By Hayley Pugh


When you think of lions you often imagine them in a dry and dusty landscape, but this majestic animal has been pictured basking in much more colourful scenery – a vibrant carpet of yellow flowers.

The predator almost appears to be smelling the flowers as he roams around in the sea of vivid Devil Thorns.

The stunning transformation takes place each year in Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana, which is situated in the eastern extremes of the Kalahari Desert.

The reserve has an average of just 30 days rain a year and much of this happens between December and February.

Following the rain, the landscape undergoes breathtaking changes and within days, the open dusty plains evolve into fields of flowers.

These stunning images were taken by photographer Janet Kleyn.


The 52-year-old, who is a resident manager and professional photographer at PhotoMashatu, has been lucky enough to witness the phenomenon four years running.

She said: “To see this is a first for many people, including experienced safari goers.

“Seeing predators in such a different and beautiful setting just blows them away.

“Photographers start shooting rapidly taking as many shots as they can realising that this is a unique sighting.

“I’ve been lucky enough to witness this four years running and it never ceases to amaze me.

“It’s so beautiful to be here and witness the bush coming alive, the animals relishing in the rain and the rivers starting to flow.

“It’s truly a sight to behold.

“Many animals enjoy browsing these plants including impala, kudu and baboon.

“Cheetahs and lions are attracted to the large concentration of game in the area and are also regularly seen.

“This is also the time of the year when and Kudu and Wildebeest start calving and large herds of elephant return to the area to take advantage of the new vegetation.

“With all this abundance of game set in a beautiful backdrop, it’s not surprising Mashatu Green Season has become a ‘must do’ destination for photographers.”

Guests at Mashatu Game Reserve can enjoy guided game drives or safari adventures on foot, by bike or even on horseback.

They can also hire out specially adapted photographic vehicles for exclusive use and book photographic sessions with Janet, or one of the other PhotoMashatu experts, at the incredible Matebole Elephant Photographic Hide.

For more information about Mashatu Game Reserve, including the new Mashatu Euphorbia Villas set to open in June, please visit: