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pedro maia

Portraits from Mashatu

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pedro maia

A little less than one year since me and my wife went to Mashatu we returned there with our kids for another (too) short but delightful family trip, here are some of the characters we met in this very laid-back and uncrowded piece of wilderness:

 

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Edited by pedro maia

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Towlersonsafari

wonderful @pedro maia

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michael-ibk

Great pictures Pedro! Wow, Cheetah, Lion and Leopard, Mashatu really delivered. I especially like the picture of Oxpecker, Weaver and Starling, very nice shot!

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TonyQ

Great photos, and an excellent way to show a wide selection of wildlife.

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Hads

 

More please @pedro maia - wonderful photo of the 3 birds having a drink.

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shazdwn

Excellent.  I'm hoping there might be some more coming?

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pedro maia

This time we stayed for 3 nights at the tented camp, tents are very nice, there are only 6 of them for 12 guests, with a maximum of 6 guests per vehicule.

 

There´s a hide a little outside the camp overlooking a waterhole, nice to see birds and game, the waterhole is floodlit but isn´t accessible after dark, it would be dangerous, but it´s visible from the boma where meals were served and we saw 1 leopard the first night and hyena the other 2 nights, I´ll post some pictures taken from the camp hide later.

 

A nice African sunrise:

 

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And I start with the lions, we saw exactely the same lions me and my wife had seen in September 2018, the male was again under a bush, the only diference was that he was awake:

 

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Also the same 2 lionesses:

 

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In September 2018, the other members of the pride were 5 absolutely cute cubs, 3 and 5 months old by that time, this time, in August, the cubs were all alive, 14 and 16 months old, but they are no longer with the parents, they live together, all in great shape and it was great to see them again:

 

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Even if they weren´t very active

 

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It´s clear that they were quite happy together

 

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The oldest male is growing a nice mane

 

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And they went back to what they were doing

 

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pedro maia

This year I was much more interested in birds then in previous safaris, all because of the Big Year bug:

 

Kori Bustard

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Saddle-billed Stork

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Blacksmith Lapwing

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White-fronted Bee Eater

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Lilac-breasted Roller

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Verreaux´s Eagle Owl

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Brown Snake Eagle

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African Hawk Eagle

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And Red-billed Quelea

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Peter Connan

Some really nice shots and sightings here Pedro!

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pedro maia

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pedro maia

Jackals are fun to watch for a while, even though they aren´t at the same league as other predators, not even close.

 

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Cheetahs are a different thing, they are part of the big cat elite and are a real treat to see, even more in the morning sun which enhances their fur colours and their orange eyes.

 

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This jackal was just passing by or it was waiting to see if the cheetahs make a kill to get some leftovers.

 

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Jackals don´t compete white big cats but they can be really annoying, and maybe these cheetahs were previously annoyed by jackals or they just don´t like them, and there was an obvious change of mood.

 

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And they decided to go after the jackal.

 

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Jackals are pretty smart so the cheetahs didn´t catch it, maybe they just wanted to give him a scare, but it was great to see the fastest land animal providing us a speed show, without any other car in the sighting.

 

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They are gorgeous cats.

 

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michael-ibk

A fantastic Cheetah sighting in gorgeous light!

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TonyQ

Gorgeous cats indeed, and beautifully photographed.

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Rick - Gamewatchers

Love the cat pics!

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Soukous

Muito bem, senhor, adoráveis chitas :D

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Kitsafari

Love the cheetah shots! such beautiful and svelte cats.

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pedro maia

I already mentioned the camp waterhole, during the "dead" hours between breakfast and high tea I went there to try to get some new birds for my big year and I was also entertained by general game that came to have a drink.

 

On our second (and last) full day in Masahtu I was at the hide, there were some birds at the waterhole and by an lateral opening I could see a distant giraffe, feeding on top of a small ridge, maybe some 200/300 meters from the hide (wiht the distance I wasn´t able to focus on the giraffe):

 

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As it kept the distance I started to think that it might come down to drink, and since I had nothing better to do I stayed at the hide, mostly alone, watchiing impala, zebra and birds, from time to time I would check the giraffe, it kept feeding over the same ridge, an nearly one hour later it started coming down, slowly and carefully, until it reached the waterhole:

 

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It´s always nice to watch giraffes drinking, I´ve seen that before but never from such a short distance, so itwas time to prepare the camera and start shooting while enjoying the momment, I know it´s something normal but normal things can be extraordinay and it was one of those things, and it was even better because I was alone the whole time.

 

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Another go

 

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It was clear that the giraffe was fully aware of my presence since I was visible and also because of the camera shutter noise:

 

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But it was thirsty so it kept dinking:

 

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it left but another giraffe arrived:

 

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And it also left, but I definitely had a great momment (sorry for the giraffe overload).

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Atravelynn

You've done a great service for Mashatu with your excellent photos.  Such variety.  I have always heard Mashatu was good for cheetah.

"Jackals are fun to watch for a while, even though they aren´t at the same league as other predators, not even close."  Just don't tell them.  The cheetah seem to agree with you as they chased the pesky jackal away.

 

Nice job on the drinking giraffe.  You got the flowing spittle arcing gracefully!

 

I'm sure your family had a wonderful time together.

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pedro maia
On 10/17/2019 at 4:41 PM, Atravelynn said:

You've done a great service for Mashatu with your excellent photos.  Such variety.  I have always heard Mashatu was good for cheetah.

"Jackals are fun to watch for a while, even though they aren´t at the same league as other predators, not even close."  Just don't tell them.  The cheetah seem to agree with you as they chased the pesky jackal away.

 

Nice job on the drinking giraffe.  You got the flowing spittle arcing gracefully!

 

I'm sure your family had a wonderful time together.

 

Thanks, I like jackals, when we went to KTP we had a great time watching them but cheetahs are more spectacular, IMO.

 

And yes, it was a great family trip.

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pedro maia

I think I already said that I like hyenas, in our family we all like, we had never seen a brown one and they also occur in Mashatu so I was hoping to see one and we did although it vanished immediately into the thicket and I didn´t even have a chance to take a picture but what counts is that we saw one brown hyena!

 

One of the things I asked to our ranger was to go and see one hyena den and that took us nearly a whole game drive because the den was quite far from the camp, probably because they want to have it far from lions.

 

It was great to see their intimacy and also the landscape was totally different from other parts of Mashatu, more like a forest and with autumn colours:

 

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I really think that hyenas have a marketing problem because they are incredible and provide great familiar scenes.

 

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And the cubs are really cute

 

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This one was absolutely adorable, it´s a pity it didn´t come completely out of the den 

 

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Seems to be thinking about life...

 

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xelas

Hyenas,  when puppies, are indeed very adorable animals. Very good photos,  you have captured some nice moments!

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Peter Connan

Lovely sighting!

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wilddog

Wonderful report. Loved the Cheetah and Hyena shots in particular but all pictures are great. 

 

I had planned a trip to Mashatu a few years ago but did not make it in the end. Must have a rethink. 

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