It’s been over four months since the Covid-19 pandemic first affected the safari industry in Botswana and the rest of Africa. Mashatu Lodge and the Tent Camp have been closed to guests since then, and the opening of our new Mashatu Euphorbia Villas has been put on hold.
But rest assured that we at Mashatu are doing all we can to protect and conserve this magical wilderness area, in anticipation of our guests returning. Nature of course, needs little help, and is well adapted to looking after itself.
While most of the world is in lockdown, we share some of nature’s secrets to keeping an ecosystem healthy.
Leopards are not picky eaters. When food is scarce, leopards will hunt less desirable, but more abundant prey. This flexibility enables leopards to thrive in a variety of ecological settings, adapting its taste buds and hunting techniques to match whatever food sources are available to that particular region.
Personal Protective Equipment
Mud is the PPE of the bush. Wallowing in mud not only acts as a cooling method by reducing body temperature, but also acts as an insect repellent, protection against sunburn and to provide relief from biting insects.
Big cats are designed by nature to expend large amounts of energy over short periods of time. To preserve their energy for hunting, catching and killing their prey, cats in the wild spend most of their time sleeping. On average lions will sleep 16-20 hours a day, this rest is vital for their survival.
The Safety of Being at Home
Many species in the wild make use of safe places for protection, whether built themselves such as bird’s nests, or finding existing places which offer safety and shelter, such as cavities in trees. Of course, there’s also the tortoise, with one of nature’s ingenious designs, allowing them to carry their home wherever they go.
Bathing is an important part of feather maintenance for most bird species. Feathers are a bird’s lifeline: they insulate, waterproof and, of course, provide the power of flight. Dampening the feathers loosens the dirt and makes their feathers easier to preen. A good bath keeps those precious feathers in the best condition possible for as long as possible.
Death comes to all and it is no different in the wild. It does not take long for the bodies of animals and remains of kills to start to decompose but thanks to vultures, jackals and hyenas the carcasses disappear within no time, eliminating the risk of disease outbreak.
Mashatu is taking the lead from our wildlife and all these health and hygiene secrets have become paramount to life on safari with us. We cannot wait to welcome our guests back!
Images and text by Janet Kleyn.