Category Archives: Wildlife

Creatures Great & Small: Mopane Moth

April 02, 2015 - Kruger National Park,Wildlife

Southern Africa is home to a very interesting tree that is host to an even more interesting insect. The mopane tree grows in hot, dry, low-lying areas and has distinctive butterfly-shaped leaves that brighten up the bush with shades of gold and red during autumn.

Field Guide and photographer James Suter comes across a rhino in a mopane forest

Field Guide and photographer James Suter comes across a rhino in a mopane forest

A very important little creature lives in these trees; the caterpillar of the Mopane or Emperor Moth [Gonimbrasia belina], known as the Mopane Worm, provides a nutritious food source for many rural people in southern Africa. It is a nutrient- and protein-rich snack as well as being easy to harvest and preserve.

Mopane moth | Singita Kruger National Park

Mopane or Emperor Moth (Gonimbrasia belina)

The moths are easily identifiable by their markings, which feature a large orange eyespot on each hind wing and two black and white bands isolating two smaller eyespots. Males have long, feathery antennae that they use to find a mate during their brief three-to-four-day lifespan.

This photo first appeared in the February 2014 Wildlife Report from Singita Kruger National Park. These monthly bush journals are penned by our field guides and are packed with interesting stories and photographs. You can read them all here or catch up on the highlights here.

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The Greatest Show on Earth Has Begun!

March 13, 2015 - Experience,Safari,Singita Grumeti,Wildlife

The Great Migration 2015 | Singita Grumeti

Every year, roughly three million plains game traverse the Serengeti in the Great Migration; a spectacular wildlife phenomenon that is affectionately known as the Greatest Show on Earth. The animals typically arrive in Singita Grumeti around May, as the herds move northwest towards Kenya.

The Great Migration 2015 | Singita Grumeti

The Great Migration 2015 | Singita Grumeti

Recent reports from the area indicate a very early migration, as a portion of the wildebeest, zebra and antelope has already arrived. Large herds of wildebeest were first spotted crossing the Grumeti River onto the property last week, and were initially thought to be “strays” who had broken away from the bulk. It only took a few short days however, with thousands more pouring in, for the plains of Sasakwa and Nyati to be overrun by close to 100 000 wildebeest.

The Great Migration 2015 | Singita Grumeti

The Great Migration 2015 | Singita Grumeti

Adding to the fun are the younger calves traipsing alongside their mothers. These calves would usually already be three months old by the time they reached these parts of the Serengeti, as the animals spend the first months of the year on the short grass plains of the southeastern part of the ecosystem where they birth their young.

The Great Migration 2015 | Singita Grumeti

The Great Migration 2015 | Singita Grumeti

It is speculated that the early migration can be attributed to the dry weather experienced in the southern and central Serengeti this year. The herds have been forced to travel two months ahead of schedule, in order to find fresh grazing – a clear sign of their agility in reacting to environmental conditions. The herds will need to continue on their flexible schedule as there have been no major rainstorms in Singita Grumeti since February, which means that the herd is expected to move on shortly.

The Great Migration 2015 | Singita Grumeti

Subscribe to our RSS feed for the latest news about the migration. You can also see the latest photos on our Facebook page and Instagram feed, as our field guides post there regularly, direct from the bush.

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Top 10 Most Liked Photos on Instagram

February 02, 2015 - Experience,Wildlife

Top 10 most liked photos on Instagram

1. He’s done it again… The amazing field guide and wildlife photographer that is Ross Couper captures the most wonderful leopard mother/cub image at Singita – quite brilliant (Jan 2015)

This leopard mother and cub photo by field guide and photographer Ross Couper, posted on Friday afternoon, quickly became the most ‘liked’ image on Singita’s Instagram page. Ross is also responsible for the second most popular image from @Singita_; the equally remarkable lion pride parade pictured below.

