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.
At Singita we are always honoured when our lodges are included in the best of the best awards worldwide – and immensely grateful for the support and applause from our trusted travel trade, media and guests. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for singing our praises in your spheres of influence this past year – as a result we are listed in some of the top international hot lists and we are thrilled.
~ Conde Nast Traveller – The Gold List 2011 – Singita Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania
~ Conde Nast Traveler – Readers’ Choice Awards 2010, Top 100 – Singita Sabi Sand and Singita Kruger National Park, South Africa
~ Tatler Travel Guide 2011 – 101 Best Hotels in the World – Singita Pamushana, Zimbabwe
It is our endeavour to continue to provide the most excellent guest experiences in some of the world’s most pristine locations for many years to come.
Hope you will plan your journey for 2011, so we may welcome you.
The Singita School of Cooking is located on site at the Staff Village that serves Singita Kruger National Park (Lebombo and Sweni Lodges). It was established with the aim of encouraging the development of culinary skills amongst local youth from our neighbouring communities. Each year, 8 to10 students are selected – based upon clear criteria including showing a real interest in cooking – to participate in an 18 month long training programme.
It was an incredible undertaking initiated by Kurt Abrahams a Senior Sous Chef at Singita Sweni and Jason Trollip the former General Manager of Singita Kruger National Park. Jason and Kurt took up the challenge of taking on young members of the local community who had little or no understanding of what being a chef is all about and training them to the level where they could find employment as skilled trainee chefs at the end of the year long course. Kurt embraced the project wholeheartedly and became the Head of the school sharing his knowledge, exceptional culinary skills and passion for training people. The programme was practical, with the perfect facilities already in existence at the staff village. The first group of students graduated successfully from The Singita School of Cooking (SSC) at the end of 2007.
Year to date the graduating students have all been employed either at a Singita property or by other organisations.
Since opening the SSC has continued to produce well educated, employable trainee chefs and with its reputation now well established we took a decision in 2010 to extend the course to 18 months. The objective now being to take the students to the next level and equip them with Comis Chef level skills, thereby giving them greater earning capability post graduation.
Oriel Mbowane was promoted from Sous Chef Sweni in September to Skills Chef Trainer for the school of cooking. The new course started on 15th September 2010
If you would like more information about sponsoring a Singita School of Cooking student please refer to our Giving Back section on our website.
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.
At Singita we occasionally have a break between tracking predators, and other wildlife, and pampering our guests. During these pauses in the daily hustle and bustle, members of the Singita team like to do something that adds value to their surrounding communities.
Recently this took the form of a crèche painting initiative in the Welverdiend area.
Spearheaded by Verrity, including a selection of people from the Singita Kruger National Park Community Development team and residents of Welverdiend, this initiative was a huge success.
Through their team effort the crèche was completely transformed in just one day.
The last week at Singita Kruger National Park has been nothing short of sensational! Not only were we introduced to two leopard cubs – the first in the concession in over two years – but this Saturday we met the latest additions to the Singita family, two beautiful lion cubs.
These are the first of the new lion generation, in Singita Kruger National Park, and over the next few weeks and months we can look forward to being introduced to the remaining cubs.
We have finally been introduced to the two leopard cubs that were born over two months ago in Singita Kruger National Park.
Our resident female leopard has done a fantastic job of hiding her cubs but yesterday one of the Singita Kruger National Park guides discovered the cubs and their mother up a tree, feeding on an impala kill.
This incredibly introduction is the first leopard cub sighting, on the concession, in over two years!
Chef Bruce Robertson has traversed all corners of the globe; Cape to Cairo by thumb, Vancouver to New York on a ‘little’ bus, and London to Rome by bicycle. Now former Singita Boulders Head chef Bruce Robertson is stepping back into the bush to guide guests through their own tailored gourmet safari, pairing the most natural ingredients with nature’s most unspoiled setting.
Experience African cuisine at its best and learn some of the art of preparing a few local treats on an interactive culinary journey combined with the thrill of open game drives and dinner under the stars. A visit to Singita’s school of cooking and an opportunity to get involved in this community initiative are also highlights of this adventure. The Singita School of Cooking is located on site at the Staff Village that serves Lebombo and Sweni. It was established with the aim of encouraging the development of culinary skills amongst local youth.
Exclusive to Singita Sweni Lodge the Singita Gourmet Safari is a rare opportunity to absorb the warmth of the African Bush in the hands of a true culinary guru – five days and four nights filled with intrigue, warmth, laughter and phenomenal cuisine.
For more information, or to book your tailored Singita Gourmet Safari, please visit our website.
Singita is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the African wilderness.
We believe that our untouched and expansive surrounding and the exceptional selection of wildlife – found in Singita Sabi Sand, Singita Kruger National Park, Singita Grumeti Reserves and the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve (home to Singita Pamushana Lodge) – are among our greatest assets.
We go to great lengths to ensure that the experiences we create, to showcase our beautiful reserves, are sustainable and don’t place undue pressure on the surroundings.
At Singita we live by our mantra and therefore we aim to only touch the earth lightly. This approach ensures that we don’t impose ourselves on nature, we don’t stand above it and we certainly don’t stand apart from it. Instead we immerse ourselves, and our guests, in the awe-inspiring environments surrounding the various Singita lodges and camps.