana 2022 ONLINE
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 Dramatic landscapes, abundant wildlife and a host of historical and cultural attractions await the visitor to the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, tucked away in the Eastern corner of Botswana. Covering 720km2 this area, called Notugre, is as diverse as it is beautiful.
The Shashe River to the east, and the Limpopo to the South, border the reserve, and are also the international boundaries between Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. These boundaries are unfenced, making Notugre part of a much larger conservation area. There is a 16km stretch in the northeast that leaves the river, known as the Tuli Circle. Historically this was demarcated as a no-go area for cattle by the early pioneers of Cecil John Rhodes, in agreement with local tribesmen, to prevent the spread of rinderpest. Currently on the Western side, a 29km fence has been erected by the Tuli conservation trust, also to prevent wildlife entering communal farmlands.
A curious diversity of landscapes has been brought about by the many waterways rushing through this area towards the Limpopo, depositing rich alluvial soils along the way. These watercourses have, over time, carved the earth, as they meander around the ‘’koppies” – sandstone ridges and basalt rocky outcrops. This process has created ideal conditions for the growth of large tree species such as the Nyala Berry, Leadwood and Apple Leaf, towering over a thicket of fever berry bushes.
In the heat of the day, wildlife is drawn to the cool shade of these trees, and the water from seasonal pools nearby. Ecotones including mopane veld, riverine forests, and open grass plains dotted with shepherd trees, provide a wonderful of range of habitat for wildlife. The variety of ecotones supports many plains game species, notably impala, eland, giraffe, wildebeest and zebra. Impala can be seen in impressive numbers of around 200 in a single herd, sometimes with several herds visible at
Facing page: An elephant calf has fun kicking up dust at a water hole in Mashatu Game Reserve. The PhotoMashatu photographic hide is situated at this water hole and offers a unique perspective from which to photograph animals.
Inset left:The common flat
lizard - Platysaurus intermedius (subsp. P. i. rhodesianus) occurs
in Zimbabwe, Limpopo province in South Africa and eastern Botswana. Their preferred habitat is under weathered or exfoliating rocks, particularly granite, sandstone and quartzite. The sandstone ridges so typical of the Tuli area is home to many of these beautiful lizards.

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