Top 10 most liked photos on Instagram

2. Beat that for a group photo! Field guide Ross Couper at Singita Sabi Sand says: “As the honey coloured morning light filtered through the mist on the horizon, we knew we were in for a very good morning…” (May 2014)

The photograph was so popular that we thought you might like to see the rest of the Top 10 most ‘liked’ images from the past 18 months. Leopards are the subject of three of the photographs but are outweighed, so to speak, by shots of elephants; they feature four times. The early morning lion patrol, an affectionate baby rhino and some very fluffy cheetahs also make it onto the list. We hope that you enjoy these wonderful images from our very special corner of the world:

Top 10 most liked photos on Instagram

3. Rather superb photo via @margauxknuppe of three elephants lining up for a group shot at the hide in Singita Pamushana Lodge (Oct 2014)

Top 10 most liked photos on Instagram

4. Heartwarming shot of a cheetah and cub captured by guide Alfred Ngwarai at Singita Grumeti. (Sept 2014)

Top 10 most liked photos on Instagram

5. Magnificent shot of the Ravenscourt female leopard and youngster by @jonobuffey, who captured ‘The Look’ at Singita Sabi Sand (Oct 2014)

Top 10 most liked photos on Instagram

6. This is an extraordinarily powerful photo, taken by Hilary O’Leary. She works for the equestrian program at Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve – 130,000 acres of wilderness in Zimbabwe, in which Singita Pamushana is located. Her photo is of a baby black rhino nudging a scout with his rifle. The image is made even more pertinent by the fact that only 750 rhinos still survive in the country, according to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority. (Feb 2014)

Top 10 most liked photos on Instagram

7. Two of our most valued guests at Singita Pamushana Lodge. (Sept 2014)

Top 10 most liked photos on Instagram

8. So you just settle down post-lunch and think about a dip when along comes a herd of 30 elephants for a drink at the bar. Or, in this case, the pool. Nothing for it but to grab a camera, as Singita Serengeti House guest, Evan Visconti, did. (Aug 2014)

Top 10 most liked photos on Instagram

9. View from the comfy seats, as seen by @fatmalfalasi at Singita Boulders Lodge. Put yourself in her seat… (Jul 2014)

Top 10 most liked photos on Instagram

10. Powerful leopard kill image from field guide Barry Peiser at Singita Kruger National Park (Oct 2014)

For more spectacular photographs from Singita’s lodges and camps, join the roughly 5,300 other Instagram followers on our account. Our guests can also tag their own photos with #OurSingita, so that they may appear on our digital scrapbook – visit the page to share in their Singita experiences.

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Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014: Part Two

January 30, 2015 - Experience,Safari,Wildlife

Hippo by Ross Couper | Singita Kruger National Park

In yesterday’s post we shared the highlights from our monthly Wildlife Journals from the first half of 2014. These diary entries, penned by our field guides in the bush, document the fascinating flora and fauna found across Singita’s concessions in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. They are filled with interesting sightings, unusual animals and amusing anecdotes (just look at these bounding baboons!), and illustrated with their own stunning photographs. Here are some of the most memorable stories from July to December:

JULY – SINGITA KRUGER NATIONAL PARK (SOUTH AFRICA)

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

On the 11th of July we had a sighting that was so unusual that we could hardly believe our ears when it came over the radio. Clement had found and called in members of the Shishangaan pride with cubs, but one of the cubs was just a little different. He is snow white!

Read the full Wildlife Report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report – July 2014
Read all Wildlife Reports from the region here: Singita Kruger National Park

AUGUST – SINGITA SABI SAND (SOUTH AFRICA)

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

The Sabi Sand has always been famous for its excellent leopard viewing, with a good number of relaxed or habituated leopards existing in this area. These wonderfully adaptable carnivores can, of course, exist in just about any habitat where there is food and cover. Having claimed that the Sabi Sand boasts excellent leopard viewing, I would not for a moment suggest that finding leopards here is easy, and nor would I ever take a leopard sighting for granted. Indeed, one can sometimes spend days searching for a leopard without success, and with guest expectations high, the pressure on guides and trackers can really mount!

