The African continent is captivating for many reasons; exotic landscapes, diverse cultures and astounding natural beauty among them. A rich and varied wildlife population is no doubt the highlight for many visitors to Africa, with many unique and mysterious species inhabiting our jungles and grasslands. It is critical that the bio-diversity of this land is protected and conserved, which is why Singita’s core vision is to preserve large tracts of wilderness in Africa for future generations with hands-on conservation teams on each property.
The experienced and highly-skilled Singita field guides play a critical role in this process by educating guests about the importance of conservation and instilling in them a deep sense of appreciation for our natural environment. Their beautiful photos from twice-daily game drives have become an extremely popular feature of the social media accounts and are an inspiration to all members of the Singita family. Here, they have selected their favourites from 2013 for you to enjoy:
Catch up on our monthly Wildlife Reports and like our Facebook page for first-hand ranger reports straight from the bushveld.
Conservation has always been pivotal to Singita’s existence, as it lives hand-in-hand with Singita’s other two operating principles; ecotourism and community development. We believe it’s the responsible way to maintain and extend the sustainability of the reserves under our care. As we reflect on the successes of the past year, it seems fitting to report on the positive findings of a recent census that took place at Singita Grumeti earlier in 2013.
The hands-on conservation teams on each property are committed to protecting, maintaining and enhancing the land and its fauna and flora. For example, Singita Grumeti has as one of its goals the rehabilitation of the wildlife populations of Grumeti and Ikorongo Game Reserves and associated wildlife management areas in the Serengeti, Tanzania. Over the last eight years, Singita Grumeti has made a significant investment into the protection of wildlife in the area as well as the infrastructure required to support ecotourism. The effectiveness of these inputs and the management activities that result need to be monitored for appropriate outcomes, the most logical of which is the change in status of the resident herbivores.
Having an understanding of the number of animals, their distribution and numerical trends forms one of the most basic sets of information necessary for the informed management of a wildlife operation. A starting point is a regular and accurate assessment of population size of possibly all, but certainly the ecologically and economically most important species.
A census was therefore undertaken by way of an aerial survey between the 23rd of August and the 3rd of September 2013 in the Ikorongo-Grumeti Reserves complex. This survey was the tenth undertaken over a period of 11 years, under particularly favourable counting conditions and with a very experienced team of enumerators.
At the initiation of this project, the Grumeti Fund management team’s primary purpose was to facilitate the recovery of the resident large herbivore populations in this part of the Serengeti ecosystem. This was seen as an important step in the rehabilitation of this particular region, protecting the migratory herds but also helping to fully restore the tourism potential of the area.
Notable statistics from the census include the slowing population increase of buffalo (although this species has shown a six fold increase in estimated size over the last 10 years) and this year showing the highest number of elephant in the area since inception. The population estimate for elephant has varied substantially over the last eight years, probably as a result of the animals moving in and out in response to resource availability. Overall, the population showing a gradual increase of 5% per annum over the last 10 years. In addition, the topi, a local migrant antelope, would appear to have stabilised at around 15 000 animals. Fluctuations are likely due both to forage conditions as well as predation.
Click the image below to see the full-size infographic depicting population growth until 2011:
Singita Grumeti also has a highly successful Anti-Poaching Unit comprising 120 game scouts (most of the ex-poachers) who work together with the Wildlife Division to eradicated illegal hunting within the concession. Visit our Conservation page to learn more about how Singita manages the half a million acres of pristine African wilderness that it is proud guardian of.
Five critically endangered eastern black rhino, from South Africa, arrived in the Serengeti yesterday as part of the ‘most ambitious wildlife relocation in East Africa over the past 50 years’.
This project – spearheaded by the Singita Grumeti Fund in collaboration with the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and the Frankfurt Zoological Society – aims to relocate a total of 32 eastern black rhino over a two year period.
To ensure the rhinos’ protection during the relocation process, and the project’s long-term sustainability, an elite Serengeti Rhino Protection Unit has been established. This unit is comprised of 23 carefully selected and trained rangers.
For more information and images please visit http://rhinos.singita.com.
Just under 10 years ago Singita Grumeti Reserves was a gorgeous landscape but it was completely devoid of game. Illegal poaching and uncontrolled legal hunting had resulted in the collapse of the wildlife population.
The goal with establishing the Singita Grumeti Fund was to generate profit for use in two areas: wildlife conservation and community development.
From the onset of this initiative everyone involved understood that any wildlife conversation efforts would not succeed without the support of the surrounding communities. To be in a position to be able to provide this support the community required education and development; in other words Singita Grumeti Reserves needed to give the community an understanding of conservation and help the community to create a sustainable alternative to the hunting/poaching of game.
From the day the Singita Grumeti Fund was established and into the foreseeable future all profits, including profit generated through tourism, have been and will be used solely to support the Fund. This means that every guest who stays at Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Singita Faru Faru Lodge or Singita Sabora Tented Camp supports the Fund initiatives.
In just under a decade the Fund team, Singita Grumeti Reserve guests and others have – through their hard work, dedication and donations – helped restore the vast majority of Singita Grumeti Reserves resident wildlife population. Through additional and extensive education efforts and the creation of alternative employment opportunities – for those residing around the Serengeti ecosystem – the groundwork for sustainable conservation, in Singita Grumeti Reserves (and beyond), has been laid.
If you’ve stayed as a guest at Singita Grumeti Reserves, you can be proud of what your stay has helped us achieve.
For more information about the various Singita Grumeti Fund initiatives please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit Tanzania or, maybe like us, Geography wasn’t your strongest subject at school we’ve included a map of the area.
The Serengeti Conservation Area
Singita Grumeti Reserves is situated South-East of Lake Victoria in the northern part of Tanzania. We operate over an extensive area (about 1500 km’s2) and form a vital part of the greater Serengeti / Mara ecosystem.
Singita Grumeti Reserves is not only an important part of the ecosystem but also a vital buffer between the villagers, who reside around the Serengeti and, the Serengeti National Park.
To create, maintain and improve the nature of this buffer Singita Grumeti Reserves works tirelessly to improve the relationship between man and the Serengeti / Mara ecosystem. With the overall goal being the creation of a sustainable and conservation friendly relationship between the two.