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pedro maia

Awesome Mashatu

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pedro maia

That mom won´t be able to rest

 

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It´s better to give up

 

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And think about life

 

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Or maybe not

 

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Mom has very big teeth

 

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And she doesn´t seem to be very happy

 

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It may be better to keep a low profile...

 

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Edited by pedro maia

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pedro maia

Suddenly, the lionesses change their attitude and focus their attention on the dry river bed:

 

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She just doesn´t pay attention to the cub

 

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A lonely impala is spotted and the other lioness approaches de river bed and makes herself invisible (sorry for the pictures, but distance, poor light and even poorer skills dictate the result):

 

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The other lioness also takes a predatory position:

 

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But not all the pride members understand that it´s the moment to stay still and stealthy

 

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The impala spots the cubs and vanishes in the bush, even before there was an attempt by the lionesses.

 

It was a pity for us, since we never saw a hunt and a kill, but still it was a thrilling moment.

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CDL111

The owl is a Verreaux’s Eagle Owl. Good photographs of the cubs, like your wording.

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pedro maia
11 hours ago, CDL111 said:

The owl is a Verreaux’s Eagle Owl. Good photographs of the cubs, like your wording.

 

Thanks for the ID and for your comments.

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pedro maia

We left the pride, went for sundowners and, already after dark, went back to check on the female leopard, and there she was, on the ground by the mashatu tree feeding on the impala, also a first for us (sorry for the quality of the pictures9:

 

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It was interesting to see how she never bit the stomach, Bellamy explain to us that the reason for that was to avoid spreading the carcass smell, which would attract other predators to the site.

 

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Time for some grooming

 

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And time for us to get back to Camp.

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pedro maia

During the drives back to camp I didn´t take any pictures, we saw a couple of African wild cats, genets, hares and a few other animals but not from close ao it wasn´t worth it to take pictures with very poor results.

 

However, after leaving the feeding female leopard, we had one of the best sightings of the trip, one we hadn´t experienced before and was a perfect closure for a perfect day, really the cherry on top of the cake, registered in video:

 

 

 

 

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pedro maia

Another day, another beautiful sunrise in Mashatu

 

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This morning the two other couples didn´t join us on the morning drive, they went to the photo hide instead, so we were going to have a private game drive, nothing to complain about it...

 

We wandered around for a while, Bellamy drove us to the clifs zone, we saw some general game on the way until an impala passed by us running and vanished in bush.

 

Bellamy and Goms got their focus on that and looked around, drove slowly, tried the river bed, always looking for signs of what had caused the impala to run that way, a clear sign of predators in the area.

 

After a while, we started to listen to the baboons barking from this zone

 

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all looking to the same side, so we returned to the river bed and didn´t take us long to find the responsible for al the fuss, this cheetah that was looking for prey:

 

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In the morning sun

 

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It´s like seing the Usain Bolt of the savanna

 

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We followed the cheetah for quite a while, hoping for her to find prey and go for a hunt, but she eventually went down to a small valley where it was impossible to keep her track and we had to give up, go looking for other animals and try to find her later.

 

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CDL111

Leopard last thing on the night drive, followed by cheetah the next morning, makes it all worth while.

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pedro maia
18 hours ago, CDL111 said:

Leopard last thing on the night drive, followed by cheetah the next morning, makes it all worth while.

 

Definitely, Mashatu is a great place to see predators.

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pedro maia

Next relevant momment of our mornig game drive was meeting this very young ellie, his mother was nearby:

 

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It was the funniest momment of the trip because the little guy decided that we were not welcome and, protected by his mother size (who, I must say, didn´t even look at us), didn´t refrain himself to show his discontent:

 

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What I think that made him even angrier was that we didn´t take him seriously and were all laughing in the car, but that´s just a supposition, of course:

 

 

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pedro maia

Anither owl I can´t identify, this one was really small and i don´t know how Goms found it, evene after looking and knowing it was there it took me a while to spot it, and also didn´t get to focus the picture.

 

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The creepy pantry of a leopard

 

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And we bumped again into the "gang of 5"

 

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who provided us a small show of contortioninsm

 

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pedro maia

You really can´t complain when the next sighting after watching lion cubs is a leopard in a tree (the same that the night before was feeding on the impala, as far as I remember).