Read the full Wildlife Report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report – August 2014
Read all Wildlife Reports from the region here: Singita Sabi Sand

SEPTEMBER – SINGITA PAMUSHANA (ZIMBABWE)

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

As the first rays of light lit the landscape on World Rhino Day (22 September) we chose to explore an area that our well-protected rhinos seem to prefer. We were hugely rewarded with the very first sighting of the drive being a family of six white rhinos that were just waking up from their night’s rest in an open grassy area.

Read the full Wildlife Report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report – September 2014
Read all Wildlife Reports from the region here: Singita Pamushana

OCTOBER – SINGITA GRUMETI (TANZANIA)

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

Just like the three previous months, the first half of October was characterised by lots of game all over the concession. Large herds of migratory zebra continued to slowly move through the area, as well as pockets of a few thousand wildebeest. The migratory animals joined hundreds of topi on the Sabora Plains. The topi calving season that began in late September continued into October, and multitudes of tiny calves dotted the herds throughout the plains.

Read the full Wildlife Report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report – October 2014
Read all Wildlife Reports from the region here: Singita Grumeti

NOVEMBER – SINGITA SABI SAND (SOUTH AFRICA)

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

With our ever-growing elephant population in the Sabi Sands that forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park, there is always the question of how their numbers are being controlled in a confined area, even with the conserved area as large as it is. I have included a few quotes from Dr Sam Ferreira, SANParks’ large mammal ecologist, in this article. This is the most recent information available on the population control within the area of Kruger National Park and Sabi Sand.

Read the full Wildlife Report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report – November 2014
Read all Wildlife Reports from the region here: Singita Sabi Sand

DECEMBER – SINGITA PAMUSHANA (ZIMBABWE)

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

The most astonishing, frightening and incredible sighting of my career… My hands trembled as I grabbed my 400 mm lens and my 1.4 convertor and fitted them to the camera body. While doing this and trying to stay calm I could tell from the sounds that these two highly endangered, rarely observed and very aggressive animals were not having a swim – they were having the battle to end all battles. Both were bulls – the one much bigger than the other. They fought in the water and on the bank. Their thundering feet shook the earth and their bellowing cries echoed off the sandstone walls and amplified over the water.

Read the full Wildlife Report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report – December 2014
Read all Wildlife Reports from the region here: Singita Pamushana

Don’t forget to read yesterday’s post for great stories and photos from the first half of last year, or visit our website to see all the Wildlife Reports from 2014.

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Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014: Part One

January 29, 2015 - Experience,Kruger National Park,Lamai,Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve,Sabi Sand,Singita Grumeti,Wildlife

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

A boulder-hopping leopard. A snow-white lion cub. Two black rhinos battling it out in a dam. A lion feasting on a crocodile. These are just some of the animal antics and incredible sightings that were caught on camera and reported by our intrepid field guides in the their Wildlife Reports during 2014. These monthly bush journals document the fascinating game and shifting landscapes observed in the five diverse ecosystems across hundreds of thousands of acres of wilderness that Singita conserves. Immerse yourself in this untamed paradise with a look back at some of the highlights from the first half of last year:

JANUARY – SINGITA SABI SAND (SOUTH AFRICA)

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

The monkeys were alarm calling during high tea at Singita Boulders Lodge. After closer inspection Leon, the assistant head ranger, saw a glimpse of a leopard walking on the northern bank of the Sand River, which runs in front of the lodge. It was the Nyaleti male – a leopard in his prime who is often seen on the Singita reserve and is in the process of staking his territory.

Read the full Wildlife Report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report – January 2014
Read all Wildlife Reports from the region here: Singita Sabi Sand

FEBRUARY – SINGITA LAMAI (TANZANIA)

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

Two cheetahs set against a backdrop of seemingly never-ending plains, dotted with a few squiggly balanites trees: one of the many things about Singita Lamai that is so quintessentially African. Plains are the perfect habitat for cheetahs, who need large expanses of flat ground to build up their speed. The difficulty with flat plains is that it is hard for the cats to gain the height they need to survey the land for prey, so cheetahs are often seen on top of termite mounds or fallen trees, getting a better look at things.

