What is the land of Tuli

This land with its huge vistas, big skies and giant trees, welcomes you to a whole new adventure. Tuli introduces an abundance of elephants, large cats, vast herds of antelope and more than 350 species of birds. Where the present echoes with footsteps of the past, making it difficult to leave, and impelling to return. This is the Tuli Game Reserve!

Tuli Game Reserve
Tuli Game Reserve
Tuli Game Reserve
Tuli Game Reserve
Tuli Game Reserve
Tuli Game Reserve
Tuli Game Reserve
Tuli Game Reserve
Tuli Game Reserve

Background & History of the Area

The Northern Tuli Game Reserve is a wildlife conservation area protected as a wilderness of savannah, riverine forests, marshland, open plains and sandstone cliffs. It is not only a unique wilderness area with an abundance of African wildlife, but also has a rich archaeological history. The earliest evidence of life in the area are the fossil excavations which have been found in the Shashe Limpopo region. The region was inhabited by Stone Age man, as the forerunner to a series of civilisations including the Mapungubwe culture of the 12th and 13th centuries, and the Zimbabwe civilisation. In more recent times Mzilikazi, the Zulu chief, and his followers, who were the forerunners of the Matabele nation in Zimbabwe, moved across the area. The reserve was part of the territory disputed between the Matabele and Bamangwato tribes. Many early explorers and hunters passed through and wrote about the Limpopo, Macloutsie and Shashe Rivers. At the end of the last century the Rhodesian pioneer column travelled up the Pitsani River on their way to Fort Tuli and subsequently to what became Rhodesia. Following the outbreak of the Anglo Boer war, a series of skirmishes were fought in the Tuli area between Boer and British forces. Some of the first military engagements of the Boer War took place in the vicinity, including the Battle of Bryce’s Store on the 2nd of November 1899.

Mapungubwe: South Africa’s First City

For the Sesotho‐people, Mapungubwe means ‘hill of the jackal’. In Tshivenda the word means ‘place of the rock’. The centuries‐old fortress, about 100 kilometres west of Musina in the Limpopo province, has been described as one of the most precious archaeological sites in Africa. The South African government, however, kept Mapungubwe out of the public eye for almost 60 years, from the late 1930’s until the middle 1990’s, with the result that very few people know of it – much less of its importance with regard to South Africa’s natural heritage.

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The Limpopo/Shashe Trans Frontier
Conservation Area ("TFCA")

In the 1940′s the then South African Prime Minister, Jan Smuts, wanted to create a game reserve at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers, to be known as the Dongola Game Reserve. The plan was to establish an international game reserve consisting of land on both sides of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers at their confluence, up to and including the Tuli Circle. The scheme was eventually abandoned but has since been reactivated as one of a number of Trans Frontier game reserves which have been proposed in Southern Africa. When these plans are concluded, the Pitsani Game Reserve will be at the heart of the Limpopo/Shashe TFCA.

The proposed TFCA will include the Botswana Northern Tuli Game Reserve; the Mapungubwe National Park, as well as various privately owned properties in South Africa, and the Tuli circle Safari Area, Sentinel Ranch, Nottingham Estate, the Maramani Communal Land as well as a number of other Resettlement Areas in Zimbabwe. The inclusion of the various areas is under negotiation.

On 21 June 2006 Notugre, as representatives of the landowners within the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, and the Botswana government signed a Memorandum of Understanding setting out the guidelines for the participation of the Botswana Government and Notugre in the Limpopo Shashe TFCA. On 22 June, Ministers representing Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe respectively, signed an agreement to set in train the negotiations which it is anticipated should lead to the formal establishment of the Trans Frontier Park.

Location

Tuli is situated in Botswana but borders both South Africa to the south and Zimbabwe to the east. The Reserve is within easy access of Johannesburg by both car and by air. Tuli is just over 500 kms from Johannesburg and is accessed on good tar roads via Polokwane in Limpopo Province. It is just under two hours by car from Polokwane. Entry into Botswana is through the Pont Drift border post. Aircraft can fly straight in to Limpopo Valley airfield, which has customs and immigration facilities. Flying in modern turbine or piston engined aircraft, it will take not much more than an hour to an hour and a half to fly from Johannesburg. Limpopo Valley airfield and the Pont Drift border post are approximately 30 minutes from the Pitsani property boundary.

The Ecology & Wildlife of the Tuli Area

The Northern Tuli Game Reserve is on the eastern edge of the Kalahari ecosystem and at the same time forms the western boundary of the bushveld system. As a result of the diverse range of vegetation and soil types in the Reserve all the animals that were found in the Kalahari and in the bushveld inhabited this area in the past. The result was an abundance and variety of game comparable to any other wildlife region in Africa. The land has always been considered a prime wildlife area and was used as a royal hunting ground during the nineteenth century. The Reserve supports a considerable range and quantity of mammal, reptile and insect species. The wildlife include lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena, bat eared fox, jackal, porcupine, aardvark, civet, genet and other members of the cat family. There is a wide variety of buck species including waterbuck, kudu, eland, impala, steenbuck, duiker, bushbuck, as well as large concentrations of wildebeest and zebra. Other animals include bushpig, warthog, ostrich, and giraffe. The Reserve is also well known for what is believed to be the largest concentration of elephant on private land in Africa. Due to the diversity of the area and the variety of ecosystems, the area is a bird watchers’ paradise. In excess of 350 bird species may be seen, many of which are on every birders’ wish list.