Wildlife Report

The Singita Wildlife Report


First-hand ranger reports from the bushveld

Singita Kruger National Park

October 2014 - Singita Kruger National Park, South Africa

Busier than usual Article by Jani Lourens

So, after much talk from long-standing guides at Singita Lebombo about the large breeding herds of buffalo that move through the property, I have, at last, witnessed the arrival of a breeding herd estimated at more than 700. The landscape is a mix of burnt areas – charcoal and ash with earth exposed to the sun, different shades of brown everywhere, skeleton leadwoods and fellow grey trees. The only new foliage that has started to appear is on trees lining the N’wanetsi and Sweni Rivers and at Gudzane Dam, emulating a green snake twisting in a dying landscape. The wildlife is being tempted by this green snake as the animals anxiously wait out the dry heat for the coming summer rains to bring new life to the land.

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report October 2014


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 15.4°C (59.1°F)
  • Average maximum 29°C (86°F)
  • Minimum recorded 11°C (48.2°F)
  • Maximum recorded 39°C (100.4°F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 17 mm
  • For the year to date: 280.5 mm

Singita Pamushana

September 2014 - Pamushana, Zimbabwe

Crackerjack sightings are the bonus of the hot dry weather we’re experiencing. Some of the highlights that have had our safari-goers on the edge of their seats include a mother cheetah with her three young cubs, a majestic herd of sable quenching their thirst, about fifty normally evasive eland mingling at a pan with buffaloes and hartebeest as well as a caracal darting for cover. On the water a split second sighting of a young otter caused much excitement, as did the female leopard that guests spotted relaxing on the banks of the dam. Thanks to the short dry grass, guided walks in the wild have been possible, and these are always a revelation.

 

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report September 2014


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 17,1°C (62,7°F)
  • Average maximum 31,3°C (88,3°F)
  • Minimum recorded 12,1°C (53,7°F)
  • Maximum recorded 38,7°C (101,6°F)

Rainfall

  • For the month: 2,4 mm
  • For the year to date: 502,6 mm

Singita Grumeti

September 2014 - Grumeti, Tanzania

If August was ‘big zebra’ month, September must go down as ‘big cat’ month. Guests witnessed several hunts and kills, and then more leopard hoists were located than normal, so most of this month’s report will be based on feline viewing on the concession. September also saw thousands of wildebeest moving through the concession, mostly in a south and westerly direction into the Serengeti National Park, and then many of the very large zebra herds have started giving way to the resident species.

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report September 2014


Temperatures

  • Average maximum 33°C
  • Average minimum 14.9 °C
  • Average wind speed 0.5 m/s

Rainfall

  • Sasakwa 115.2
  • Sabora 55.5
  • Faru Faru 60.5
  • Samaki 97.0
  • Risiriba 35.0

Singita Pamushana

August 2014 - Pamushana, Zimbabwe

This month our guests have been delighted by safari walks, game approaches on foot, sit-ins at our photographic hides, excellent fishing, sundowner boat cruises, visits to our cavernous galleries of ancient rock paintings, Kambako Bushcraft Museum and the spectacularly colourful, oxide-rich sandstone strata of Chilojo Cliffs. Wildlife highlights include 30 elephants in a breeding herd, drinking, feeding and bathing at the edge of Malilangwe Dam. While the guests and guide cruised past in the boat one particular elephant bull did quite the circus display – he gave a small but vocal charge ending with him stopping near the boat and standing straight up on his two hind legs with his trunk stretched high! We’ve spotted a female leopard perched high in a tree, a pride of seven lions drinking and snoozing at Banyini Pan – one lioness had tangled with a porcupine as she had tell-tale broken quills sticking into her face and chest. A herd of 300 buffaloes congregated for their daily drink, sightings of black and white rhinos have been excellent as always, but the best news of the month by far is that the pack of 13 wild dogs that have been denning close to the lodge have introduced their ELEVEN pups to the game drives! We’d not seen the pups up until now, but since they are just big enough to start exploring and joining the adults on hunting forays we’ve had some joyous sightings of them in the last week – they’ve even started playing around and coming up close to investigate the game viewing vehicles!

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report August 2014


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 14,1˚C (57,3˚F)
  • Average maximum 29,1˚C (84,3˚F)
  • Minimum recorded 10,8˚C (49,6˚F)
  • Maximum recorded 36,2˚C (97,1˚F)

Rainfall

  • For the month: 1,4 mm
  • For the year to date: 500,2 mm

Singita Sabi Sand

July 2014 - Sabi Sand, South Africa

Early morning bliss Article by Ross Couper

Every morning starts with hot coffee whilst feeling the cool air on your face as you stand on the deck awaiting the glow across the horizon. The winter light illuminates the tops of the trees and slowly makes its way down to the ground. We depart after ensuring everyone is snuggled up warmly with a hot water bottle on his or her lap, the extra touch that makes the early morning even better. The dust swirls behind our Land Rover and the early morning light glistens across the grass seedpods stretched at the end of the stalks.

