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.
Our very own Jaco Ehlers, Singita Sales Manager and charity-superhero, has just completed a 7 day cycle challenge all in the name of a good cause.
Jaco cycled the 330km-long Challenge4aCause challenge through the harsh, dusty terrain of the dramatic Damaraland Desert in Namibia to raise funds for the Save the Rhino Trust.
All the funds raised through the 2010 Challenge4aCause have been donated to an anti-poaching unit. The aim of this unit is to help preserve the highly endangered, and desert-adapted, black rhino.
And we have more cycling superheroes among us – Sabi Sand GM, Jason Trollip, and Singita Sabi Sand Head Ranger, Mark Broodryk, also recently took part in a charitable cycling event: the third and final Tour de Tuli (previously known as the Tour de Kruger). The 2010 Tour de Tuli saw 290 cyclists pedal 350kms to raise an impressive R700 000 for charity.
Every Rand and cent raised through the event will be used to teach rural children about the importance of the environment and the critical role they play in the preservation of our world.
For more photos visit the Singita Facebook page.
A wonderful initiative was taken today when our kitchen discovered that we had a young food enthusiast at Singita Lebombo Lodge. Clara, an 11 year old from Texas, was invited into the kitchen to make pizzas and other pastries with Ishal our current pastry chef. From the moment we invited Clara to join the kitchen team she has not stopped smiling.
In the kitchen Ishal taught Clara how to use the various knives, how to make pizza base dough and she chose all of her favourite toppings. Clara also helped prepare lunch for the rest of her family and we hope they enjoyed her fantastic dishes!
Thanks to everyone in the kitchen for making Clara’s day.
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.
We caught up with our resident Xinkelengane female leopard as she was making her way to her two cubs with her recent Sharpes Grysbok kill.
The two leopard cubs, not pictured here, were well hidden in the nearby sticky thorn thicket.
As you know we love everything décor and design related, so you can imagine how delighted we were to hear that Singita Sweni Lodge had been nominated for a House and Leisure Best of SA – in association with Visa – award.
There are only 5 nominees in each category and we feel incredibly privileged just to have been included.
An amazing visual of two, three week old cubs, no more than half a meter away from the vehicle.
We are truly spoiled to have so many viewings of the littlest ones on the reserves. And more cubs have been born – watch this space for more terrific photos.
Nothing can beat sunset in the bush surrounded by the sounds at dusk on high volume.
Something that we often do to surprise our guests at Singita is to whisk them away to a heart-stopping location, pull out all the stops and present a bush dinner under the stars. Our most recent affair boasted a spectacular location on a mountain top with arguably the best Serengeti view in Tanzania. Transporting everything from the food and the equipment is all part of the occasion and even the smallest detail is considered and planned.
We love the “wow” moments that guests experience in this kind of setting….perched above a vista of the Serengeti, sipping on aperitifs while the sun dips down behind the horizon.
Singita Pamushana is situated in the 140 000 acre Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. The Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve operates the Malilangwe Trust, much like the Singita Grumeti Reserves operates the Grumeti Fund. This trust is actively involved in uplifting, among other things, the surrounding communities.
The Malilangwe Trust’s approach to community upliftment is one of community empowerment. In all their initiatives the affected community is responsible for 70% of the project and the Malilangwe Trust is responsible for the remaining 30%.
This forward thinking community ownership approach has been a vital aspect in the long-term success of the Trust community focused programmes. The other vital element, in the long-term success of the various initiatives, has been the involvement of government.
In the school, clinic and irrigation garden projects the Trust has supplied the infrastructure leaving room for government to supply the staff, medication, training, books and other necessary supplies.
This approach – the partnership between the Malilangwe Trust and the communities – and the involvement of government has resulted in effective, sustainable and far-reaching upliftment.
The Shangaan believe that the baobab holds immense power. In fact it is a widely held Shangaan belief that when a person sits beneath a baobab tree it steals a piece of that person’s heart. This piece is only returned when they once again sit beneath that same baobab tree.
The baobab is the quintessential African tree and the Malilangwe Reserve is full of these beautiful giants.
The direct translation of the word baobab is tree of life, which is apt considering that every part of it can be used.
1. The white pulp, from the fruit of the baobab, is mixed with water and used as a treatment for fever, colds and flu.
2. The seeds, from the baobab fruit, are refreshing to suck on and – when roasted – they make an excellent coffee style hot beverage.
3. Over the years hollow baobab trunks have served as houses, prisons, storage barns and places of refuge from animals.
4. The leaves can be boiled and eaten just like spinach.
5. The bark makes excellent ropes and floor mats. It is also believed to have the power to help an individual secure respect, prestige and security in their job.