Trip report Mashatu, Pafuri Wilderness, the Outpost

Jul 25th, 2007, 11:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 58
Trip report Mashatu, Pafuri Wilderness, the Outpost

Hi you all,

I'm not quite finished with my detailed trip report but I already want to give you some of the highlights of the following places:

1 night Polokwane Garden Court
1 night Mashatu Main Camp
3 nights Mashatu tented Camp
3 nights Pafuri Wilderness Camp
3 nights The Outhpost
1 night Hannah lodge

Polokwane Garden Court hotel : basic, not worht another visit
Mashatu Main Camp: nice, US & Dutch tourists
Mashatu Tented Camp: smaller than main camp, Dutch, Belgian, American, English tourists
too bad there is no area in which you have a view on the waterhole , except for the hide, which is kind of a 'bunker'
highlight : ivory drive with Jeanette, spending a morning with the elephants of which she knows so much, following a heard of which every individual is known , we learned all about the different characters of the elephants etc.
highlight : sighting of 4 cheetah, playing around
highlight : predator drive : with Andre in search of the leopard . We didn't find the elusive animal that night, but enjoyed all Andre showed us (how he tries to catch the leopard to collar it, etc)
Pafuri Wilderness Camp: maybe I expected too much of it, but to me, it was too commercial, not intimate
The Outpost : simply the best lodge ever ! Stunning views from our space (room) n12, extremely nice and knowledgable guide and manager Kevin
Northern Kruger has a wonderful nature, with a fevertreeforest, wetland area, lanners gorge, crook's corner, but sadly enough pretty skittish animals, we didn't see lions or leopards here, buffalo would run easily, elephant herds on several occasions, no cheetah, we did see the genet and civet one night, several bush babies, but most of all lots of wonderful birds, amongst which Pel's fishing owl, the martial eagle, brown snake eagle and the AFrican fish eagle.
Hannah lodge : don't bother going there if you are a true wildlife lover. We only stayed over one night, didn't go on safari, but is has the feeling of a big hotel which accepts coaches full of tourists on a trip trhough South Africa.
The area where the Outpost is situated is closest to the border with Zimbabwe. The Limpopo river (dried out at the time) forms the 'open' border. Animals can cross easily from one side to the other. What used to be such a good idea (opening the borders between Zimbabwe and South Africa) makes me sad at the moment. One day we were having a picnick lunch at the border of the Limpopo with great sightings of the other Zimbabwe side when we saw a vehicle driving in the river bed on that Zimbabwe side. The other vehicle must have known we were there, but it was clear they weren't bothered by this. They got out of their jeep, these were hunters trying to shoot probably buffalo or some other big game for sure. Kevin (guide and manager of the Outpost) was quite upset as were we, but this is happening on a regular basis he told us. Very sad indeed!

Nevertheless we had a great holiday, with less clear sightings of the big 5 (no rhino at all!) , but lots of other highlights to compensate this.
Detailed trip report will follow shortly


HildeV is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 03:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Welcome back, would love more Pafuri detail. I am considering adding it onto my April trip, for the birds rather than mammals, but would love to hear more.
napamatt is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 05:34 PM
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Hi HildeV,

Mashatu sounds very interesting! 4 cheetah did catch my attention!!!

HariS is offline  
Jul 26th, 2007, 12:47 AM
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Hilde - Could you post more detail on Pafuri and Mashatu Tented. Both are on the itinerary for my September trip. I'd like to know what you dint like at Pafuri. Perhaps too late to change now, but always good to find out.
amolkarnik is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 10:47 AM
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I too would like to know what you didn't like at Pafuri, since we are about to put a deposit on a stay there next year.
bobbieharv is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 07:43 AM
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napamatt is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 10:14 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Sorry for my late reply, things have been so busy this week! After a wonderful holiday, back to reality!

Don't be afraid to book Pafuri Wilderness Camp. It is a lovely camp, with wonderful tents, great food. The only thing that bothered me, but who am I to be a critic, is that it missed the intimate feeling of some other camps that i have visited before. Somebody told me that Pafuri Wild. Camp is the most commercial of the Wilderness group, bigger, so less contact with other people. The only guide and tracker that bothered to say hello, was our own, the others behaved like strangers, who the manager of the camp was, I don't know.. it's those little things that make me not want to visit Pafuri Wilderness again.
If you book a room, please take note that rooms 11 to 20 are quite a walk, quite a distance from the main area !
More to come..
HildeV is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 04:13 PM
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Were the 4 cheetah a family? The hunting incident is upsetting. Glad you liked the Outpost so much anyway.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 10th, 2007, 11:47 AM
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Hilde, how did you get from camp to camp? I was reading the Aug newsletter from Mashatu and it looks like they have several cheetah cubs. Did you book the leopard tracking and ivory drive in advance? I am very interested in doing both of these activities and also visiting "the hide". Did they have any walking safari's?
CarlaM is offline  
Oct 10th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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I returned from Mashatu last week and did the predator drive while I was there.

To be honest, it wasnt great. The researcher was quite inexperienced and the leopards they have collared arent in a part of the reserve where a large number of drives are conducted. As a consequence they are quite shy. The only way to find them on a day to day basis is by satellite tracking. The reseacher tells you about the research and provides information on the kit they use etc. Interesting stuff.

I could recomment the drive only if you have sufficient days at Mashatu (atleast 4).

We couldnt do the Ivory drive, since the researcher was away.

We tried very hard to find cheetah, but had no luck. They often move off the concession.
amolkarnik is offline  
Oct 10th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Also - getting from Mashatu to Pafuri was easy. We self-drove. Its about 3 hour drive from Ponts Drift border to Pafuri.
amolkarnik is offline  
Oct 10th, 2007, 01:07 PM
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amolkarnik- What was your overall opinion of Mashatu? Sounds as if you were a bit underwhelmed...???
cruisinred is offline  
Oct 10th, 2007, 02:03 PM
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amol,will you be posting a trip report? Would be interested in hearing about your sightings. I was reading on the Mashatu cyberdiary there was alot of rain recently. Did you request the ivory drive in advance or when you arrived? We are going for 6 nights in July. Can you offer more rental car details please? Thanks!
CarlaM is offline  
Oct 10th, 2007, 08:22 PM
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Hi Amol,

Welcome back! Keen to hear about the gameviewing at Mashatu. How was the general game? See the lesser seen species like Eland, Oryx etc? Predators? Big elephant herds of Tuli?

HariS is offline  
Oct 11th, 2007, 03:47 AM
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Hi Carla,

I think I shall do the specialist gamedrives, both cat and ele, as something different. It was suggested to me, to book in advance, as only limited number available. I am not sure if I have to request a certain day, or just to say, that during my stay, I would like to do both specialist gamedrives!

Kind regards

KayeN is offline  
Oct 11th, 2007, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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I certainly intend to do a report soon. Unfortunately I have taken on a new assignment on the work front so havent havent even had a chance to download pictures from the camera.
amolkarnik is offline  
Oct 11th, 2007, 07:06 PM
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Kaye, those were the two I had my eye on also. Will request in advance and hope they are available.

CarlaM is offline  

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