CyberDiary – 25 August 2011

Mashatu Game Reserve - Female leopard and cub

Female leopard and cub by Andrei Snyman

The game viewing during the past few weeks has been nothing short of spectacular here at Mashatu. Recent guests even experienced the thrill of sitting with a female leopard and her three cubs while they tucked into yet another impala kill. This mother is quite an astute hunter, and makes full use of the skills she’s acquired in her 12 or so years. I mentioned in a previous update that the impala are inclined to gather beneath the large canopies of the Mashatu tree, as the feeding baboons seem to drop more of the fruit than they eat. A fact the leopard mom was quick to pick up on. In the last while she has literally ‘plucked’ off her last three impala kills in this prime hunting area.

Mashatu Game Reserve - Female leopard on impala kill

Female leopard on impala kill by Andrei Snyman

By hiding in the thickets of the Croton trees (Large Fever Berry) near these ‘feeding hotspots’, she ambushes the unsuspecting buck as they gorge themselves on the tasty morsels that lie scattered on the ground. Those that venture too close to the edge of the thickets are the ones most in danger of landing up on this wily cat’s dinner table. After making the kill, she’ll immediately drag the carcass back into the thickets in order to hide it from the prying eyes of scavenging hyenas. These thickets also double as an excellent hiding spot for her three seven month old youngsters.

Mashatu Game Reserve - Hyenas

Hyenas by Andrei Snyman

The Central pride of lions have been spending the majority of their time around the area we refer to as Long-grass (for obvious reasons), which together with the various small drainage lines, and the Majale River criss-crossing the area, afford the group excellent hunting cover in these late stages of winter.

Mashatu Game Reserve - Central lion pride

Central lion pride by Andrei Snyman

Elephant sightings were more amazing than usual, with herds of up to 200 frequently being seen on game drives (and guests have the pictures to prove it!). Water availability is limited to certain key areas, and the sight of these large herds moving to the various water sources in the early mornings has been a special treat.

Visit our Facebook and Flikr albums to see more photos.

See you out there,

Andrei

PLEASE NOTE: This blog is still in it’s infancy stages so the Sightings maps, Predator maps and CyberDiary Archives aren’t up and running just yet. The Pete’s Pond is live however, so make sure to wander over there and see what the animals are up to.



2 Responses to “ “CyberDiary – 25 August 2011”

  1. Kay Peterson says:

    We are huge fans of Mala Mala but will definitely have to make a point of coming to visit Mashatu! Great blog!

    • mashatu says:

      Hi Kay. Having been there for the first time recently, I can highly recommend it. It is breathtakingly beautiful, and staffed by some of the loveliest people you could ever hope to meet! Standing on a look-out point, G&T in hand, watching the sunset…you just know you’re in Africa. ;-)

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