Mashatu

11th December 2015
In June 2015 I joined a videography safari in Mashatu. This safari was run by Dennis Glennon of "Iconic Images". Along with Dennis and Abraham Joffe, our videography tutor, we were also accompanied by Isak Pretorius, a well known South African wildlife photographer. These three very talented and patient gentlemen taught me so much in a very short period of time!

Mashatu is a game reserve situated at the eastern most point of Botswana, at the edge of Zimbabwe and South Africa and is renown for its specially designed photographic hides. We visited these hides early one winters morning and while we waited for the elephants to arrive we were entertained by flocks of red-billed Quelea!

Eventually the star attractions arrived walking slowly and silently towards the water. These magnificent elephants towered above us as they splashed and drank the water as close as 3 metres away. They were so silent - one minute the waterhole was empty and the next it was completely encircled with elephants of all shapes and sizes! They were so close we could hear the water splashing into their tummies as they drank! Experiencing over 200 hundred elephants at such close range was just awesome!

We also followed a family of cheetahs during our week at Mashatu. The family consisted of a very patient mother and her four 12 month old cubs. Watching the cubs playing in the early morning sunshine was amazing and very entertaining. As the cubs were quite big their mother was always on the look out for a feed while the cubs themselves goofed about in the background! We watched bemused as one cub decided to sneak up on a flock of guinea fowl all of which screeched loudly leaping up into the air in a flurry of feathers - the youngster took great delight in causing havoc and the guinea fowl strutted away indignant at the outrage!

Mashatu is a wonderful game reserve to visit and to have sundowners on the top of Mamagwa Hill as the sun goes down silhouetting Rhodes 4,000 year old Baobab tree - life just doesn't get much better than that!