In yesterday’s post we shared the highlights from our monthly Wildlife Journals from the first half of 2014. These diary entries, penned by our field guides in the bush, document the fascinating flora and fauna found across Singita’s concessions in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. They are filled with interesting sightings, unusual animals and amusing anecdotes (just look at these bounding baboons!), and illustrated with their own stunning photographs. Here are some of the most memorable stories from July to December:
JULY – SINGITA KRUGER NATIONAL PARK (SOUTH AFRICA)
On the 11th of July we had a sighting that was so unusual that we could hardly believe our ears when it came over the radio. Clement had found and called in members of the Shishangaan pride with cubs, but one of the cubs was just a little different. He is snow white!
Read the full Wildlife Report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report – July 2014
Read all Wildlife Reports from the region here: Singita Kruger National Park
AUGUST – SINGITA SABI SAND (SOUTH AFRICA)
The Sabi Sand has always been famous for its excellent leopard viewing, with a good number of relaxed or habituated leopards existing in this area. These wonderfully adaptable carnivores can, of course, exist in just about any habitat where there is food and cover. Having claimed that the Sabi Sand boasts excellent leopard viewing, I would not for a moment suggest that finding leopards here is easy, and nor would I ever take a leopard sighting for granted. Indeed, one can sometimes spend days searching for a leopard without success, and with guest expectations high, the pressure on guides and trackers can really mount!
SEPTEMBER – SINGITA PAMUSHANA (ZIMBABWE)
As the first rays of light lit the landscape on World Rhino Day (22 September) we chose to explore an area that our well-protected rhinos seem to prefer. We were hugely rewarded with the very first sighting of the drive being a family of six white rhinos that were just waking up from their night’s rest in an open grassy area.
Read the full Wildlife Report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report – September 2014
Read all Wildlife Reports from the region here: Singita Pamushana
OCTOBER – SINGITA GRUMETI (TANZANIA)
Just like the three previous months, the first half of October was characterised by lots of game all over the concession. Large herds of migratory zebra continued to slowly move through the area, as well as pockets of a few thousand wildebeest. The migratory animals joined hundreds of topi on the Sabora Plains. The topi calving season that began in late September continued into October, and multitudes of tiny calves dotted the herds throughout the plains.
NOVEMBER – SINGITA SABI SAND (SOUTH AFRICA)
With our ever-growing elephant population in the Sabi Sands that forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park, there is always the question of how their numbers are being controlled in a confined area, even with the conserved area as large as it is. I have included a few quotes from Dr Sam Ferreira, SANParks’ large mammal ecologist, in this article. This is the most recent information available on the population control within the area of Kruger National Park and Sabi Sand.
DECEMBER – SINGITA PAMUSHANA (ZIMBABWE)
The most astonishing, frightening and incredible sighting of my career… My hands trembled as I grabbed my 400 mm lens and my 1.4 convertor and fitted them to the camera body. While doing this and trying to stay calm I could tell from the sounds that these two highly endangered, rarely observed and very aggressive animals were not having a swim – they were having the battle to end all battles. Both were bulls – the one much bigger than the other. They fought in the water and on the bank. Their thundering feet shook the earth and their bellowing cries echoed off the sandstone walls and amplified over the water.