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report July 2014

 


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 6.2˚C (43.1˚F)
  • Average maximum 22.6˚C (72.6˚F)
  • Minimum recorded 0.0˚C (32.0˚F)
  • Maximum recorded 30.0˚C (86.0˚F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 0 mm
  • For the year to date: 851 mm

Singita Pamushana

July 2014 - Pamushana, Zimbabwe

Isn’t this the most beautiful little bug you’ve ever seen? Valerie Makunungunu, our Pamushana Lodge Anchor, discovered this objet d’art while doing her routine morning
inspection of our brightly coloured and boldly patterned lodge. When she showed the rest of the lodge staff they thought she was playing a trick on them! Had she painted the intricate little patterns across its back? Had it walked across the cushions and curtains at Pamushana and mimicked the patterns? Upon further investigation we were able to identify it from an insect reference book and were delighted to find that it has the perfect name – it’s called a Picasso bug (Sphaerocoris annulus). They are found in quite a wide range of sub-Saharan Africa, but it’s a first for most of us on the property, and hopefully for you too.

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report July 2014


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 12,2°C (53,9°F)
  • Average maximum 25,9°C (78,6°F)
  • Minimum recorded 9,8°C (49,6°F)
  • Maximum recorded 34,2°C (93,5°F)

Rainfall

  • For the month: 0,6 mm
  • For the year to date: 498,8 mm

Singita Pamushana

March 2014 - Pamushana, Zimbabwe

Spillage!

It happened on 21 March after a 13-year absence. A downpour of 51 mm in two hours made our full-to-thebrim dam spill its contents in the early afternoon. There was much excitement and celebration after all the will-it or-won’t-it anticipation, and to see the cascade of white water fill the Nyamasikana riverbed below filled our hearts with awe and gratitude. This little fellow looked very grateful that I didn’t tread on him – I’d been following in the footsteps – literally of one of our scouts as we tracked a black rhino, and as I was about to place my foot down in the disturbed soil I saw this smiley face peering at me. Contrary to popular belief many frogs and toads don’t live in and around permanent water. Some complete their entire lifecycle on land, while others migrate long distances to reach water during the breeding season. Those that live in suitable soil make burrows and construct tunnels by digging backwards into the soil. Another astonishing fact is that toads can live for 40 years!

Download the full wildlife report here:  Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report March 2014


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 21,4°C (70,5°F)
  • Average maximum 31,2°C (88,1°F)
  • Minimum recorded 18,7°C (65,6°F)
  • Maximum recorded 35,2°C (95,3°F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 113,0 mm
  • For the year to date: 471,0 mm

Singita Kruger National Park

February 2014 - Singita Kruger National Park, South Africa

What’s that funny face and smirk all about? It is something which most of us have seen before since it’s actually not all that uncommon to observe in most domestic house cats. You’ve possibly seen the expression, the one which is followed by an intense sniffing session. This upward lip curling and exposing of the front teeth and gums is a behaviour which is practiced by carnivores big and small, and even hoofed animals, and is generally a means of testing and analysing different scents. Scents can be checked for any number of reasons but are predominantly used to determine sexual condition or to investigate a newcomer within a territory. This is done through a specialised organ called the vomeronasal organ, more commonly known as the Jacobson’s organ. It is situated in the top palate and the grimace is in an attempt to ensure the scent reaches the organ in the roof of the mouth.

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report February 2014


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 20°C (68°F)
  • Average maximum 32°C (89.6°F)
  • Minimum recorded 17°C (62.6°F)
  • Maximum recorded 35°C (95°F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 38 mm
  • For the year to date: 154.8 mm

Singita Pamushana

February 2014 - Pamushana, Zimbabwe

The kingdom of fungi

I can’t help it, so here goes: A mushroom walks into a bar and orders a drink. The barman says, “Sorry, we don’t serve mushrooms.” The mushroom replies, “Hey! What do you mean – I’m a fun guy!” But seriously, what is the difference between mushrooms and fungI? The simple answer is that mushrooms are the reproductive organs of certain types of fungi. Fungi, just like plants and animals, own a kingdom of classification all on their own. They are organisms such as moulds, mushrooms and yeasts that are totally different from plants and animals. In fact, they are a little closer on the scale to animals than plants because they don’t depend on photosynthesis to make their own food, and have to get their nourishment from other sources.

 

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report February 2014


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 21,5°C (70,7°F)
  • Average maximum 30,5°C (86,9°F)
  • Minimum recorded 19,0°C (66,2°F)
  • Maximum recorded 34,1°C (93,3°F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 126,0 mm
  • For the year to date: 358,0 mm

Singita Sabi Sand

December 2013 - Sabi Sand, South Africa

The colours of summer

I often get the question from guests about the best time of year to visit this wildlife haven. Far too often people are left with the impression that summer is not a good time because the vegetation is too thick to find any animals. Whilst there is an element of truth in that I can assure you that if you only ever visit during the dry season you are missing out on an explosion of colour and beauty. Summer in South Africa is the time of plenty. Thanks to a good rainfall, food is abundant and animals need not venture too far to find water. Many species such as Cape buffalo, impala and zebra give birth in this season. It makes sense as there’s enough food for the mothers to produce sufficient amounts of milk, and once the babies are weaned they will have no problem finding nutrient-rich food to eat.


Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlfie Report December 2013


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 17.9˚C (64.4˚F)
  • Average maximum 28.0˚C (82.4˚F)
  • Minimum recorded 16.0˚C (60.8˚F)
  • Maximum recorded 38.0˚C (100.4˚F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 270 mm
  • For the year to date: 417 mm

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