Mashatu magic and majesty

This is the second post on my trip to Mashatu in March. Already, I can’t wait to go back.

These bush trips are often made up of many small but interesting sightings, which are not about the big five. These wildlife sightings are usually wrapped in wonderful scenes of:

Tree-lined river beds

A tree line sand tributary of the Matabole river in Mashatu.

A tree line sand tributary of the Matabole river in Mashatu.

Peaceful drinking places

A peaceful scene where a herd of Elephant is drinking from the Matabole River in Mashatu.

A peaceful scene where a herd of Elephant is drinking from the Matabole River in Mashatu.

Millions of years of weathering

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Powerful avian predators

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Long-legged beauties

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Verdant vistas

A small part of a large herd of Elephants feeding on the grasses in the vlei at Mashatu. After the recent flooding of the Limpopo it was beautifully green but much of the water had drained out after the dam wall was breached by the flood waters.

A small part of a large herd of Elephants feeding on the grasses in the vlei at Mashatu. After the recent flooding of the Limpopo it was beautifully green but much of the water had drained out after the dam wall was breached by the flood waters.

and vistas which stretch forever

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Rivers lined country borders

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This relaxed river scene of the Limpopo river belies the incredible flood a few weeks before where the river burst its banks for kilometres either side.

Little beauties

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Babies fooling around

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This little guy was fooling around trying to climb over his much bigger friend and slipped and went A over T – you don’t often see an Elephant upside down. He wasn’t hurt and carried on fooling about.

Watchful speedsters

A male and female Cheetah  appear from around a bush and stop to survey the scene in Mashatu

A male and female Cheetah appear from around a bush and stop to survey the scene in Mashatu

Silhouettes

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Relaxed mothers

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and relaxed cubs

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The odd not so relaxed musth bull Elephant

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It was late one afternoon in Mashatu in a herd of over 300 Elephant and this bull was chasing all the young males away. On one of his chases he came charging over this rise to be surprised by us. Thankfully he was just surprised.

One predator we only got a fleeting glimpse of was big male Leopard. The bush was very thick and perfect for him to melt away in the undergrowth unseen.

Wild dogs have been a feature in Mashatu but were poisoned last year, so the population has been decimated  – for now!!!

I hope the series of shots give you an idea of the incredible diversity of life and scenery you can see in Mashatu. For anyone who enjoys history, this area is steeped in it; especially Mapungubwe; Bryce’s store; past kingdoms; and signs of gold and bead trading between Great Zimbabwe and the Mozambique coast. The first crossing over the Limpopo called ‘Rhodes Drift’ was in 1890, and is situated in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve. A few months after the fist crossing, a second drift was constructed about eight kilometres upstream from Rhodes’ Drift, as part of the Zeederberg Coach Route. This drift was known as Pont Drift, and is the point through which we, and most other visitors into Mashatu, cross the Limpopo river.

Botswana is one of the few African countries making a concerted effort to preserve its wildlife for future generations. Well done guys you stand head and shoulders above your neighbours.

I cannot think of anything better than going to a place like Mashatu with like-minded friends who also love the bush. The anticipation on the game drives never dies and you will always be surprised and humbled.

I hope you enjoy the new shots of scenes, Cheetah, Hyaena, Elephant, Jackal and birds.

The bush is waiting for you!!!.

Have fun

Mike

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