The Mara River is a water wonderland that dominates the Lamai triangle. The river and the small springs and tributaries that feed into it, provide generous access to water for the game living here, whether it be for drinking, cooling off or just having fun. The festival of life plays out on the seamless banks that stretch unhindered to the horizon, but every now and then the urge to cross the river is irresistible, and the drama reaches its zenith.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report October 2013
In the Wildlife Report for October 2012, Head Guide Ryan Schmitt remarked, “Whenever anyone asks me what I think the best time of year to visit Singita Grumeti is, my answer is always the same: There is no doubt in my mind, it is October.” Ryan has been here for six years, and once again October proved to be an impressive month.
In the Wildlife Report for July 2013 we spoke about the Sasakwa Dam hippo, who during his 5-year tenure living at the dam had loved and lost and found love again. This month the hippo’s life underwent a major change once more…
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report October 2013
- Average minimum 33.9 °C
- Average maximum 16.3 °C
- Average wind speed 0.7 m/s
- Sasakwa 15.1 mm
- Sabora 07.0 mm
- Faru Faru 15.0 mm
- Samaki 27.0 mm
- Risiriba 02.0 mm
Buffalo versus lion versus leopard
As guests were having afternoon snacks on the riverside deck before game drive, we noticed a male lion sleeping on the opposite side of the river. Then a large buffalo bull ambled into the scene. Next, all drama broke lose. Two more male lions appeared and they set off after the now terrified buffalo. To our astonishment, teacups in hand, the lions killed the buffalo right in front of Boulders Lodge, rooms 9 and 10. Unbelievable! For the next three days we had ring-side viewing. The lions did not bother moving much as they had food and water right there next to them. The only activity seemed to be within their ever-growing bellies filled with buffalo meat. On the first morning a male leopard, known as the Nyalethi male, crept in to view. While the lions were feeding he would keep a respectful distance, never showing himself to his far larger relatives. All he was waiting for was a window of opportunity for a potential free meal.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Journal September 2013
- Average minimum 13.3˚C (50.5˚F)
- Average maximum 28.8˚C (81.1˚F)
- Minimum recorded 07.0˚C (44.6˚F)
- Maximum recorded 39.0˚C (93.2˚F)
- For the period: 21 mm
- For the year to date: 985 mm
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
The rains that finally came at the end of August after a long dry season continued to fall every few days in September. The burnt areas that were turning green became fully rejuvenated. The leading herds of the great migration slowly filtered back through the property, now heading south for the short grass plains of Ndutu where they will arrive around December/January to calve. Wildlife on Sasakwa Hill was the main theme of September. Herds of elephants and the Butamtam Pride of lions were seen on a regular basis throughout the month. It may not be the mighty Mara River, famed for the annual migration crossings where wildebeest and zebra risk being eaten by crocodiles or simply drowning from the strong currents (also the location of Singita’s Mara River Tented Camp), but don’t think sights at Grumeti are any less spectacular…
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report September 2013
- Average minimum 30.5ºC (86.9ºF)
- Average maximum 15.3ºC (59.5ºF)
- Average wind speed 0.5m/s
- Sasakwa 89.8mm
- Sabora 125.2mm
- Faru Faru 160.3mm
- Samaki 35mm
- Risiriba 72mm
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
Dry, dry, dry!
It seems like only yesterday when we were writing the April report with the theme: “Wet, wet, wet!” The month of July is the peak of the dry season at Singita Grumeti, but with the dry weather comes great game viewing. Because of the lack of rain, access to water diminishes and the game begins to concentrate itself around the many water holes, drainage lines and pans around the reserves. What is more fun than watching elephants swimming? We’ll give you the answer: NOTHING! Almost every day in July herds of elephants from various reaches of the reserve would congregate at Sasakwa Dam, which now has three permanent inhabitants… (more on that later.) After quenching their elephant-sized thirst (on average they drink 60 litres of water a day) they would enjoy a swim, playing and splashing around with one another.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report July 2013
- Average minimum 32.7 °C (90.8°F)
- Average maximum 13.3°C (55.9°F)
- Minimum recorded 0.0˚C (0˚F)
- Maximum recorded 0.0˚C (0˚F)
- Sasakwa 0
- Sabora 0
- Faru Faru 0
- Samaki 0
- Risiriba 18.0 mm
Introducing the Othawa pride cubs (Images and article by guide, Marlon du Toit)
After months of huge anticipation and many attempts at getting a glimpse at these young cubs, the day finally arrived, and boy did I soak in all the goodness! To see eight little bundles of lion fluff bounding towards your vehicle across the white beach-like sand of the aptly named Sand River is an absolute dream come true. These lion cubs remained well hidden within the thickets along the banks of the river for many weeks, a useful method of protecting them, especially in the absence of their mothers. We would get a glimpse of a cub every now and then, but to see all of them right there in the open was incredible. These lionesses are over five years old and are yet to raise a litter successfully. Male lion coalitions have been too unsettling in the past, killing previous litters and preventing the lionesses from entering oestrus for longer periods than usual. The resident males, known as the Selati Coalition, are now well established and thanks to that the Othawa Pride has grown to eleven in total. The cubs now need protection from the rival males, known as the Majingilane Coalition. Their survival depends on the Selati Coalition’s strength and the ingenuity of their experienced mothers. As it stands they rarely venture far east into their territory for fear of an encounter with the Majingilane Coalition. Male lions are well known for ending the lives of young cubs fathered by other males, and this would be disastrous. Let’s trust that these cubs will all make it safely to adulthood.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report July 2013
- Average minimum 07.3˚C (45.1˚F)
- Average maximum 22.7˚C (73.0˚F)
- Minimum recorded 02.0˚C (35.6˚F)
- Maximum recorded 27.5˚C (81.5˚F)
- For the period: 10 mm
- For the year to date: 938 mm
It’s been another great month of sightings – some fleeting, some enduring, but never guaranteed. Visuals that we can promise are the priceless time-honoured paintings that adorn some of the sandstone cave walls on Singita Pamushana’s Malilangwe Reserve. Malilangwe has had a long history of human occupation, from the early hunter-gatherers to the more recent agro-pastoralists. Each of these groups has left behind evidence of their presence and preservation of the San rock art and other sites of cultural interest is a conservation priority. In addition, Kambako Living Museum of Bushcraft has been set up on the border of the reserve to preserve the vanishing bushcraft skills of the local Shangaan people. A must for all guests is a visit to Kambako. You’re invited to glimpse the past and marvel at human ingenuity as this fascinating community takes you through their age-old solutions of hunting, forging spear heads, making fire, preparing food, crafting pottery and so much more…
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report June 2013
- Average minimum 11,6°C (52,8°F)
- Average maximum 26,8°C (80,2°F)
- Minimum recorded 08,7°C (47,6°F)
- Maximum recorded 32,7°C (90,8°F)
- For the period: 0.2 mm
- For the year to date: 354 mm
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