Today we are crossing the border into Botswana for our six night stay at Fika Futi Game Lodge in the Mashatu Game Reserve. Normally there are no problems with our Guide coming down from the lodge to transfer us, as we cannot take our vehicle into the Reserve. Unfortunately there was a miscommunication on the lodges part and our Guide was not aware that we were already at the border so we had a two hour wait for him but we all managed to keep ourselves occupied, reading and playing dice games. Our Guide whose name is Graphite picked us and our luggage up and helped us clear immigration and customs on the Botswana side and then we were on the road to Fika Futi.
The Mashatu Game Reserve entrance is a five minute drive from the Botswana border and within no time we were bouncing along in the open 4×4 vehicle looking for animals and we were not disappointed. On the drive to the lodge we saw, ostrich, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, Impala and a Leopard having a sleep in a dry river bed, not a bad start to our time in Mashatu. The Leopard was not very interested in being watched by us so quickly got up and walked off into thick bush, but even a quick sighting of this wonderful member of the cat family is memorable. The drive to the lodge is about 90 minutes through some beautiful country and you feel yourself un-wind from the moment you enter the Reserve.
Fika Futi is an old farmhouse that is now run as a lodge and can house up to 10 people. On this trip there are only five of us so there is lots of room on the game vehicle. On arrival at the lodge we were greeted by the wonderful staff and all of us settled in prior to a late lunch. The normal pattern in most game lodges is to have an early morning game drive leaving around sunrise and staying out for 3 hours returning around 9am for breakfast with the rest of the day free to relax, have lunch and then leave for the late afternoon drive around 4pm and returning at 7pm in time for dinner. At Fika Futi we do it a bit differently in as much as we go out just before the sun has risen and stay out until around 11am stopping in the bush for breakfast each day. Lunch is available just after returning and the afternoons are a time of relaxation before going out for a short drive late afternoon in time to watch the sunset and for us to have sundowners before returning for dinner. As you can only rent the whole of Fika Futi for a week at a time you are able to be more flexible regarding game drives and work out a routine that suits your group.
This afternoon we had a short drive before stopping on the top of a ridge for sundowners and to watch a magnificent sunset.