A long, successful season
On the last day of June this year I received an email from Lodge Manager Kevin Pongola, at Singita Lamai, Mara River Tented Camp: “It’s happening…” he wrote, “crossing at number 7 is active… will update you later with the details.” This report came after three long weeks of silence since the migration had left our Singita Grumeti property, and now 80 000 wildebeest were crossing the mighty Mara River onto Lamai Triangle, about 60 km away, where Singita Lamai, Mara River Tented Camp is situated. Since then, the area surrounding Mara River Tented Camp saw three straight months of migration. The herds remained present for the first week of October, but after that the bulk of them had cleared the area, making their long journey back south to the short grass plains of Ndutu. Not all the of action stopped though, as a few lagging groups were still moving out of the area, up until the middle of the month. Our guests saw a handful of crossings of wildebeest and zebra, in groups of 50 to100. This is maybe not as epic as 80 000 strong, but any crossing is always very exciting!
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report October 2014
Crossing season has started
In the June Lamai Wildlife Report we explained how the migration was ‘missing in action’ from the Lamai area, until the final day of the month when 80 000 wildebeest were seen crossing to the northern side of the Mara River, about 8 km upstream of Kogatende. The rest is history. Crossings occurred on a regular basis throughout the month of July. Mara River Tented Camp guests saw a total of 16 crossings and 2 crocodile kills. Towards the middle of the month, the migration began to fill up the plains of the Lamai Triangle north of the Mara River.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report July 2014
An elephant paradise
It’s no surprise that the Lamai and Kogatende areas of the Serengeti around Mara River Tented Camp are home to many elephants. The mighty Mara River itself provides a seemingly endless supply of fresh water, flowing year-round. In addition, countless smaller rivers and estuaries stem off from the river at a rate of about one every 500 metres. The result is not only the amount of water available, but also that it is easily accessible – you don’t have to travel far to find a source of water.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report June 2014
December is always a popular time for visitors and families to come to the park and this year was no different. A busy lodge over the festive season with some great weather meant some amazing sightings for all the guests. It’s the time of the year that’s known for its abundance, colour and verdure. With all the greenery you need to consider how the long lush grass and thickets make it so easy for animals to become undetectable, but in saying that there is always a sense of accomplishment when they are seen, and of course half the fun of seeing the animal is the tracking and spotting beforehand! Elephants in the Kruger National Park must be some of the most dynamic landscapers to this environment and a safari would simply not be complete without seeing one of these colossal giants strutting its stuff. These giants move prodigious distances over a large home range area rather than marking and protecting a territory, – and this makes sightings of them unpredictable and erratic. Over the past month we had an extraordinary total of 89 sightings, with at least two sightings per day. Even with the huge number of elephants scattered throughout the park and with years of research, theories and estimates on these mythical beasts, so much is still unknown about the species.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report December 2013
- Average minimum 19.1°C (66.4°F)
- Average maximum 30.6°C (87°F)
- Minimum recorded 17°C (62.6°F)
- Maximum recorded 34°C (93.2°F)
- For the period: 160.7 mm
- For the year to date: 679.1mm
It looks as if the young baby elephant in the pictures that follow is feeding on some grass, just like mom, but looks can be deceiving…Baby elephants normally nurse until their mother has another calf, which would typically be when they are four to five years old. They don’t really have full control and functionality of their trunk until they are around one year old, at which point they will start eating a little bit of greenery. They copy the older members of their herd though, so they’ll go through the motions as best they can, which makes them even cuter!
This mountainous horizon marking the border between Kenya and Tanzania is one of the most recognizable features of the Lamai area. It also provides a beautiful background for wildlife photos taken by our field guides.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singitas Lamai Wildlife Report December 2013
We can’t stop talking about the migration in this wildlife report, but it’s because the migrants are always here! After strong showings in July and August, the herds of wildebeest continued to impress throughout September. River crossings were a daily occurrence and there were 35 crossings in the Mara River Tented Camp area, in the 30 days of the month. What follows is a photo essay of the sights – I think you’ll agree the images speak for themselves.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlfie Report September 2013
About a week after the bulk of the Migration left Singita Grumeti, they began filtering into the area where Singita Mara River Tented Camp is located, in the remote Lamai Triangle, on the bank of the famous Mara River. They first arrived in the Kogatende area about 10 kilometres south of the camp and reachable by game drive. After a couple of days though, game drives were no longer necessary, as thousands of wildebeest congregated right across the river from camp. The numbers grew and grew, the great herds waiting until the last possible minute before they had to face the inevitable – crossing the croc-infested Mara River. Whether pushed in by the shoving behind them or out of pure bravery, the first wildebeest eventually made the leap of faith into the mighty Mara. Within a second of that first leap thousands followed. The crossing was a truly amazing spectacle. These wildebeests are not only susceptible to the dangerous jaws of the crocodiles, but also to each other. With the huge number of them crossing the river, individuals are also accidentally pushed under and drowned by their own kind.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report July 2013
Singita Kruger National Park is very fortunate in terms of the diversity of botany in the area. This is based on a difference in the soils and topography in the east, with the rhyolite-based Lebombo mountains, versus the west with its extremely fertile basaltic soils and relatively flat grasslands. Flora, like fauna, has its preferences to where it likes to live, and the differences in soil type and topography allows for a wonderful spectrum. There are two particularly prominent trees that grow in the area. They are very much cactus-like plants, but are in fact from the euphorbia family. They certainly do give the atmosphere of a great Western movie! The trees are incredibly picturesque and generally grow in areas that receive a limited amount of rainfall. The first of the euphorbias is the Transvaal candelabra euphorbia (Euphorbia cooperi). This is identified by its beautiful branches with what can be described as upside down heart-shaped lobes. It typically grows on rocky ridges, but it is less reliant on these ridges than the similar Lebombo euphorbia. The more ‘cucumber’ shaped lobes of the Lebombo Euphorbia tree, with the flowers starting to come through as we approach winter. Trees of the euphorbia family have a white milky latex and are extremely toxic. They can be very dangerous to the eyes, and cause blisters and irritation to the skin if not handled with extreme care. Despite this, the traditional uses are fairly varied – they include using it as a fish poison, purgative, poison for hunting arrows and for treating lesions and wounds on cattle. As a result, the tree is not eaten by many animals. One animal that is known to browse certain euphorbias is the black rhinoceros, and it is thought to be for its stomach cleansing properties.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report April 2013
- Average minimum 12.6˚C (59.3˚F)
- Average maximum 28.7˚C (81.1˚F)
- Minimum recorded 08.0˚C (53.6˚F)
- Maximum recorded 35.0˚C (91.4˚F)
- For the period: 66 mm
- For the year to date: 385.5 mm
In the northern portion of the Serengeti National Park lies an area known as the Lamai Triangle, it is from here that I write this. The Lamai Triangle lies between the Mara River in the south with the Kenyan border and adjacent Serengeti National Park Border making up the other two sides. It is an area of 779 square kilometres (approximately 300 square miles) made up predominately of open grass plains. The Lamai Triangle was only incorporated into the Serengeti National Park in 1965, a move that has, without doubt, been of benefit to the great wildebeest migration. The Lamai Triangle is known as one of the best all year round game viewing destinations in the world, when the wildebeest and zebra are not migrating through this area there are large herds of resident game, such as buffalo, elephant and eland.