Wildlife Report

The Singita Wildlife Report


First-hand ranger reports from the bushveld

Singita Kruger National Park

February 2015 - Singita Kruger National Park, South Africa

The ever growing ‘mega pride’ Article and photos by Nick du Plessis

It is sometimes quite difficult to decide what to write about in a monthly journal, there are normally a couple of particularly interesting events to choose from which may have happened or been developing over some time. But this month was an absolute ‘no-brainer’ as the sightings and regularity of the Shishangaan pride has never been more dependable. Guests have enjoyed a total of 63 lion sightings this month, most of which have been of the Shishangaan pride. It has been incredible, especially since there were a couple of months recently where they were keeping a very low profile and we were heavily reliant on the Mountain pride in the north.

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report February 2015


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 20°C (68°F)
  • Average maximum 32°C (89.6°F)
  • Minimum recorded 17°C (62.6°F)
  • Maximum recorded 37°C (98.6°F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 38.5 mm)
  • For the year to date: 72 mm)

Singita Sabi Sand

February 2015 - Sabi Sand, South Africa

Bird bath

We are fortunate enough to have a small garden where we live behind the lodge, and in the garden we have a bird bath which we ensure is full daily. This bird bath is a hive of activity at different times of the day. At any time of day we get birds coming to drink and bathe and either the family of vervet monkeys or a female Nyala and her young come to drink. Every day is different and sometimes the times change too. On this particular day I noticed a female Ashy flycatcher swoop down into the water, which was pretty low as it had been a busy morning at the bird bath. She looked around to scan for any danger that may be present, had a quick dip herself and then all of a sudden she was joined by three young flycatchers. What a treat to see three young flycatchers as this particular species is parasitized by Cuckoos, in particular Klaas’s cuckoo.

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report February 2015


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 20.8˚C (69.4˚F)
  • Average maximum 36.6˚C (97.8˚F)
  • Minimum recorded 14˚C (57.2˚F)
  • Maximum recorded 41˚C (105.80˚F)

Rainfall

  • For the month : 40 mm
  • For the year to date: 335 mm

Singita Sabi Sand

January 2015 - Sabi Sand, South Africa

Lion roaring Article by Francois Fourie

It’s a sound that can be heard from kilometres away and one of the greatest things of living in the bush. Sitting around a fire with friends and hearing the roar of a male lion from afar calling to his brothers…A lion’s roar is not only used for the purpose of making contact with their pride members but it is also done to announce his presence in his territory and to make sure that any other potential intruders stay away. It truly is one of the most special experiences sitting with a male lion only 10 metres away and he starts roaring. That feeling is one that you can’t put into words… even more so when it is a pitch dark night with only starlight above and he starts to roar… your whole body can feel the vibrations of the roar right to your very core! Once you’ve heard Africa’s biggest cat roar then you can truly understand why people call this magnificent animal the “King” of the jungle!

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report January 2015


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 18.8˚C (65.8˚F)
  • Average maximum 33˚C (91.4˚F)
  • Minimum recorded 16˚C (60.8˚F)
  • Maximum recorded 41˚C (105.80˚F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 13 mm
  • For the year to date: 13 mm

Singita Grumeti

December 2014 - Grumeti, Tanzania

Leopard update

A number of leopard sightings in the past year have contributed significantly to the continued improvement of leopard habituation at Singita Grumeti. Our recent, most noteworthy sighting yet, was that of a female leopard stalking and killing a male impala west of Faru Faru in the late afternoon, witnessed by Field Guide, Jeremiah and his guests. This is a clear indicator that leopards in the reserve have become more accepting of our safari-traversing activities and that they have slowly reverted to the type of hunting behaviour which is typical of leopards (for the first time in approximately 50 years). Leopards characteristically hunt both during the day and at night. However, in the seven years prior to 2003, before Grumeti became a photographic safari destination, it was in fact a hunting area. It was then that leopards in this area adapted to hunting only at night when the potential human threat was not around. Until almost a year ago, witnessing a leopard kill on the reserve was completely unheard of! Fortunately, these big cats are beginning to feel more comfortable and the kill that Jeremiah and his guests saw, was in fact the third kill we have recorded this year!

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


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 29.4˚C (84.9˚F)
  • Average maximum 16.4˚C (61.5˚F)

Rainfall

  • Sasakwa 100.7 mm
  • Sabora 98 mm
  • Faru Faru 67.5 mm
  • Samaki 208 mm
  • Risiriba 105 mm

Singita Sabi Sand

November 2014 - Sabi Sand, South Africa

Glorious summer Article by Ross Couper

With our heightened lookout for young impalas over the last month, it’s been hard not to notice all the other young around at this time of the year. A friendly wager amongst the guides as to when this season’s first newborn impala would be seen had us all waiting in anticipation to spot a long-legged youngster and call it in over the radio. This year’s winner was Dylan – the lucky date was 4 November 2014. Lambing time has meant that impalas have had more human attention than usual during game drives, with very pregnant impalas moving off on their own and newborn lambs struggling to stand or wobbling on their stilt-like legs. There are lots of “ooohs” and “aaahs” being whispered during the game drives.

