CyberDiary – 17 February 2012

Cheetah family

Cheetah family: mom and five cubs by Mike Dexter

It’s been an interesting week here at Mashatu! Everyday we await in anticipation for the beginning of our rainy season. On Sunday afternoon we all thought we were in for a big storm. By five o’clock a cold wind had picked up and a dark sky loomed overhead. It did rain, but unfortunately not the amount we’d hoped for. Main Camp only received a mere 3mm, although the folowing morning the rivers showed proof of a heavy downpour elsewhere. The Majale River had water bank to bank, and the Matabole River, which is usually just a dry riverbed, had burst its banks!

Despite not receiving much of this rainfall ourselves, it was amazing to see this much water amidst our dry landscape. Within a day the rivers had returned to their pre-storm states, with only newly washed down tree trunks and sand banks remaining as proof of the flash flood.

Cheetah male

One of the males intent on 'herding' our cheetah mom by Aliénor Brassine

Game sightings have been plentiful in spite of the lack of rain however. On Thursday some of our guests were lucky enough to see a very rare sighting: nine cheetahs together in one spot! Our regularly seen cheetah mother and five cubs were spotted in the company of three males.  The boisterous boys were trying their utmost to ‘herd’ the female, while the brave youngsters did their best to defend their mom.

 

Python track

Tracks belonging to a rather large python by Aliénor Brassine

A very large Rock python was also seen on a number of occasions. It was estimated to be about 4-5 meters long! I didn’t actually see it myself, but I did see its tracks. One thing is for certain, only a very large snake could have left tracks like that!

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See you out there,

Aliénor (standing in for Andrei who is relaxing in Mozambique, lucky fellow!)



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