Hennie van Heerden's Wildlife Diary

November 7, 2010

Botswana – Mashatu Private Game Reserve

Filed under: 2010,November — Hennie van Heerden @ 8:30 am

When I left Holland, a little over 2 weeks ago, I still couldn’t believe that I was going to spend 5 weeks in Africa, doing nothing but photographing. For me, it’s like a dream coming true.  And so far, it still feels like a dream..

After arriving in Johannesburg, I met up with my travel companion for the first days, Andy Goodman, whom I got to know through his beautiful wildlife photography on Flickr (A.M.G.1). Of course it’s a little weird to go on a trip with someone you don’t know at all but I was pretty sure we would get along just great. I truly believe that you can read a lot of a person’s character by looking at their photography.
A bottle of red further and it was as if we had known each other for ages already 🙂

The next morning we took off for Botswana. After about a 6 hour’s drive we arrived at the border and after crossing the (almost dry) Limpopo river we were in Botswana. Mashatu Camp is located in a vast private game reserve and after arrival we immediately headed off for the first game drive, accompanied by our ranger Elvis (he’s alive and lives in Botswana!! 🙂 and tracker Morgan.

The land was brown and dry and Elvis told me that they hadn’t had rain for about 6 months. Everything and everyone was waiting for the first rains to come. (till today I haven’t been able to get that great Toto song out of my head “I bless the rains down in Africa” and I guess I was one of the few guests over there that really hoped for rain).
By the way, have you ever seen that fantastic acapella version of Perpetuum Jazzilee?

On the first game drive we passed a den and to my enormous surprise two of the cutest pink ears you ever saw peeped out of there. Aardwolf!! 20 years I’ve been visiting Africa now and I had never seen one before! When it saw us it immediately went back inside so I didn’t get a chance to photograph it. I wanted the photograph so badly I kind of forced Elvis and Morgan to pass that den every single day of my stay at least twice to see if it would pop out again, but no such luck. I thought that this one glance would be all I got from this cute little fellow, until the very last day of my stay in Botswana (I had extended my stay with another 3 days since I liked it there so much).
As usual we took the road where the den was located and sure enough, when we got there, no aardwolf. This being my last game drive, we dediced to wait a litte longer at the den. To my great joy, the baby gave a smashing farewell show!!


1 Comment »

  1. Good to see you’re having the time of your life!
    Those little pink ears are fantastic. So is the music, best rainstorm ever!

    Comment by J. — November 24, 2010 @ 9:15 am | Reply

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