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We flew in from Johannesburg to Phinda, where our guide Eric met us at the airstrip. Some quick introductions, and we headed straight to Rock Lodge excited about what this beautiful reserve had to show us.
Scotty was a very keen bird photographer whilst Carolyn enjoyed everything, so choosing a reserve like Phinda was perfect as it benefited everyone’s expectations.
We could clearly see that Phinda has had a good wet season. All the pans were full, the grass was long and green, and animals all looking very healthy. The reserve is well known for its very diverse habitats which makes the ecosystem and its wildlife thrive. One of our many highlights was not only being lucky enough to see, but also photograph both a male & female Narina Trogon in the ancient Sand Forest… a unique and fragile eco-system that is one of the many endemic biomes at Phinda.
We also managed to see a super relaxed female Leopard and her two cubs, which was a very special sighting on the reserve.
After just a Short flight from Johannesburg to Polokwane in the northern part of South Afica, we got a road transfer to Pont drift border where we crossed the great Limpopo River into Botswana.
Mashatu Game Reserve is well known for its huge herds of Elephant, great Leopard sightings and an abundance of general game! Our focus was mainly the famous photography hides, which takes game viewing to a whole level! It’s a bird photographers paradise and you have a great chance to view elephants drinking and sometimes swimming, all at eye level.
We did 5 hide session each morning and every day we had elephant come in and drink. My highlight however was a dark morph Gabar Goshawk whilst sitting in Matebole Hide.
We had such a great safari and both Scotty and I managed to get some amazing photographs.
Mashatu Game Reserve Tuli Block, Thornybush Game Reserve
“Just over a week into my safari and I wonder how I’ve changed, if at all. Certainly the experiences I’ve had and things I’ve seen have shaped me in someway. But then, as if by some ancient, unspeakable memory, I remember… it’s in my blood.”