Written by Marlon du Toit, Singita Guide, Singita Kruger National Park
Elephant, Cape buffalo, White Rhino and Hippo are plentiful on the concession. There are two prominent water sources within the concession during the dry season: the Nwanetsi River system and Gudzane Dam. As the last remaining water holes dry up west of the concession, animals are forced to move east in order to quench their thirst.
Elephants can trek amazing distances in pursuit of water. They prefer to drink at least once a day and will cover up to or more than 12km in a single journey. We have a large resident hippo population. As the water evaporates under the heat and the pressure mounts, some sections of the river can house more than eighty hippos. This is not ideal for them as they are territorial animals that do not like to share, but they have no choice. Battles between dominant male hippos are a common sight.
To read more of this month’s safari updates from Singita Guides, click here for recently published journal entries. Also for up-to-date, out-of-this-world photography of the daily happenings at Singita Game Reserves, follow us on Facebook.
Singita Explore (mobile tented camp set up on the plains of the Singita Grumeti Reserves), through the eyes of James Suter and Marlon du Toit (Safari Brothers), professional guides at Singita Kruger National Park. A life-changing adventure!
(Photography by James and Marlon)
Game drives in the Grumeti concession differ from those in South Africa, and Marlon and I took some time before we realised this. Every time we head out onto the plains and our guide stops, we immediately grab our binoculars and start scanning the landscape. As we start spotting animals, which one always does every time one looks around, we start calling out the names of the different species.
This is really exciting as not only are a lot of these species new to us but the abundance of life is astounding. We managed to tick off many new species of birds, Aardwolf, and saw lions climbing trees, which we are told is a very common habit of the Butamtam pride.
Once again the wealth of game including massive herds of eland, topi, zebra, giraffe and elephants blew us away. One of the most enjoyable moments for me was getting out of the vehicle and watching the sun set over the Serengeti amongst hundreds of animals.
Keep up with stunning photography on the Singita Facebook page…more to come.
To book Singita Explore, please take a look at our introductory offer available through 15 December 2011.
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.
(Photography by James Suter)
Singita Guide, James Suter, knows the terrain of Singita’s 15 000 hectare, private concession in the Kruger National Park, like the back of his hand. Not only does James specialise in uncovering the world of the African wild for our Singita guests but he regularly contributes to monthly issues of our Guides’ Diary.
Below is an excerpt from the upcoming December Diary from Singita Kruger National Park – the entire journal is co-written by Marlon du Toit and James Suter.
Battle of the Beasts (by James Suter)
The competition among different species is huge; in this case a lioness with a zebra kill attracted the ever-opportunistic hyena as well as scavengers from above, all three species competing for the same food source. The lioness was accompanied by three young cubs and defended her kill with valour.
I always enjoy the interaction between different species, especially predators. It is a humbling sight watching these beasts fight for survival on a daily basis.
To follow our Guides’ Diaries, they are published monthly on our website – read more.
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.