Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mashatu Photo Workshop, April 25-29 - By Isak Pretorius

Safari Diary - 25 April 2015

Photo Workshop, Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana...

The April rains in Mashatu carpeted the land in a stunning green with yellow and purple flowers and I’ve never seen the bush this beautiful. Temperatures are also down with warm days and cool nights. I met the guests at the border for the start of the first scheduled photo workshop for 2015. After checking everyone into the lodge we embarked on our first game drive where we were blessed with good sightings of jackals in golden light and a leopard just before sunset. We toasted to another stunning day in Africa! Let’s see what tomorrow will bring!

Leopard | 1/800sec at f/4, ISO 2500 | Canon EOS-1D Mark IV + EF200-400mmf/4L IS USM | Shutter priority, 0 EV

 Safari Diary - 26 April 2015

Photo Workshop, Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana

We left camp in the dark and managed to catch a beautiful sunrise in the bush with some zebras in the foreground. We were soon called to a leopard sighting and a large herd of elephants in the riverbed concluded our morning drive. After a workshop and the highlight of lemon meringue tart during high tea, we embarked on our afternoon drive. We found a leopard that entertained us until sunset and a hyena den with 2 tiny cubs.

Warthogs | 1/100sec at f5.6, ISO 125 | Canon EOS-1D Mark IV + EF200-400mmf/4L IS USM | Shutter priority, 0 EV

Safari Diary - 27 April 2015 Photo Workshop, Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana Our plan for the morning was to go to the bee-eater hide. This hide was first opened in 2012 and I’ve never seen it this dramatic as this morning with beautiful golden side-lighting against a dark background. There are plenty of White-fronted Bee-eaters and they kept us entertained for the whole morning. In the afterno...on we went looking for the cheetah mother and her four cubs. We found them while trying to hunt an impala, unsuccessfully, but it delivered great photo opportunities. After sundowner drinks we made our way back to camp and found a Spotted Eagle owl to finish off another great day’s photography in the bush.

Elephant on the move | 1/5sec at f/18, ISO 100 | Canon EOS-1D X + EF70-200mmf/4L USM | Shutter priority, -2/3 EV

Safari Diary - 28 April 2015 Photo Workshop, Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana This morning one of our vehicles went to the Valley Hide in search of elephants while the other vehicle went to the Bee-eater hide. At the Valley Hide they photographed birds in the early morning and the elephants almost came to drink. An elephant that died from natural causes was found close to the hide while a herd o...f elephants that were on their way to drink in front of the hide got diverted because of the situation. The scene was amazing with elephants standing over the dead one to mourn. Two male lions waited behind the elephants in anticipation of a meal and hyenas even further behind lurking in the bushes. Mashatu switched it on during the afternoon drive with a cheetah sighting, jackals fighting with vultures over a carcass, lions on an elephant carcass and a hyena stealing a kill from a leopard!

White-fronted Bee-eaters | 1/640sec at f/8, ISO 800 | Canon EOS-1D X + EF200-400mmf/4L IS USM EXT | Aperture priority, -2/3 EV

Photographs and Text By: Isak Pretorius

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