 

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Tough momments in a leopard´s life...

 

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CDL111

I think the owl is a African Wood Owl. You will have to buy a bird book for your next trip. Nothing more enjoyable than spending hours looking at photographs and then trying to find out their  name, obviously with a G & T in hand.

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pedro maia
6 hours ago, CDL111 said:

I think the owl is a African Wood Owl. You will have to buy a bird book for your next trip. Nothing more enjoyable than spending hours looking at photographs and then trying to find out their  name, obviously with a G & T in hand.

 

It’ s a curious thing, I like G &T but I never had one while on safari, I allways go for the white wine as sundowner and for a cold beer when it’s really hot at the lodge, or rest camp, next time I’ll go for the G & T.

 

Thanks again for the owl ID, I was really amazed by how our tracker saw it while flying, because it was really small, this guys have amazing spotting skills.

 

About buying a book to ID birds, although it seems temptanting I also think I don’t need a new obsession, I already spend hour looking at our trip photographs choosing those I prefer and that’s difficult enough, I like the occasional bird, especially raptors, but I think I will keep asking for help of gentle people like you.

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CDL111

When you look at your safari trips in years to come, either you are going to have a very good memory or say “what was that bird called” it gives my wife pleasure looking up the birds name.

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pedro maia

To finish our "private" and prolific morning game drive, on our way to camp we passed by a breeding herd of ellies, with the little ones suckling, also quite a treat.

 

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pedro maia

However, there was one last thing to check, during the drive Bellamy, our guide, received a radio message, then turned to us and asked if we were staying at room number 8, which we confirmed, then he told us that the radio message was from the camp, informing that a leopard had killed an impala close to our room´s deck!!!

 

As soon as we arrived to our room we went to check things, and there it was, the impala carcass (the leopard was gone, nobody had seen it:

 

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That was definitely a first for us and also quite a thrill, also for the rest of the guests and guides.

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Big_Dog

You really know you're picked a good spot when there are leopard kills on the doorstep! That, and the generally excellent sightings!

Great series of pics, especially the hyaenas! Also quite interesting to see the rock monitor in the a tree too, don't often see them on a leopards menu.

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pedro maia

Thanks for your comments Big_Dog,.

Edited by pedro maia

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pedro maia
This next game drive would be our last in Mashatu, since next morning we would go to the photo hide before starting the long way back home, this afternoon we had again the honeymooners as opur company,m the other American couple went for another activity, the photo vehicule, so we were 4 guest in the car, great since they were a good company. 
 
In the heat the dame drive started slowly in terms of sightings, in our first stop we managed to photograph this 2 elands, a difficult task until then because they allways ran when the car approach them.
 
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Further on the way, after a bend we started to descend to the river bend and we bumped into this ellies family in their favourite activity, mud bathing
 
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I think we never get fed up of watching ellies
 
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When they finnished their bath they decided to take the path where we were with the engine turned off, «but they were really relaxed and just passed by us, really close from the car, and went their way.
 
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Edited by pedro maia

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pedro maia

After the ellies encounter we found the cheetah we had been following during the morning drive, she had killed an impala and was feeding on it on the dry river bed, there were lots of very annoying flies but they didn´t bit, so we stayed for a while until the ladies in the car sais it was enough

 

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pedro maia

A few more of the cheetah banquet

 

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And off we went...

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pedro maia

We saw a few more peaceful animals

 

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Fond again  the male lion, not really a peaceful guy but at that momment he wasn´t going to hurt anything, didn´t even bother to open his eyes

 

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Some mighty paws

 

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Tdgraves
On 10/4/2018 at 5:05 PM, CDL111 said:

I think the owl is a African Wood Owl. You will have to buy a bird book for your next trip. Nothing more enjoyable than spending hours looking at photographs and then trying to find out their  name, obviously with a G & T in hand.

 

@CDL111 i’m afraid that your book (or more likely it’s reader) has failed you. This is a pearl spotted owlet.....

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pedro maia

Once again he was resting aside from his pride,where the cubs kept on trying to suckle

 

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Without success, maybe their teeth were already big enough to hurt mom

 

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Mom was more in themood for some tenderness

 

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It would be our last sightiting of the cubs so wehad to sok up the moment

 

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