Water water everywhere. The Last Word Madikwe Bush House.

At The Last Word Madikwe Bush House, even the mighty buffalo, a member of the illustrious Big 5, must exercise caution when they pause for a drink at the waterhole in front of the underground photographic hide. Here the buffalo must momentarily shed their ferocity and heed the subtle whispers of the African wilderness. For in the hide are eager photographers, lenses trained on this very moment. Here, amidst the quiet camaraderie of cameras, the buffalo's every move becomes art, their strength and unpredictability frozen in time. 




Look, I am practicing to be a water feature.

This young elephant seems to think that a career change was required.

So, there it stood at the waterhole, striking an elegant pose, pretending to all the world that it was a garden ornament.

I captured this image while sitting quietly in the nearby hide that exuded an expression of regal grandeur.

Click! I believe that my snapshot captured the elephant’s artistic ambition perfectly.




This tiny Blue Waxbill seeks the serene solitude of dawn, a tranquil moment to savor the stillness and bask in the shallows. With each delicate dip, it bathes contentedly, oblivious to the imminent arrival of thirsty herds. But as the mighty approach, the little bird, like Cinderella at midnight, must reluctantly depart, its private oasis surrendered to the clamoring masses.

Always cheerful and noisy, they seem to welcome each day with excitement and expectations.





The zebra were often the first to the water in the mornings during my stay. More dribbling than a professional football team.

Sporting its iconic black and white stripes, the zebra approached the water’s edge with cautious curiosity. But instead of gracefully sipping like a seasoned drinker, it took a comically exaggerated step forward, almost a cartoonish tiptoe. With each sip, it jerks its head up as if expecting a waterhole surprise party.

Our zebras peculiar drinking routine become one of the day’s highlights, reminding me that nature knows how to serve up a good chuckle.




The wildebeest are also ‘messy’ drinkers…

While most antelope drink standing up, these ‘wierdly’ constructed animals often go down on their knees to get to the water. This can put them at a disadvantge when it comes to possible predations. But there is safety in numbers and the herd look out for each other.

Wildebeest are the unintentional comedians of the bush They approach the waterhole with all the grace of a professional soccer player, ready to execute the perfect dribble. But instead of taking a sip, they dribble the water like a ball, splashing it all over themselves and the rest of the herd.




Even when they are drinking, buffalo look at you as if you owe them money.

Buffalo, the bush’s formidable enforcers, maintain their intimidating reputation even when taking a leisurely drink.

At the water’s edge, their imposing stature is accentuated by an unrelenting stare that would make a debt collector blush. It’s as if they’re saying, “You owe me, and I remember.” Even while quenching their thirst, their gaze remains a stern reminder of the untamed power they wield.

Their unwavering glare leaves no doubt that they’re the bush’s true enforcers, guarding their turf and debts with a demeanor that could make even the boldest challenger think twice.




Can you do what a kudu can do? A haven for the Oxpeckers as it keeps an eye open while slaking its thirst.




Even the elephants that came down to slake their thirst got in on the dribbling act.

To me, elephants always look far too streamlined with thier ears folded back. It is as if they are undergoing some sort of wind tunnel testing.




Droplets caught in the late afternoon light.

To misquote Paul Simon; “Not quite diamonds on the soles of their feet”




“Just another slurp before I leave”. Another wildebeest takes advantage of the water on offer.




Trying to empty this waterhole one trunkful at a time?




Time to get out for Dodge…the last of the herd leaves the water and heads off into the surrounding bushveld.

Thirst quenched, now it is time for them to look for grazing close by.




Did you know that the trunk of an African elephant can hold an impressive 5.5 liters of water?

Georgia Tech research has found that elephants can dilate their nostrils to create more space in their trunks, thereby being able to hold more water.



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