Wildlife Report

The Singita Wildlife Report


First-hand ranger reports from the bushveld

Singita Grumeti

October 2011 - Grumeti, Tanzania

The short rains have started and the entire concession has greened up tremendously, areas that had burnt and others that were grazed extensively by the wildebeest migration a few months ago are fully recovered. The entire landscape looks like an emerald green tapestry, with mosaics of colour dotted across it, created by flowers and animals. The new grass has attracted zebra and topi in their thousands, little Thompson gazelle with their constantly moving tails, buffalo and elephant. Along with the rain and the new growth there is birth, zebra foals, topi and buffalo calves, Thompson’s and impala lambs. Trees that were dormant through the dry season have sprouted new leaves, wild flowers are blooming throughout the concession and frogs can be heard calling everywhere.


Temperatures

  • Average Minimum:29°C (84°F)
  • Average Maximum:17°C (63°F)
  • Minimum Recorded:22°C (72°F)
  • Maximum Recorded:22°C (72°F)

Rainfall

  • For the period:0 mm (0 in)
  • For the year to date:128 mm (5 in)

Singita Sabi Sand

October 2011 - Sabi Sand, South Africa

Every year, as part of a veld management policy, a piece of Singita Sabi Sand needs to be burned.  Different areas obviously get burned in different years.  Fire can be a devastating natural force, but it can also be a most useful management tool.  What is of key importance, obviously, is the timing of the burn.  Ideally, one needs to burn at the beginning of the rainy season, so that there is quick regrowth of new green grass as soon after the burn as possible.  Typically, our environmental management team will wait until the first decent spring rains have fallen, and burn immediately after that. This is what happened this year – a decent rain fell in the beginning of October, and over the next two days, the team put in their block burns. These burns were very successful and, because the ground was still damp from the rain, a little flush of green started coming through almost immediately.  Furthermore, a really good thunderstorm followed on Saturday 15 October.


Temperatures

  • Average Minimum:16°C (61°F)
  • Average Maximum:28°C (82°F)
  • Minimum Recorded:7°C (45°F)
  • Maximum Recorded:36°C (97°F)

Rainfall

  • For the period:187 mm (7 in)
  • For the year to date:187 mm (7 in)

Singita Sabi Sand

July 2011 - Sabi Sand, South Africa

I write this month’s wildlife diary with mixed feelings, as it is the last edition that I will be involved in, as I move on from Singita Sabi Sand at the end of July. I will, however, be moving across to Singita Kruger National Park where I will hopefully have the opportunity to continue writing. Again it has been an action packed month with my highlight undoubtedly being the final game drive that I took.

There have been a couple of days of uncharacteristic weather during the month with the odd misty morning and even a day of rain, but generally it seems to be warming up slightly.

We were lucky enough to view 2 different pairs of mating leopards during the month. On the 10th of July, we were privileged to view the Khashane male mating with the Hlabankunzi female from the patio at Castleton Camp. Then, on 26th July, I bumped into the Dudley riverbank female and the Short tail (Bicycle crossing) male mating on Dudley.


Temperatures

  • Average Minimum:5°C (41°F)
  • Average Maximum:24°C (75°F)
  • Minimum Recorded:0°C (32°F)
  • Maximum Recorded:29°C (84°F)

Rainfall

  • For the period:4 mm (0 in)
  • For the year to date:4 mm (0 in)

Singita Grumeti

June 2011 - Grumeti, Tanzania

The Wildebeest Migration was declared the 7th new Wonder of the Natural World in June 2006 and it is well justified. This annual mass movement of over a million wildebeest has to be one of the most awe inspiring sights on earth. It is very possible that these animals have been making this astonishing trek for millions of years and if that is so then man must have been marveling over this for millennia.

Imagine the delight on his face when faced with what looked like an easy source of food, and indeed it must have been far easier to find a meal when there were wildebeest for as far as the eye could see. There was literally rank after rank of the animals filing onto the plains on a daily basis, from the 25th May we watched as the numbers swelled until it seemed there would be room for no more. They came on still. The herds of topi and zebra gave way before encroaching hordes; elephant left the low lying areas and headed for the hills.

 


Temperatures

  • Average Minimum:15°C (59°F)
  • Average Maximum:31°C (88°F)
  • Minimum Recorded:0°C (32°F)
  • Maximum Recorded:22°C (72°F)

Rainfall

  • For the period:0 mm (0 in)
  • For the year to date:143 mm (6 in)

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