October 21, 2014

A day full of surprises at Mashatu

Mashatu Game Reserve is home to the Mapungubwe rock, also known as Leeukop. It is believed that local Botswana chiefs were buried on this rock and that they are related to Botswana’s President. No one is allowed to climb this rock unless you ask permission from the President.

Okwa (Assistant instructor at Mashatu camp) “We were on our way to collect the students who was about to start the Safari Guide course at our Mashatu camp, when we witnessed a leopard on the road close to Mapungubwe rock also known as Leeukop rock.  This was only the beginning of sighting about to follow.

The following morning we left camp for a walk. As we started walking we heard vervet monkeys alarming. We decided to use the game drive vehicle instead of walking so that we can investigate what caused the alarm. At first we did not come across anything, and then we decided to start walking again. Not even 5 minutes later we found fresh leopard tracks on the ground and followed the tracks for about an hour before it disappeared into thick bushes and had to give up on the search.

We then went onto a ridge where we saw some elephants and decided to approach them. Everything was in our favour, from the wind to the escape route. We came as close as 100m from the elephants and enjoyed the sighting of a breeding herd from a distance.

Thereafter we heard rock hyrax alarming on Mapungubwe ridge. It could have been either be an eagle or a predator, so we went investigating. As we walked around the corner one of the students noticed the tail of a leopard, approximately 70m from us. We backed away to a safe distance where the students could admire and take photos of this magnificent animal.

This was an amazing sighting for all of us. It was an eventful day filled with great encounters “.


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