Read the full Wildlife Report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report – February 2014
Read all Wildlife Reports from the region here: Singita Lamai

MARCH – SINGITA PAMUSHANA (ZIMBABWE)

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

Both these sets of scamps looked like twins at first glance, but I’m sure they aren’t. It is quite common for elephants, giraffes, impalas and many other herd animals to group their youngsters together and take turns to babysit them. They’re kept out of harm’s way and are allowed to learn the ways of the wild under the watchful eye of their guardian. Of course, there is nothing better than to play and explore with a best friend who is your same age and size… Long may these friendships last!

Read the full Wildlife Report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report – March 2014
Read all Wildlife Reports from the region here: Singita Pamushana

APRIL – SINGITA KRUGER NATIONAL PARK (SOUTH AFRICA)

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

The time of autumn and approaching winter is most probably one the most vocal times of the year for lions, due to the cool dense air being able to transport the sound of a roar a lot further (up to 7 km away), but this is not the only reason why the rulers are belting out their assuring dominant presence. The five Shishangaan males have recently fought their way in and have taken over the territory from the two previous males. This has led to copious mating activity and will result in an exciting new bloodline in our N’wanetsi section of Kruger.

Read the full Wildlife Report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report – April 2014
Read all Wildlife Reports from the region here: Singita Kruger National Park

MAY – SINGITA GRUMETI (TANZANIA)

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

The newest cubs in the Butamtam Pride that we reported first seeing in the March journal are continuing to thrive. They have grown a lot but are still small bundles of fur and fun! Their confidence has grown as well. In April we spotted them with their moms, in what was clearly the first time they were introduced to the rest of their pride. The lionesses and eight one-year-old juveniles were busy eating a recent eland kill, and resting in the heat of the day. The little cubs weren’t happy about their extended family at first, clearly frightened by the new environment and the new creatures in it. They meowed and yipped at their mom, running away from the rest of the pride into the long grass.

Read the full Wildlife Report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report – May 2014
Read all Wildlife Reports from the region here: Singita Grumeti

JUNE – SINGITA LAMAI (TANZANIA)

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports 2014 - Singita

It’s no surprise that the Lamai and Kogatende areas of the Serengeti around Singita Mara River Tented Camp are home to many elephants. The mighty Mara River itself provides a seemingly endless supply of fresh water, flowing year-round. In addition, countless smaller rivers and estuaries stem off from the river at a rate of about one every 500 metres. The result is not only the large volume of water available, but also its accessibility – the animals don’t have to travel far for a drink or a bath.

Read the full Wildlife Report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report – June 2014
Read all Wildlife Reports from the region here: Singita Lamai

Check back tomorrow for the highlights from July to December. You can see all the Wildlife Reports on our website, as well as other “Highlights” posts from the past year or so on the blog.

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Creatures Great & Small: Leopard Tortoise

December 22, 2014 - Conservation,Did You Know?,Wildlife

Leopard tortoise at Singita

Leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis)

My partner, a tracker named Johnston, is quick to spot wildlife and fun… With his hand raised to stop the vehicle, we stare at his movements and look in the direction he’s looking. While we are expecting him to point out a predator track in the sand or an animal in the distance, he turns to us and says, “Leopard!” Everyone grabs their cameras and looks frantically around to see where this elusive leopard is. Johnston climbs off the tracker seat and saunters off down the road. By this time our poor guests are all speechless not knowing what’s going to happen. Then he points to the ground, smiles broadly, and announces, “Leopard. Leopard tortoise.” Indeed it was a leopard tortoise, and on this occasion it had retreated into its shell after feeling the vibrations of the vehicle. We all sat quietly and slowly a small head poked out and all four legs were set in motion. It may not be a Big Five species, but it is one of the Little Five and shares this accreditation due to their names being similar to the Big Five.

