The late rains caused by a slight shift and taper off of the El Nino seemed to plague our safari, but when we thought all was lost, something very special happened...
Fields of millions of tribulus or devil thorn flowers interspersed with meadows of flowering bottle brush grass cast doubt on believing that Mashatu is supposed to be an arid region. Sitting up on Cheetah Koppie scanning the surrounding grasslands and alluvial flats was just as breathtaking as the leopard sightings we had in a field of yellow flowers. The attractive flowers draw the attention of insects who in turn attract a plethora of bird species. The high nutrient content also attracts large mammal species, and sitting amongst a herd of 40 elephants whilst they gently feed systematically in the blooms is something difficult to portray in photos, let alone words.
It was an incredibly exciting time of year to witness such a special ephemeral event and to be able to have shared it with our clients was truly rewarding.
An elephant beneath a clear summer sky
Roland and Andrea making the most of this large herd of elephants out on the open plains
A female leopard skulking quickly through a field of flowers
A close call for this small group of male Impala, she just missed it
Life is always exciting in a field of flowers
One of the male Cheetah in the coalition of 3 smelling a well used Cheetah scent marking post
Making the most of the afternoon skies
A rare misty morning as we left the Tented camp
A Tree Squirell making the most of the available sunlight
Giraffe emerging from the riparian fringes along the mighty Limpopo river
Whilst searching for a leopard cub along a drainage line we came across this unusual sighting of a Spotted Eagle Owl
Scent marking a well used Mashatu tree, an iconic scene to Mashatu
Tribulus magic, a dream sighting!
Becoming aware of the presence of a troop of baboons on their way to roost, this relaxed female leopard pauses cautiously along the edge of a croton forest
With the Rivers usually very dry with scattered pools of water during most of the year, the revitalised arteris of the reserve attracted both Black and Saddle billed Storks. Drives along the Majali river never failed to produce great results, and wildlife aside, sailing through this amazing river bed is a fantastic experience.
A cruise along the Majali riverbed
A Saddle billed Stork fishing along in the new pools of water
A setting sun along one of my favourite strecthes of the Majali River, Fig Tree Crossing.
A hamerkop taking advantage of the fish fighting to clamber upstream
A humuorous moment with htis male Impala
A vast , lush landscape
A Groundscraper Thrush set against an emerald green forest
The mighty Limpopo river came up during the course of the Wrokshop, so the cable car came in to great use when our guests left back into South Africa