Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Photographic safari - First stop - Mashatu

Mashatu Senset
Here are a few images and other highlights from a private photographic safari through Botswana’s Tuli block and South Africa's Lowveld.

With the firm objective of getting maximum quality wildlife sightings our destinations were the ever popular Mashatu, Tanda Tula in the Timbavati and the exquisite Rattrays on Mala Mala.

First on our itinerary was the above mentioned and ever-popular Mashatu where we stayed at the tented camp. This camp just never misses a beat and everything from the accommodation, food and staff is consistently good, ever since my first visit to the area in 2010. The well informed and professional and soft spoken Botswana guides are amazing and add so much to the quality of ones stay.

Leopard Drinking at dusk
If anything, the area is only going from strength to strength. We rented the C4 specialized photographic vehicle for the duration of our stay making the photography so much more convenient.

We had hardly set off on our first game-drive when we encountered the first Leopard of the safari in golden light.  Still a relatively young and boisterous individual she stalked everything from doves flying past to waders on the edge of the river offering great viewing. This was to be the first of 12 individual leopards seen on this safari.

Quintessential Mashatu scene is a Saddle-Billed Stork fishing in one of the many remnant pools.
Elephants at night.
Trying to get n some new taken on familiar subjects we photographed this herd of Elephant drinking at night.

Crocodile defending its prey against Spotted Hyena's
One of the most remarkable sightings i have ever observed was this relatively young croc defending its prey against spotted Hyena's. Interesting enough was the fact that this relatively small croc managed to kill an adult impala. We got to the scene at sunset, a time when Hyena's tend to get quite brave. Keeping well outside the crocs reach they taunted the poor reptile, which defended the kill relentlessly. The day belonged to the Hyena's though as upon our return the next morning all that remained was a stained patch in the riverbed where the Hyena's finished the kill. 

Rare sighting of a Spotted Eagle Owl on its nest.
October is the start of the southern hemisphere summer, a very exciting time as all the migrant birds return and much of the breeding season starts in earnest. We were very lucky to see a Spotted Eagle Owl on it nest along a rocky ledge. 

Images on Safari: 

Photographing Elephant

Photographing Spotted Hyena
Main Mess area
Next Stop on our safari - Tanda Tula in the Timbavati!!

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