Field guide and tracker

Field guide and tracker

Leopard tortoises all have unique and beautiful gold and black markings on their shells, hence their name. They generally eat grasses, and this must suit them well because they live up to 100 years. They are great diggers although they only burrow when building a nest for their eggs.

Singita Sabi Sand

Singita Sabi Sand

The leopard tortoise is one of the world’s largest tortoise species as they can grow to 70 cm in length and 12kgs in weight. As with other tortoise species, the leopard tortoise has a large shell which protects its softer body. It is able to retract its limbs back into its shell so that no body part is left vulnerable.

It’s easy to forget that there’s more to Africa’s wildlife than elephants, giraffes, leopards and lions; the continent is home to all sorts of fascinating small creatures too. We shine a spotlight on these more diminutive beasties in our Creatures Great & Small blog series, which has previously showcased the flap-necked chameleon and the Giant African land snail.

You can read more stories like this one in our monthly Wildlife Reports, which are written by our field guides and illustrated with their stunning photography.

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Tanzania’s Serengeti – A Year-Round Destination

October 22, 2014 - Experience,Lodges and Camps,Safari,Singita Explore,Singita Faru Faru Lodge,Singita Grumeti,Singita Mara River Tented Camp,Singita Sabora Tented Camp,Singita Sasakwa Lodge,Singita Serengeti House,Wildlife

Tanazina's Serengeti - A Year-Round Destination

The Serengeti in Tanzania is inextricably associated with the annual wildebeest migration in the imagination of most travellers in search of the ultimate African safari. However, once the wildebeest have moved on in their perpetual search for grazing, the Serengeti offers diverse and fascinating game viewing, from big predators to prolific prey, on its vast open plains and along its river banks.

Tanazina's Serengeti - A Year-Round Destination

Warm and fairly dry, January to March is a great time to visit the region with large herds of topi, zebra, eland, giraffe and Thompson’s gazelle starting to gather on the open plains. This is also the calving season and thousands of these animals, including big herds of wildebeest that stay behind, give birth over a period of a few weeks.

Tanazina's Serengeti - A Year-Round Destination

The concentrated herds attract the attention of predators, especially the big cats, and sightings of leopard and lion are common. Scattered rain showers freshen up warm days and produce bright green landscapes and crisp, clear skies conducive to beautiful photography. As it’s the end of the dry season, the Mara and Grumeti rivers start to recede forcing the animals to congregate close to available water sources which makes them easier to find.

Tanazina's Serengeti - A Year-Round Destination

The months of April and May are known as the season of the long rains, transforming the landscape as lush, longer grasses grow and rivers, lakes and pans start to fill up with water again. Large herds of herbivores, including significant breeding herds of elephant and buffalo, are common sightings. During this time, throughout the Serengeti there is greater exclusivity at wildlife sightings and increased flexibility when it comes to planning itineraries.

Tanazina's Serengeti - A Year-Round Destination

Tanazina's Serengeti - A Year-Round Destination

By May there is a sense of anticipation in the Serengeti as the migration could arrive at any time to seek dependable water sources and start grazing on the long, golden grasslands. Industry insiders consider it to be the most underrated month to visit with fewer people, prolific game sightings and mild, sunny days ideal for bush walks and picnics.

Tanazina's Serengeti - A Year-Round Destination

The dry season commences again in June and continues until the end of October. Considered high season in Tanzania, it is characterised by pleasantly warm, sunny days and easy game viewing due to the short grasses. September and October are fantastic months in the Lamai, with multiple daily Mara River migration crossings, increased predator action and excellent crocodile, hippo and hyena sightings.

Tanazina's Serengeti - A Year-Round Destination

Tanazina's Serengeti - A Year-Round Destination

In September and October, diverse game congregates along the Grumeti River and in pans, while river crossings by thousands of wildebeest and other migratory plains game are always a thrilling sight. October is Singita head guide Ryan Schmitt’s best time of the year in the Serengeti, due to the all-round excellent game viewing.