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


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 18.2˚C (64.7˚F)
  • Average maximum 33.1˚C (91.5˚F)
  • Minimum recorded 11.0˚C (51.8˚F)
  • Maximum recorded 41.0˚C (105.8˚F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 51 mm
  • For the year to date: 110.5 mm

Singita Pamushana

November 2014 - Pamushana, Zimbabwe

The first good rains of the season started mid-month, with great downpours of 75 mm in some areas. Sparks of green now flash throughout the landscape, pastel pink crinum lilies bend like ballerinas above the ground, cicada insects play raucous crashing cymbal sounds and a band of woodland kingfishers have arrived with a fanfare of trills and showy displays. There have been many sighting highlights in the month, such as a pack of 25 wild dogs fighting with a clan of nine hyenas; five lions and two cubs at a kill; three bull elephants lying down fast asleep in a drainage system; three jackal puppies pouncing about in front of the Land Cruiser, trying to catch some flying ants that were  attracted to the headlights; a big herd of at least 500 buffalo plus ten hartebeest and 12 sable antelope; two hyenas scouting for a leopard’s kill that the leopard had stowed in a safe rocky crevice; a crowned eagle calling out for its partner; a leopard draped peacefully over a termite mound and six Lichtenstein hartebeest feeding on lush new grass shoots.

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

 

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Temperatures

  • Average minimum 21,2°C (70,1°F)
  • Average maximum 33,6°C (92,4°F)
  • Minimum recorded 15,0°C (59,0°F)
  • Maximum recorded 41,2°C (106,1°F)

Rainfall

  • For the month: 129,4 mm
  • For the year to date: 643,6 mm

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 Sabi Sand

October 2014 - Sabi Sand, South Africa

The fork-tailed drongo Article by Jon Morgan

While on safari at Singita, when viewing herbivores like impala, elephant, white rhino, buffalo and giraffe, you might notice the silhouette of a black bird with a deeply forked tail, perched on low branches near the animals. This is the same bird you can see dive-bombing majestic eagles and regal owls, causing them to duck and flinch as they get attacked. The bird is a very clever and cheeky species called the fork-tailed drongo (Dicrusus adsimilis). Perched on nearby branches and sometimes on the backs of herbivorous animals, it swoops down and catches insects flushed from the grass, as the animals walk. For the unfortunate insect it is the proverbial ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’ situation. My tracker, Peter Ubisi, tells the story of the relationship between the cattle he herded as a small boy, and this bird. In Shangaan culture the young boys, aged ten to twelve, take their fathers’ cattle into the bush to graze grass all day long and then herd them back to the house before sunset so they can be safely locked away for the night in a fenced enclosure called a boma or kraal.

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

 

 


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 15.6˚C (60.1˚F)
  • Average maximum 30.6˚C (87.2˚F)
  • Minimum recorded 11.0˚C (51.8˚F)
  • Maximum recorded 41.0˚C (105.8˚F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 54 mm
  • For the year to date: 59.5 mm

Singita Kruger National Park

September 2014 - Singita Kruger National Park, South Africa

September news is that we were delighted that the white lion cub born from a Shishangaan female was seen again on Spring Day (1 September). Two male leopards seen along the N’wanetsi River and surrounds have now been identified as the ‘N’wanetsi male’ and ‘Seven male’. These two male leopards are mature and seem to be ruling the roost, using the river as their boundary line. The Seven male was also seen mating with the young Tingala female. Many trees are flowering now and the day length is longer with temperatures rising. The return of some migratory birds, for example the Wahlberg’s eagle, and the sign of rain that sprinkled us lightly in passing, shows summer is on the way.

Download the full wildlife report here: Sinita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report September 2014


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 15.1°C (59.1°F)
  • Average maximum 30°C (86°F)
  • Minimum recorded 9°C (48.2°F)
  • Maximum recorded 38°C (100.4°F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 1.5 mm
  • For the year to date: 263.5 mm

Singita Sabi Sand

September 2014 - Sabi Sand, South Africa

Life goals Article by Ross Couper

It was a hot afternoon and we had been exploring the western sections along the river, in search of an elusive leopard. From a distance we could see an elephant cow, strangely on her own, and from our elevated point we scanned across and saw that she was circling a particular area. We went around the corner en route to the elephant cow to see what was causing her to move backwards and forwards in the road. It was a sighting that we did not expect. A young elephant calf was trailing behind the female but it was evident that there was something wrong. The young calf showed signs of poor development, possibly as a result of premature birth, deformity or an injury during birth.

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

 

 


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 13.4˚C (55.1˚F)
  • Average maximum 29.8˚C (85.6˚F)
  • Minimum recorded 9.0˚C (48.2˚F)
  • Maximum recorded 37.0˚C (98.6˚F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 3 mm
  • For the year to date: 857,5 mm

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