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“Worst safari lodge ever, severe health hazards on safari cars without roof”
Review of Mashatu Tent Camp

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Mashatu Tent Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 15, 2014

The musty military tents are very much run down, I guess about 20 years old; the pool was very dirty during our whole stay of three days. The staff is very lazy, gives no explanations during the drives; the sit together during the meals, apart from the guests; all requests - even like for herbal tea instead of black tea - are ignored. But the worst was the lack of suitable safari cars: The cars of the tented camp as well as the main camp completely don't have a roof! From the airstrip you have to drive for one hour in the heat of the day in the strong sun exposure to the camp. Nobody cares. All the tours are done in these old cars as well. We have been in about 25 safari lodges in Africa already, but we have never experienced such a catastrophe.

Room Tip: Stay away!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank jamesmJ5367RW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MashatuMD, Manager at Mashatu Tent Camp, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2014

Many thanks for taking the time to write regarding your stay at Mashatu Tented Camp. With effect from 1 January 2014, Mashatu Tented Camp has been closed and it is currently undetgoing a substantial refurbishment and upgrade. The Camp will open again on the 2nd of April 2014. A new and revitalised Mashatu Tented Camp will compliment the superior game viewing that Mashatu Game Reserve offers. We look forward to hosting you.

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65 - 71 of 132 reviews

Reviewed November 9, 2013

My first taste of Mashatu was the lack of communication. The only time we received ANY response was when it was time to pay. Upon arrival to Mashatu we were pleasantly surprised by the tents but be advised that the tents are easy accommodations for everything from spiders to scorpions(two tents in our group had scorpions).

Maybe our expectations were too high as we did not see the number of animals we had hoped. We also reserved a morning at the hide that was a great experience but again very limited in animal sightings. We did a bike and horse safari which was tremendous but when we wanted info on purchasing some merchandise we never got any response while there(after asking numerous times) or later via email. It just feels as if Mashatu is relying it's old reputation but doing nothing extra or new to live up to the hype.

I agree with a previous reviewer that the Sabi Sands area is a super value with far more wildlife. We also got a great deal of enjoyment doing our own game drives in Kruger!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Tastalot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2013

We visited Mashatu after a few lodges in Sabi Sands. We had been booked into the tented camp. One look was enough to tell us it was not for us. I note it has rave reviews here, but its important to distinguish between this camp and the MAIN lodge (fabulous, see my review). Obviously the game reserve is common to both camps and excellent in every respect. This camp is small (6 tents), which mean the common area is also very small, dark and cramped. Just a bar area and some basic tables/chairs under thatch. Its set in scrub, so there's no deck nor views . The tents are real "boyscout" affairs :(Not even under thatch, so very hot & stuffy, despite an electric fan) with small twin small beds. They are built on a concrete plinth, with small external area looking out onto the dense scrub. The worst feature is the outside loo & shower. OK its in a fenced enclosure, but with stone floor and open to the sky (and potentially monkeys and bugs).The shower really is just a shower-head nailed to a tree!. Not ideal for nocturnal loo-stops....There are screen doors to the tent , which they, oddly suggested it was OK to leave open... We didn't stay to try the food, but we saw "high tea" and were not impressed. Even the staff here didn't seem as welcoming or confident as the Main lodge staff : On arrival there was no cool towel, just a small glass of squash , and a request to fill in a form. The intro tour was amateurish & embarrassing.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank alann6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MashatuMD, Manager at Mashatu Tent Camp, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2014

The Camp has been closed for three months at the beginning of 2014 for a complete refurbishment and upgrade. It will retain its camp feel and it is not the intention to compromise this but it will be more comfortable for our regular clientele.

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Reviewed October 11, 2013

During the past 40 years we have done a number of safaris and stayed in many game parks/lodges/tented camps.
Mashatu has been one of the best!
Clean, welcoming, great accommodation with outdoor showers, good food and plenty of it.
As for game and the guides absolutely superb Heaps of elephant and Cheetah.
Highly commended.
Very professional well trained staff.