Tanazina's Serengeti - A Year-Round Destination

Tanazina's Serengeti - A Year-Round Destination

The short rains in November and December are characterised by brief, spectacular thunderstorms that give way to clear skies and amazing colour contrasts for photography. Awesome cheetah and lion sightings are common, there are large numbers of babies and youngsters amongst both predator and prey species, and migratory birds return to the newly green landscapes.

Discover the Serengeti through our monthly Wildlife Reports, which are written by the field guides themselves, and describe thrilling wildlife sightings, beautiful landscapes and unusual species. Please contact our Reservations team to find out more about visiting our six lodges and camps in Tanzania.

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Highlights from our Wildlife Reports

October 20, 2014 - Safari,Wildlife

Monthly Wildlife Reports from Singita

The next best thing to being in the bush yourself has to be catching up on the monthly Wildlife Reports, written and photographed by our field guides. Staggering landscapes, noteworthy sightings, thrilling kills and – our personal favourite – updates on the latest little newborns, fill the pages of these journals. Here is a recap of the latest stories straight from the bush:

Singita Pamushana, Zimbabwe

Monthly Wildlife Reports from Singita Pamushana
We have a couple of sunken photographic hides at various pans on the property, but the most popular in the last
month has been the one at Whata Pan. The hide offers the most amazing opportunities to observe animals that are usually shy of human presence. For example, a family of warthogs trotted in with great speed and enthusiasm and were the noisiest visitors by far, signalling their arrival with a fanfare of snorks, snorts and grunts.

Written and photographed by Jenny Hishin. Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report September 2014

Singita Grumeti, Tanzania

Monthly Wildlife Reports from Singita Grumeti
If August was ‘big zebra’ month, September must go down as ‘big cat’ month. It was a great month for predator activity and guests witnessed several hunts and kills. September also saw thousands of wildebeest moving through
the concession, mostly in a south and westerly direction into the Serengeti National Park.

Report by By Stuart Levine. Photos by Alfred Ngwarai, Braya Masunga and Joe Kibwe. Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report September 2014

Singita Kruger National Park, South Africa

Monthly Wildlife Reports from Singita Kruger National Park
There were 99 separate lion sightings in August. The Mountain Pride seem to have moved out of the guarri thickets around the northern areas and are spending most of their time out the concession near the Gudzane East windmill. The Xhirombe Pride male seems to have taken on a companion male and one of the male cubs was moving on his own along the river for half the month, scavenging off the male leopard.

Report by Danie Vermeulen and Nick du Plessis. Photos by Nick du Plessis and Barry Peiser. Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report August 2014

Singita Sabi Sand, South Africa

Monthly Wildlife Reports from Singita Sabi Sand
As the lioness got closer the larger male hippo started thrashing the water with his head, gaping and defecating – all signs of aggression to indicate to the lioness that he wanted her to move out of his comfort zone. But she moved closer, with a bit more caution, and wasn’t deterred from taking a long drink. The rest of the pride took courage from this and approached the edge of the water.

Report by Mark Broodryk, Leon van Wyk, Crystal Perry, Dave Steyn, Francois Fourie and Andy Gabor. Photos by Ross Couper, Andy Gibor and Dave Steyn. Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report August 2014

Singita Lamai, Tanzania

Monthly Wildlife Reports from Singita Lamai
The Great Migration arrived in Lamai at the end of June and the wildebeest were a continuous presence throughout July. August did not disappoint either as the herds remained in the general vicinity, crossing north and south and north again across the Mara River, in the surrounds of Singita Mara River Tented Camp. Guests enjoyed 12 dramatic crossings during the month. One particularly exciting crossing happened right in front of the camp, and lasted for over 20 minutes.

