Category Archives: Wildlife

A Wildlife Showcase

July 24, 2015 - Sustainable Conservation,Wildlife

There was a time when the earth was lush with unspoilt wilderness teeming with game; today, places like this are the exception rather than the rule. As trusted guardian of over half a million acres of untouched African bush, Singita is proud to play a role in the conservation, preservation and protection of such vulnerable land.

Our concessions, reserves, and properties represent some of the most pristine wilderness areas on the continent and we are dedicated to maintaining these incredible pieces of earth for future generations. In this short film, we celebrate Africa’s abundance and diversity of wildlife, and the fragile ecosystems of which they are a part.

Singita

Read more about Singita’s rich history, as well as what the future holds for this devoted pioneer of ecotourism. You can also follow the Conservation category on our blog for the latest news from our hands-on environmental sustainability teams.

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Creatures Great & Small: Banded Mongoose

June 30, 2015 - Did You Know?,Wildlife

Most safari enthusiasts who have spent some time out on game drive will be familiar with the sight of a small, furry creature darting into the undergrowth as the vehicle trundles down the path. Usually seen as a brown blur out of the corner of one’s eye, the banded mongoose is easily identifiable by the distinctive stripes along its back. They have long claws on their front feet which are used for digging up insects, especially beetles and their larvae, and they eat an array of fruit, meat and other morsels.

Banded mongoose at Singita

Banded mongooses live in mixed-sex groups of roughly 20 animals and sleep together at night in underground dens (often abandoned termite mounds) and change dens every 2-3 days. The females tend to breed all at the same time, giving birth within hours of each other to litters of 2–6 pups. The young stay in the den for their first four weeks of their lives, being carefully guarded by a adult caretakers while the other pack members forage for food. All the pack members take care of the pups, the mothers suckle each other’s offspring indiscriminately, and each young pup has an adult “escort” that catches prey for it.

Banded mongoose at Singita

Collective noun options for mongooses include ‘business’ and ‘rush’ – both referring to the frenetic pace at which they go about their daily search for food, relying mainly on their acute sense of smell. They are also known for their constant, high-pitched chatter; chirps to keep in contact with their family, sharp chittering for sounding the alarm, delighted squeaks upon finding food and even soft purring sounds of contentment.

Banded mongoose at Singita

Animal lovers will be fascinated by our monthly Wildlife Reports, which comprise stories and information like this. They are written and photographed by our field guides from across our concessions in South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

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Introducing the Shishangaan Lions

May 29, 2015 - Experience,Kruger National Park,Safari,Wildlife

shishangaan_7

If you follow our Facebook page or are an avid reader of our monthly Wildlife Reports, you will no doubt have seen the thrilling news of the recent birth of not one but two rare white lion cubs at Singita Kruger National Park. This remarkable event was first announced in July last year, in a very exciting note from field guide Nick du Plessis: “On the 11th of July we had a sighting, that when it came over the radio, you could hardly believe your ears! 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!”

shishangaan_1

He went on to say: “The fact that this rare white lion is seen as far east as this in the Kruger National Park is nothing short of a miracle, and as far as we know has never been spotted or recorded in this area before! The fact that the rare white lions continue to reoccur in their natural habitat despite historical forced removals by humans for commercial trophy hunting and breeding in the 1970s is a real testimony to their genetic diversity and pure resilience! We hope this is just the beginning of something very very special at Singita Kruger National Park.”

shishangaan_11

Nick proved to be correct, as the white lion cubs have become one of the stars of the monthly guide’s journals from the region. Here are a few snippets from recent Wildlife Reports, following the progress of the cubs and the rest of the Shishangaan pride over the past few months:

December 2014
The large Shishangaan Pride has made a long awaited return to the concession! For the last few months, following the fires, the pride had been non-existent and majority of our lion sightings had been of the Mountain Pride, further north. When the rains finally came and the burnt areas started to green up and teem with wildlife, the lions were caught on the wrong side of the now-flowing N’wanetsi River and it wasn’t possible to cross safely at Gudzane stream with their cubs.

shishangaan_9

Shortly after, and seemingly out of nowhere, lion tracks were seen around the central parts of the concession! The previous day we had seen four of the dominant males further north of this location. Upon investigation, we stumbled upon a magnificent sighting of 21 lions (and this isn’t even the full complement of the Shishangaan Pride)! Five lionesses with 16 cubs of varying ages and sizes were seen, including the white lion cub, which looks slightly dirty, but is growing well and thriving. This leaves five lionesses unaccounted for, some of which should have cubs! With the pride having successfully hunted and fed where there is so much plains game, we hope that they will stay on the western side of the concession.

So far the Shishangaan Pride has been seen much further south of the concession than we have ever known them to be, which means with the dominant males around, there is a definite shift in territory. This is because the lionesses with cubs need to be as close to the central parts of their territories as possible and thus avoid the chance of encountering any nomadic male lions that would try to hurt or kill the cubs.

shishangaan_12

January 2015
The Shishangaan male lions brought down a fully-grown female giraffe in the middle of the month. They seem to have perfected a hunting technique of late, with it being their third giraffe kill in as many months. There was a total of 36 sightings of the Shishangaan pride this month, including 16 cubs from five lionesses and the strong and healthy-looking 9-month-old white lion cub.

shishangaan_8

February 2015:
It is sometimes quite difficult to decide what to write about in a monthly journal, there are normally a couple of particularly interesting events to choose from which may have happened or been developing over some time. But this month was an absolute ‘no-brainer’ as the sightings and regularity of the Shishangaan pride has never been more dependable. Guests have enjoyed a total of 63 lion sightings this month, most of which have been of the Shishangaan pride.

What has made it even more exciting, and was the reason for the pride splitting in the first place, is the number of cubs that have been seen in the last couple of weeks. We now believe there to be a total of at least 28 cubs, with a further two lactating females that haven’t brought their little cubs out of hiding yet. And within that huge number of cubs there is a second little white cub! We knew there was a chance of this, but to actually see the second little cub as proof that the gene is definitely in circulation was just brilliant, and this time it is a female! Why that is so important is that the young white male, once reaching sexual maturity, will be evicted from the pride and we may never see him again – this is the species way of discouraging inbreeding. On the other hand, with a bit of luck, the female should theoretically spend her entire life within the pride, meaning staying in this area, reaching maturity and having cubs of her own.

shishangaan_5

March 2015:
A total of 89 lion sightings this month. The majority of the sightings (67) were of the bigger portion of the Shishangaan pride, which comprises of 5 lionesses and 17 cubs, one of them being the older male white cub. The smaller portion of the pride has the young female white cub and she is also doing well.

SEE THE PRIDE IN ACTION:

Don’t miss the next sighting of these beautiful lions – follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the latest news, photos and video straight from our field guides.

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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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