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It’s been just under two months since the Photo Mashatu underground hides were re-opened for the season. Coming out of the wet season, March and April are traditionally quieter months because of the many sources of water available to the animals on the reserve. But this year, despite all the water around, the animals just can’t seem to stay away. From small to big, they’ve all stopped by for a drink. The elephants have been particularly active with large herds coming in for a drink, swim and mud bathe.

Perhaps the most exciting visitor to the hide during this period has been a big male lion. We heard him calling in the distance and the excitement in the hide grew as the calls came closer and closer. Without warning all of a sudden he stepped into view from behind a bush and walked straight to the water. He had quite a thirst to quench and drank solidly for about seven minutes before walking off with purpose. We had seen tracks of another male lion in the area and we assumed he went off in search of the intruder into his area. What an incredible start to the season, we can only imagine what the dry months will bring.

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Images and text by: Janet Kleyn

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