Report by By Lizzie Hamrick. Photos by Ryan Schmitt and Evan Visconti. Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report August 2014

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The Story of Eksoni Ndlovu

October 14, 2014 - Did You Know?,Experience,Kruger National Park,People of Singita,Wildlife

eksoni_5

eksoni_3

Like many of the trackers who work at Singita, Eksoni Ndlovu grew up in a small rural community near the Kruger National Park. He learned the basics of tracking and animal interaction as a young man, while tending his family’s cattle and keeping them safe from wild animals. He has since spent more than 23 years honing his craft as an expert tracker and is respected the world over for his skill and perseverance.

eksoni_4

eksoni_9

“Tracking is an art, not everyone can do it. You need to be patient and you need to be persistent… A good tracker needs to think like an animal. They need to listen, keep quiet and always be aware.”

eksoni_10

eksoni_11

Eksoni’s passion for wildlife conservation is apparent to all those around him. He spends a considerable amount of time passing on his knowledge and experience to apprentice bush rangers so they too can help to preserve this beautiful wilderness. “I’m giving my skills to the community because I want them to learn and follow in my footsteps”.

eksoni_1

eksoni_12

Guests also play an important role in protecting, maintaining and enhancing the land. Enos, one of the guides, observes: “We are giving back to conservation by educating our guests about the animals and how we take care of them for future generations.” Singita not only preserves large tracts of land but also works to ensure that people like Eksoni pass on their knowledge to others and in so doing preserve this ancient skill.

eksoni_7

Watch this short video to learn more about Eksoni’s story:

Find out more about Singita’s conservation efforts on our website. You can also share this and other #singitastories via our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

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World Rhino Day 2014

September 22, 2014 - Conservation,Sabi Sand,Sustainable Conservation,Wildlife

World Rhino Day was established in 2010 and serves to celebrate all five species of rhino: Black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan rhinos. It is celebrated every year on 22 September and has grown to become a global phenomenon, uniting NGOs, zoos, cause-related organisations, businesses, and concerned individuals from nearly every corner of the world.

Singita Anti-Poaching Unit | World Rhino Day 2014

It is devastating to think that 500 000 rhinos once roamed the continents of Africa and Asia, and that this figure has dwindled to a mere 29 000 rhinos living in the wild*. Large-scale poaching of this now critically endangered species has prompted intensive conservation efforts in recent years, not least of all by our wildlife teams at Singita.

Singita Anti-Poaching Unit | World Rhino Day 2014

Today, the environmental stakes couldn’t be higher, as poaching methods have become increasingly sophisticated and poachers more daring. One way in which Singita Sabi Sand takes a stand against the unlawful massacre of these majestic creatures, is with the dedicated in-house anti-poaching unit that secures the safety and preservation of the species in the reserve. Working with specialists in counteracting illegal hunting and wildlife trade, a highly trained tracker dog unit was created to track both animals and humans. This tactic is being included in many national parks’ security operations, including the Kruger National Park and the units have become an integral part of Singita’s anti-poaching measures.

Singita Anti-Poaching Unit | World Rhino Day 2014

Mark Broodryk, Head Guide at Singita Sabi Sand says, “The biggest advantage of a dog unit is that the dogs track using their keen sense of smell and thus are extremely effective – even tracking in pitch darkness.” The dogs’ work rate and endurance surpasses that of a human and they ask for very little in return for the unenviable tasks they are called to do. Highly trained and able to perform multiple functions from pursuing intruders to tracking sick or injured animals or sniffing out products from illegal possessions, the dogs are highly valued, professional assets supporting important conservation initiatives.

Singita Anti-Poaching Unit | World Rhino Day 2014

Another reason for the success of the canine operation is that their presence acts as a deterrent to potential poachers. Once tracking dogs have been deployed into an area, the news quickly spreads amongst poachers and criminal syndicates and the level and frequency of poaching incidents is shown to drop dramatically.

*Statistics courtesy of savetherhino.org

Sustainable tourism is what allows Singita to be able to carry out this important work. Each guest represents a valuable contribution towards conservation measures in the reserve. Not only does the revenue from tourism support conservation initiatives, but just by coming to see this place, putting value on it and sharing the beauty with others, it inherently makes a world of difference.

For guests seeking to make a larger contribution, donations are accepted and welcome. Please contact Pam Richardson at pam.r@singita.com.

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