Eland stirring up dust in early morning light Caption: Eland (Tragelaphus oryx)) stirs up dust as it walks across the parched earth in early morning light, Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana.

Camera: Canon EOS 50D; Lens: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM; Focal length: 400mm; Shutter speed: 1/1600; Aperture: f/5.6; ISO: 400

We visited Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana’s Northern Tuli Game Reserve earlier this month. I was shocked that it was already so dry and denuded of grass.

End of May/June is early winter in Southern Africa. It usually only rains again around October or November in Tuli, meaning a long, hard winter ahead for the animals.

The bulk grazers like wildebeest and zebra have already moved elsewhere in search of grass, as have the large herds of eland. Although we still saw plenty of impala, giraffe, and elephant herds, plus predators like lion, leopard and cheetah, one has to wonder how they’ll survive the next five to six months.

See our previous post, Eland Bull, for more about this antelope, the largest in Africa.

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+Scotch Macaskill