When people think of Botswana, it’s the well-known highlights like the Delta, Chobe and Kalahari that generally spring to mind. But these popular tourist destinations are only a small piece of what the country has to offer. Botswana is home to a treasure trove full of hidden gems that many visitors don’t get to see.
Tuli is one of these gems. The Tuli Block sits is the south-eastern most corner of Botswana, where the country meets South Africa and Zimbabwe, just upriver from the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site. And at just over an hour’s flight, or a straightforward drive from OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, Tuli really is ‘Botswana on the doorstep’.
One widely held assumption is that Botswana is a very seasonal location even inaccessible during the summer months. But being in a semi-arid zone, Tuli is definitely a year-round destination.
Pont Drift must also be one of the smallest and friendliest border crossings in Africa, with the added, rather unique bonus of a border crossing undertaken by cable car when the Limpopo River is flowing!
Here are just five reasons to look beyond the obvious Botswana destinations and give Tuli a try.
1. Stunning scenery
The Northern Tuli Game Reserve is quite unlike the rest of Botswana in terms of its stunning scenery – typified by huge vistas and big skies, rocky outcrops and baobab-studded plains. It’s a photographer and geologist’s dream location!
2. Great game viewing
Game viewing and birding is diverse and has the added bonus of an amazing backdrop. With three of the Big Five, Tuli is best known for its large elephant herds, and has a good record for leopard, cheetah, lion and hyena sightings. It also has vast quantities of giraffe and great herds of game, including the eland.
Some more unusual species such as aardwolf, bat-eared foxes and Tuli Safari Lodge’s iconic elephant shrews add to the experience. And night drives, not usually allowed in the more well-known reserves in Botswana, mean that the nocturnal species also feature highly.
3. Varied activities
Guests have a range of safari activities to choose from at Tuli, allowing them to explore the bush in many ways! Game drives, bush walks, hides with the option of sleep outs, horseback safaris and mountain biking (home to the Children in the Wilderness ‘Tour de Tuli’) are all on offer.
4. Great getaway destination with links throughout the region
Tuli is a perfect standalone destination offering an authentic and varied safari experience. It also makes a great stopping point for those travelling between South Africa, Botswana and beyond. Tuli fits well with visits to the northern part of South Africa, including the Kruger National Park, Mapungubwe, Madikwe, Waterberg and Marakele. And with regular flights into the reserve from Johannesburg, Tuli can easily combine with any other destination in Southern Africa.
5. Family friendly
Unlike so many lodges in Botswana, most of the accommodation options in Tuli welcome children of all ages and it’s an ideal spot for multi-generational family getaways – with a wide range of activities and plenty of opportunity to relax.
This is a special part of Botswana that’s right on the doorstep. See our top 10 reasons to visit Tuli to learn more about this magical destination.