News from the Underground

As the months of 2014 tick by and the dry winter sets in, the landscapes of Mashatu Game Reserve undergo some immense changes. With these changes an array of new wildlife is introduced to the underground hide on an almost daily basis. Elephant congregations around the waterhole are almost guaranteed at the moment, it’s not unusual to have up to 100 elephants move through the area in a morning. Animals such as Eland and Zebra, which  in the past few months have been too skittish to make the bold move to drink at the open waterhole have now started making quick appearances. Bird species who usually rely on the fruiting tree’s as their source of nourishment are now making their way down to the waterhole more regularly as the trees begin to dry out. These birds include black headed oriole, crested barbets, arrow marked babblers, pied babblers and more.

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A very skittish zebra hiding behind a kudu in hope of a drink of water

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Black Headed Oriole – Photographed by guest Barry Pieser

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Eland drinking – Photographed by guide Trevor Kleyn

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Crested Barbet and Arrow Marked Babbler

Water is becoming scarcer on the reserve as all the last puddles in the Majali River slowly dry up, thus forcing the animals to change their habits from the wet season for survival during the dry. These changes continue to bring new and exciting game viewing to the underground hide; we are looking forward to see what changes the next few dry months ahead at Mashatu brings us.

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Eland waiting his turn at the waterhole


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Chacma baboon – Photographed by guide Trevor Kleyn


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Large flocks of Red Billed Quelea making their way down to the waterhole for a quick drink

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Impala drinking

By Ruth Nussbaum

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