A brief History of the area...
Rock Camp and Eagle's Nest are situated in the 30 000 hectare Mashatu Game Reserve, which together with other privately owned farms, forms the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, an area of 70 000 hectares.
The whole area is rich in history, with the earliest indication of living creatures dating back to somewhere between 50 and 100 million years ago. Fossilized reptile and mammal prints from this era were found at Pontdrift.
The first evidence of man in Tuli was the discovery of crude Stone Age implements, possibly dating back as far as one and a half million years ago. As recently as 10 000 years ago, there were late Stone Age people living in the area, ancestors of the Bushman/San and Hottentot tribes. Evidence of the later Iron Age has also been found.
The most famous Iron Age archeological discovery was made in 1932, when a local farmer was taken to Mapungubwe Hill, opposite the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers in South Africa. It was here that the first evidence of gold mining and plating was discovered.
A number of unique artifacts, including a gold rhino were discovered. Research at this site is ongoing as well as along the length of the Limpopo River. Mapungubwe has been declared a World Heritage Site and the national park was recently opened by Sanparks. Accommodation at Mapungubwe can be booked through Sanparks in Pretoria.
Although many parts of Botswana are semi desert, the country has attracted famous pioneers throughout the ages. Frederick Courtenay Selous, recognized as one of the most renowned hunters of all times, spent long periods of time in the country.
The Pioneer Column which had been created by Cecil John Rhodes to colonise Matabeleland (Rhodesia) crossed the Tuli area in June 1890. The Pioneer road from Rhodes Drift to Fort Tuli crosses Mashatu and the remains of Bryce's Store, where wagons and stage coaches changed their horses and mules, can be visited during a game drive.
A number of battles took place in the Mashatu area during the Boer War in 1899. In October 1899 the Boers crossed the Limpopo River and attacked the British Forces entrenched in and around the kopje behind Rock Camp from which the camp derives it's name. Three members of the British forces were mortally wounded including Captain L B Blackburn who had been seconded from the Scottish Rifles.
On 2nd November 1899 the Boers attacked the British at Bryce's Store and captured 7 wagons which had arrived the previous day with supplies as well as a number of horses. The store was shelled and destroyed from the top of Pitsani Kop. Another famous British soldier in the area at this time was Col R S S Baden Powell who was subsequently promoted to General.