Visiting Singita is always an unforgettable experience and for many guests, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Africa in a very special way. It is especially gratifying for us when guests stay in touch with the lodge teams once they have returned home and share their astounding photographs of the trip.
Jeff Thompson and his wife Julie visited Singita Pamushana Lodge from Atlanta twice last year with a keen eye for unusual photo opportunities. Here is a selection of his gorgeous wildlife pictures, taken throughout the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve surrounding the lodge. We hope you enjoy these photos and would love for you to share your own shots of Singita with us by visiting our Facebook page or getting in touch on the website.
© All photographs copyright Jeff Thompson 2013
The northern part of the N’wanetsi concession, in which Singita Lebombo Lodge is situated, is wonderfully isolated and bursting with undiscovered wonders. Heading up into these territories can be very rewarding, as the landscape changes dramatically, offering a variety of exciting game-viewing opportunities. The elusive black rhino, cheetah, sable antelope and nomadic lions are often encountered in this remote part of the bush.
It was very cold on this particular morning, with the Lebombo Mountains engulfed in thick cloud cover. We set off along the Mozambique border, heading through the mountains, and noticed a number of vultures in the distance. The cooler weather meant they may just be resting, although there was also the possibility that they had located food, meaning there may also be predators in the area.
We picked our way closer through the dense bush and began searching. The roads were narrow and the vegetation almost impenetrable. Suddenly we were confronted with the thick smell of death, indicating that there was indeed something lifeless nearby. A number of vultures swiftly flew up from a rotting acacia and I knew, judging by the smell, that it was a large animal.
We eventually found what we were looking for; a large buffalo bull had been challenged by to two male lions. The odds were against the bull due to the sheer size of the predators and, judging by the scars that covered their faces, these lions had fought and won many an epic battle. The tracks showed that it had been a long and grueling clash, ending in a drainage line where the massive bull succumbed to these tenacious predators.
News of the dead buffalo had traveled, and though the vultures were first on the scene, we soon caught sight of hyena and jackal, all fighting for scraps and avoiding confrontation with the protective cats.
Check back regularly for more stories from field guide James Suter as he explores Singita’s private reserve in the Kruger National Park.
Written by Singita Guide, Marlon du Toit – Singita Kruger National Park/ Lebombo and Sweni Lodges
So, as you have all heard, there are some new additions to the Mountain Pride. A few months ago Glass (Singita Tracker) and I saw a lioness carrying a tiny, week old cub. Ever since then we have been waiting in anticipation for her to introduce the little cubs to the rest of the pride. The day finally came three days ago when to our surprise we were introduced to, not only two little ones, but to another three cubs! This now brings the number of the Mountain Pride up to twenty-three lions – incredible!
I spent the evening with the pride last night, and what an amazing experience. The cubs quickly got used to the presence of my vehicle, and I managed to capture some beautiful moments. The night ended on a high when the lionesses managed to kill two zebras. It happened too quickly to capture on camera, but the experience was unforgettable.
For more photos of these special small additions to the Mountain Pride, take a look at our Facebook page.
From Singita Guide, Marlon du Toit – Singita Kruger National Park
Featured in this article are a variety of photographs from elephants to lions and leopards. In general the Singita Kruger concession is still blowing everyone away, including guides that have been here for a long time. Viewings of wildlife have been spectacular over the past weeks.
As far as lions go, the Mountain Pride has been staying within the Kori Clearing vicinity for the last two weeks now. That is good news for us as we don’t have to drive too the far north in order to find them.
Young elephants having fun.
Another highlight from the last few days were two slender mongooses battling it out for territory. They went about it as if their lives depended on it, and it was the first time I witnessed something like that. Also, we have been seeing black rhino at least twice a week; amazing considering there are fewer that 500 in the whole entire park.
To keep up with monthly wildlife happenings at all of our Singita reserves, follow our Guide’s Diaries for updates.
This week we have great lion cub pictures from both the Xirombe and Mountain prides courtesy of Singita Lebombo guide, Marlon du Toit.
The Xirombe pride cubs are just over five months old and exceptionally curious.
The Mountain pride cubs are just over four months old and just as curious as the Xirombe pride’s cubs.
Lionesses from the Mountain pride.
Two of the five Southern Coalition male lions. They have really started to grow into themselves and, in person, they are very large.
The Xirombe Pride males were in top form today. Glass and I tracked them down with guests this morning and when we spotted three males from a distance nothing could have prepared us for what we’d discover when we arrived in the Land Rover.
All five pride males, as well as two females and their two cubs, were present. One of the lionesses was on heat and it appeared to be driving the male lions crazy. The dominant male, who we recognised due to the scar on his left eye, had spent the last five days in the company of the two females and he had no intention of sharing his family with his brothers. He very clearly made his voice heard and the fight that ensued was a once in a lifetime experience.
Images and words courtesy of Singita Lebombo guide, Marlon du Toit.