Room Tip: All tented ensuite.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank TonyandDiane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

Wow. What can I say! This was our first visit to a game reserve in Botswana, and what an amazing experience. From pick up at the border to drop off four days later, we were treated to a first class experience. The welcome, the accommodation, the service, the food, the guide (and spotter), the ambience and entire experience would be difficult to beat. All the staff were so professional and friendly. We felt part of an elite club and thoroughly spoilt. The game drives each morning and afternoon/ evening were extraordinary, and our guide (Richard) was exceptional. We saw so many different mammals and birds, from cheetahs, leopards and lions, to elephants, zebras and giraffe (and everything large and small in between)! We have experienced the best and very much look forward to our next visit.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Michael T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

We were very pleased with the wildlife viewing at Mashatu. Our guides were knowledgeable and friendly. We saw leopards, lions, spotted hyena, elephants, giraffes, and more.

The service staff were also attentive and friendly, and they provide a lovely greeting when you arrive. One night during our stay, they also sang beautifully during dinner to a guest celebrating her birthday.

The tents, however, are very close together so you will hear rumblings of your neighbors' conversations and toilettes. The tents are set up with two double beds, which they push together for couples (but do not make up with king sheets/covers as some other camps we visited). If you like to snuggle, this is annoying, as whoever is near the middle of the bed ends up uncovered and cold during the night.

Another minus is Mashatu's itemization of things elsewhere are included in the overall price (drinks, laundry, etc.), which makes for a less gracious experience, again in comparison.

On the plus side, the hot water bottles they tuck into your bed at turndown are a nice touch...push them toward the bottom of the bed, and when the temperature drops late at night they are great for keeping your toes warm. The way the staff pass out hot plates with a small cloth plate holder to keep you from burning your fingers in another nice touch.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank LaLuLu_S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2013

Our stay here was very brief, only two nights, but in that time our driver Jakes, and tracker Ephrahim, located a huge selection of wildlife for us to see and get close to on only four drives. Being winter, the mornings were a bit chilly but guests' comfort is ensured as hot water bottles and a cosy blanket to wrap up in are supplied for each passenger in the safari vehicle, not to mention morning coffee and biscuits, or sundowners and nibbles - served from the back of the jeep!

The tented camp itself is nicely built in a rustic style but with everything you need and the tented bedrooms have solid wooden door frames and are furnished with a small closet, chest of drawers, fans, hairdryer, lights and dressing table. You even get a hot water bottle put into your bed each night and the bed turned down, and the staff escort you from the dining area to your tent! How cool is that? The bathroom is sited outside the tent and has a separate toilet, open air shower (with hot water and good pressure) and a washbasin and comes complete with plenty of towels and toiletries. The bathroom is encircled by a wooden palisade so there is a small area outside the bedroom tent where you can sit outside if you wish. Just remember to take your bathroom kit inside the tent when you go out for the drives, as the baboons are able to swing by and pinch them!

Pre-breakfast juice, fruit and yoghurt is served prior to the 6am game drive and you are given coffee out in the bush. On return to the camp around 10.30am brunch is served in the dining area with a selection of breakfast fry up items as well as a lunch dish. After the second afternoon game drive afternoon tea is served with yummy cakes and brownies and there are drinks before dinner, taken in the lounge whilst conversing with the other guests, before moving to the "boma" area for the evening meal where all the guests are offered a buffet with a wide choice of food. All very civilised and very colonial!!! And we can certainly recommend Margrete's chocolate and biscuit tart, wonderful on the lips (but not good for the hips because one piece just isn't enough!!!!)

The staff are all extremely pleasant, helpful and not only polite, but attentive also, thinking of your every need and comfort. Our driver and tracker were knowledgeable and friendly and went out of their way to make sure we saw as many animals as possible and really close up so we could take great photos.

All in all it was a fabulous visit and we only wish we could have stayed longer - thank you all again for a wonderful break!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank TripTrundlers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mashatu Tent Camp

Address: | Northern Tuli Game Reserve, Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana
Location: Botswana > Central District > Mashatu Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Mashatu Game Reserve
Price Range: $468 - $514 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Mashatu Tent Camp 4.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Although safari rustic in character every facility is provided. The tents are insect-proofed, have comfortable beds and each has an en-suite shower and W.C. Facility. There is an open sided thatch deck where meals are served and a traditional boma for intimate campfire dinners. This camp also contains a very welcome plunge pool and hide from where guests can spend their time between safaris. ... more   less 

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