The Mopani tree bears this beautiful name thanks to its butterfly shaped leaves. Mopani means butterfly.
The amazing Mopani tree has more to it than just butterfly shaped leaves … it is also highly intelligent in design. It stores tannins, which lie dormant in its root and bark until an animal tries to eat the leaves. When an animal takes a nibble it releases the tannin making the leaves inedible to most creatures.
photo CC attribution: artbandito on Flickr
The Mopani tree may be intelligent in design but it is also an elephant’s favourite snack. To get past the tannin issue the elephant doesn’t bother with nibbling off the tree instead it tears a whole Mopani branch from the tree. So, while the rest of the Mopani is rendered inedible thanks to the tannin, the elephant’s branch tastes delicious!
The décor at Singita’s Pamushana Lodge draws its inspiration from the local Shangaan culture creating an authentic and luxurious Zimbabwe safari experience for guests. Here there are no muted-khaki or beige tones in sight. Instead rich patterned fabrics, decadent and heavy wood furniture, beading, African frescos and other artwork are used to create a sumptuous and captivating lodge setting.
Nothing has been ignored or overlooked in both the suites and the public lodge areas. The suites, central bar, swimming pools, indoor and outdoor sitting rooms and dining areas are all wonderfully comfortable and inviting with superb attention to detail.
The hand-painted and distinctly patterned walls throughout Singita Pamushana Lodge call out, they want to be touched. The carved wood of the bar needs to be stroked. The deck, overlooking the dam, has to be lounged on at least once a day and the suites’ private outdoor showers beckon morning, noon and night.
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!
The original Shangaan took their name from their king, Soshangane. The Shangaan weren’t traditionally warriors instead they were agriculturalists and pastoralists.
At the height of his power the King Soshangane ruled the impressive Gaza Empire. This empire consisted of what is now south-eastern Zimbabwe – which is where the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve and Singita Pamushana Lodge are situated – as well as the area from the Save River to the southern part of Mozambique.
In traditional Shangaan culture the sangoma, a healer and spiritual guide, is seen to be one of the most important members of the Shangaan tribe. Over the years the sangoma’s medicine gourd, a nhunguvani, has become an accepted symbol of the traditional cultural heritage of the Shangaan.
The Shangaan are now mainly found in southern Mozambique and in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.
The Fever tree is completely harmless but they have the early pioneers to blame for their ominous sounding name.
The pioneers believed that Fever trees were the cause of malaria outbreaks. It was eventually proved that Fever trees had absolutely nothing to do with malaria. The only thing the wrongfully accused Fever trees share with the real malaria culprits, the female Anopheles mosquitoes, is a love of swampy areas.
Nevertheless the story goes that locals would lie down in the shade of the tree to escape the burning sun. Invariably, they would fall asleep and would wake up covered in mosquito bites which would often lead to the onset of malaria.
Singita Pamushana is located in the 140 000 acre Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve situated in south-east Zimbabwe. These 140 000 acres are home to four separate eco-systems, an abundance of wildlife – including the Big 5 – and a collection of over 400 different species of birds.
In true Singita style Pamushana Lodge offers its guests a personal and unique African safari experience.
Everything from its unrivalled setting – overlooking the expansive Malilangwe Lake – to its local Shangaan inspired décor and the trademark Singita service, all helps to create an adventure that is exciting, warm and incredibly romantic.
Food is as much a part of Singita Pamushana Lodge as the décor, setting and service. Early morning pre-game drive snacks followed by brunch, a late lunch, decadent afternoon tea, sundowners and refreshments in the bush and then dinner. All so delectable and so beautifully presented, that any attempt at resistance is ultimately futile!
Photographs, no matter how talented the photographer, simply cannot capture the magic and charm that flow through every aspect of Singita Pamushana Lodge. It is simply a place you have to experience in person in order to understand how such beauty has the ability to make any heart sing.
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.
The impala and baboons enjoy an interesting symbiotic relationship. When you visit Singita Grumeti Reserves you’ll seldom find one without the other.
Image courtesy of zrim (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3104/2761905984_fa0e144804.jpg)
The baboons are, by their very nature hyper vigilant and therefore if they think anything is amiss they alert the impala. The impala are not as vigilant but while they graze they stir up all the insects and bugs. This makes it significantly easier for the baboons to catch their meals.
The impala are responsible for catering while the baboons handle the security detail.
A ‘friend’ in Kiswahili is a: rafiki