A Mashatu game drive

This is the last post from our recent trip to Mashatu in mid-September. As on a game drive it is better to talk less and look more. I have chosen to follow that wisdom on this photographic game drive. The images I have included were  taken on our game drives and show the variety of wildlife you are likely to encounter.

A Brown-headed Kingfisher looking down at the Lions lying on the sand bank of the Majale river.

Mashatu AM 12-Sep-14 0342

There are not many places you will regularly see Meyer’s Parrots – you will in Mashatu and you will often hear their distinctive screeches.

Mashatu AM 12-Sep-14 0481

This adult Meyers Parrot shows its blues.

Mashatu AM 12-Sep-14 0494

This Blue Waxbill had come to drink at a small water pool close to the lodge

Mashatu AM 12-Sep-14 0525

A Yellow-billed Hornbill was pecking at old Elephant dug looking for insects. It stopped to scratch its eyelid. It looked worse than it was – its eye was still intact.

Mashatu AM 13-Sep-14 0704

A family herd of Elephant calmly walked passed us.

Mashatu AM 13-Sep-14 0776

Early morning silhouette of a young Kudu bull.

Mashatu AM 15-Sep-14 1357

This young Eland bull’s dewlap was still under developed. The deep scratches on his neck look like he has already tangled with Lions.

Mashatu AM 15-Sep-14 1370

This male was one of a coalition of two. He was hanging around because of the females on the other side of the river.

Mashatu AM 16-Sep-14 7654

Lounging in the shade on the bough of a giant Mashatu tree. 

Mashatu AM 12-Sep-14 0343-1

Poking her head through a small fork in a Mashatu tree. This young Leopard looked wide awake after her day’s slumber.

Mashatu AM 12-Sep-14 0355

 Young Giraffe taking on a tree his own size.

 Mashatu PM 11-Sep-14 0109

 A pair of Klipspringers crossed the Majale river in the late afternoon.

Mashatu PM 11-Sep-14 0070

Feeling exposed this Klipspringer turns around and dashes for the rocks on the other side of the riverbed.

Mashatu PM 11-Sep-14 0079

A male Cheetah, one of a coalition of three resting in the shade one hot afternoon. Everyone knows that a Cheetah’s claws, like a dog, do not retract. I never realised that a Cheetah has a flat tail which acts as a rudder. The flat tail is clearly visible in the next image.

Mashatu PM 12-Sep-14 0570

This female Cheetah was watching her four remaining cubs cavorting around in the late afternoon light.

Mashatu PM 14-Sep-14 1212

A year ago I posted an image of this Hyaena who looked badly mauled. He had his ears torn off and his left back foot had been bitten off. He looked in a bad way. Still on his own he has survived. It is remarkable that without any help his wounds healed. I have no idea what happened to push him out of the clan but his will to survive is irrepressible.

Mashatu AM 16-Sep-14 7605

On our way back for breakfast we found this matriarch sitting in the remaining water of a shallow dam.

Mashatu AM 16-Sep-14 7665

One of the matriarch’s pups was having fun playing in the water.

Mashatu AM 16-Sep-14 7676

I was not sure whether this female was winching at her youngster suckling too hard or whether this was a clan greeting.

Mashatu PM 11-Sep-14 0141

Male White-bellied Sunbird had come down to drink

Mashatu PM 11-Sep-14 0005

Male Green-winged Pytilia.

Mashatu PM 14-Sep-14 1101

This female Green-winged Pytilia was also thirsty.

Mashatu PM 12-Sep-14 0547A

A Jameson’s Firefinch joined the drinking party.

Mashatu PM 12-Sep-14 0550

The Carmine Bee-eaters had not yet arrived but there were still gorgeous residents all around, like this Little Bee-eater.

Mashatu PM 12-Sep-14 0580

Another beautiful resident, a White fronted Bee-eater on the river bed feeding on small white butterflies in the late afternoon.

Mashatu PM 13-Sep-14 0884

A Rock Monitor scouring the dry river bed for something to eat.

Mashatu PM 12-Sep-14 0556

Male Baboon, back lit in the sinking afternoon light.

Mashatu PM 13-Sep-14 0848

This mother was unfazed when a teenager tried to take her baby. She just held on more tightly.

Mashatu PM 13-Sep-14 0852

This baby Baboon was allowed to play once the larger, rougher teenagers had wandered off.

Mashatu PM 13-Sep-14 0854

A flock of Red-billed Queleas – a small murmuration!

Mashatu PM 13-Sep-14 0932

A skittish Tree Squirrel comes down to drink.

Mashatu PM 14-Sep-14 1107

There is a stretch of the Majale river which seems to be the hunting territory of a pair of African Hawk Eagles. These aggressive hunters would not let us get close.

Mashatu PM 14-Sep-14 1120

This male Warthog was accompanied by a pair of Wattled Starlings who were catching all the insects that his lordship stirred up.

Mashatu PM 14-Sep-14 1134

A Burchell’s Coucal foraging down near the Cheetah family.

Mashatu PM 14-Sep-14 1142

Late in the afternoon, the time of long shadows, we found this Black-backed Jackal lying in the shade of  a Shepherd Tree.

Mashatu PM 14-Sep-14 1153

This short BBC video, narrated by David Attenborough, captures the way I feel after having spent five wonderful days in Mashatu. Double click on the image to play the video.

david attenborough

Explore, seek to understand, marvel at its inter-connectedness and then let it be.

Have fun


2 thoughts on “A Mashatu game drive

  1. These bring back wonderful memories of our vist to Mashatu last year. Although I don’t expect to see such a great variety of birds or wildlife, my wife and I are off to Madikwi this coming weekend. Looking forward to both early morning and late afternoon game drives.

    Keith Smith

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s