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
- 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)
- For the period: 0 mm
- For the year to date: 851 mm
Game, game and more game. That’s the only way to describe the game viewing in July at Singita Grumeti. Finding a spot on the 350 000 acre reserve where no animals were visible was virtually impossible. We already have spectacular loads of general game year-round, but these numbers were supplemented in July by the migration, and we’re not talking about wildebeest. The wildebeest migration left our property in early June and by July was far north of us, covering the Lamai triangle of the Serengeti and the Massai Mara in Kenya. But if not wildebeest what migration are we talking about? The 1.2 – 1.5 million bearded wildebeest are trailed by about 350 000 zebra and about 250 000 Thompson’s gazelles. Although the bulk of the wildebeest migration had long left our property before July, at the start of the month the zebra had just arrived.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report July 2014
- Average minimum 33.1°C
- Average maximum 13.8 °C
- Average wind speed 0.5 m/s
- Sasakwa 15.3
- Sabora 19
- Faru Faru 0
- Samaki 0
- Risiriba 64.5
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
Month of the lion Photos by Medison Samwell
June was indeed the month of the lion. Be it the Mkuyu pride, whose territory lies along the Grumeti River areas near Faru Faru, the Butamtam pride that patrols the whole of the central areas around Sasakwa, the Nyasirori and Sabora West prides that dominate the western plains where Sabora is located, or the many lesser known prides in Ikorongo in the east, guests were not short of lion sightings. In the 30 days of the month there were a total of 92 lion sightings, that’s an average of three different lion sightings every day at Singita Grumeti. On one particular day, at the beginning of the month, a total of 60 individual lions were seen!
Add new wildlife report: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report June 2014
- Average maximum 29.1 ºC
- Average minimum 15.4 ºC
- Average wind speed 0.4 m/s
- Sasakwa 69 mm
- Sabora 89 mm
- Faru Faru 22 mm
- Samaki 132 mm
- Risiriba 193 mm
With the winter season in full swing at Singita Sabi Sand, I have been amazed to see how many animal footpaths there are leading to the river. When I see a well used path, I catch myself wondering if this path is equivalent to the famous 5th Avenue in New York City – convinced that most animals taking this path know that they are in for a big treat as it leads to the most nourished vegetation on the river bank. Like a rainbow, that path often has a pot of gold at the end of it, and earlier this month we found it!
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report June 2014
- Average minimum 5.2˚C (41.3˚F)
- Average maximum 24.3˚C (75.7˚F)
- Minimum recorded 3.0˚C (37.4˚F)
- Maximum recorded 27.0˚C (80.6˚F)
- For the period: 0 mm
- For the year to date: 851 mm/li>
Elephants in the mist
It’s nippy in the mornings now, but the advantages of ‘layering up’ warmly and leaving early mean you see the dewy landscape in the softest pastel tones of dawn. On a couple of mornings there’s been a low-lying layer of mist that makes everything eerie and mysterious, but oh so beautiful when an animal appears from the shrouds.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report June 2014
- Average minimum 12,5°C (54,5°F)
- Average maximum 26,4°C (79,5°F)
- Minimum recorded 7,6°C (45,6°F)
- Maximum recorded 33,3°C (91,9°F)
- For the month: 0 mm
- For the year to date: 498,2 mm
The East African “long rains” that occur from the end of March through mid-May conjure up frightening images in many people’s minds: nonstop storms, thick mud, getting stuck in a safari vehicle for hours, torrential flooding, tiny African streams instantly transformed into raging rivers filled with crocodiles and hippos, landslides, as well as general destruction and devastation.
Those of us who live and work in East Africa, at Singita Grumeti in particular, have a completely different experience of the rainy season: lush green landscapes, refreshing afternoon storms that cool off the heat of the day, absolute clarity – being able to see for miles and miles across the Serengeti, revitalised active wildlife, few guests, and pretty much the perfect time of the year to go on safari.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report April 2014
- Average maximum 21.2˚C (70.1˚F)
- Average minimum 16.1˚C (60.9˚F)
- Average wind speed 0.2 mps
- Sasakwa 245 mm
- Sabora 229 mm
- Faru Faru 161 mm
- Samaki 367 mm
- Risiriba 142 mm
Seasonal changes Article by Ross Couper.
After living in the bush for several years, you start to see the subtlest of seasonal changes in the vegetation. I am always waiting in anticipation to see the metamorphoses as it engulfs the bush with a blanket of change and, if you look closely, you will notice that the changes are very evident when pointed out. These small details are often included in the game drives but are brought to the fore during the guided walking safaris. Yesterday I parked my safari vehicle in the shade, waiting for it to be filled with fuel, and when I returned an hour later it was filled with dried leaves. This was an indication that autumn was advancing. The endless bird calls in summer are always a clear indication of the summer season. As the season progressed through the rainy months, a few summer residents still fed on the last of the abundance of insects before their long return to North Africa or Europe. This week it was difficult to hear a woodland kingfisher call. We have seen a few of them but they’re a lot less abundant than they were and they are not calling as a territorial display anymore.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report March 2014
- Average minimum 17.6˚C (63.68˚F)
- Average maximum 28.4˚C (83.1˚F)
- Minimum recorded 8.0˚C (46.4˚F)
- Maximum recorded 34.8˚C (94.64˚F)
- For the period: 308 mm
- For the year to date: 847 mm
Cheetah Article by Enos Mngomezulu
The word ‘cheetah’ is derived from the Hindi word ‘chita’ meaning ‘spotted one’. The Singita concession has a good habitat for these elegant animals. They prefer to live in open grasslands, savannahs, dense vegetation and sometimes even in mountainous terrain. The openness of the grasslands and semi-desert areas better accommodate their style of hunting, which is running as opposed to stalking and pouncing. The best areas for viewing cheetahs here are Kori Clearing, which is a vast open area where we often see a large Kori bustard; around Golf Course Clearing which is another open area with short grass that resembles a golf course; Cassia Open Area which is an open area named after the sjambok pod tree – Cassia abbreviata; the N4 (named after the busiest highway in South Africa) is an open area near Gudzane Dam which, in winter, has clearly defined game trails to the water.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report March 2014
- Average minimum 20.5°C (68.9°F)
- Average maximum 32°C (89.6°F)
- Minimum recorded 17°C (62.6°F)
- Maximum recorded 35°C (95°F)
- For the period: 92.5 mm
- For the year to date: 247 mm
Territorial expansion…? Article by Ross Couper
The last few weeks have been exciting to say the least, it has been action-packed for the month. The Mhangeni pride has been within the central sections of the property, periodically moving south and maintaining a permanent movement between the various drainages and successfully hunting game within these areas. This lasted for a period of almost two weeks. The central sections of the Singita property are currently the dividing line between the two major male lion coalitions, the Majingilane males in the south east and the Selati male coalition in the north west. Both coalitions have been seen over this boundary line on different intervals. Two of the Majingilane males ventured across the territorial boundary at the same time that it was reported that the Selati males were roaring. The sound of other males roaring instinctively caused the Majingilane males to start roaring as well, and within a few hours the remaining two males of the Majingilane coalition had joined forces, and were found in the early hours of the morning well into the Selati males’ territory.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report February 2014
- Average minimum 17.0˚C (62.6˚F)
- Average maximum 34.0˚C (93.2˚F)
- Minimum recorded 19.0˚C (66.2˚F)
- Maximum recorded 31.8˚C (89.2˚F))
- For the period: 65 mm
- For the year to date: 573 mm