Wildlife Report

The Singita Wildlife Report


First-hand ranger reports from the bushveld

Singita Pamushana

July 2014 - Pamushana, Zimbabwe

Isn’t this the most beautiful little bug you’ve ever seen? Valerie Makunungunu, our Pamushana Lodge Anchor, discovered this objet d’art while doing her routine morning
inspection of our brightly coloured and boldly patterned lodge. When she showed the rest of the lodge staff they thought she was playing a trick on them! Had she painted the intricate little patterns across its back? Had it walked across the cushions and curtains at Pamushana and mimicked the patterns? Upon further investigation we were able to identify it from an insect reference book and were delighted to find that it has the perfect name – it’s called a Picasso bug (Sphaerocoris annulus). They are found in quite a wide range of sub-Saharan Africa, but it’s a first for most of us on the property, and hopefully for you too.

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


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 12,2°C (53,9°F)
  • Average maximum 25,9°C (78,6°F)
  • Minimum recorded 9,8°C (49,6°F)
  • Maximum recorded 34,2°C (93,5°F)

Rainfall

  • For the month: 0,6 mm
  • For the year to date: 498,8 mm

Singita Pamushana

June 2014 - Pamushana, Zimbabwe

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


Temperatures

  • 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)

Rainfall

  • For the month: 0 mm
  • For the year to date: 498,2 mm

Singita Pamushana

May 2014 - Pamushana, Zimbabwe

The most exciting news of the month is that a pack of wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) has chosen to den right in the middle of our property, close to the lodge. While we don’t want to disturb them at their den-site somewhere up in the hills, we are seeing them frequently at dawn and dusk when they hunt. They use the road system and trot out together, before ‘shot-gunning’ in different directions to scatter a herd of impala and hunt them. More predator highlights are that a lioness has two cubs stowed away, and a cheetah has been seen with four small cubs in tow. Rhino sightings are excellent as always, and for the past few weeks a herd of elephants has had a regular midday swim and water sports in nearby Sosigi Dam.

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

 


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 14,7°C (58,4°F)
  • Average maximum 27,5°C (81,5°F)
  • Minimum recorded 11,1°C (51,9°F)
  • Maximum recorded 32,1°C (89,7°F)

Rainfall

  • For the month: 14,8 mm
  • For the year to date: 498,2 mm

Singita Pamushana

April 2014 - Pamushana, Zimbabwe

A babysitter was around, but not engaging with the two hyena cubs in its charge. The rest of the clan hadn’t returned from the night’s hunting and scavenging, bearing a bone or scraps, full of compelling unknown smells, whooping their return calls or performing the greeting ritual, and as a result the two cubs were thoroughly bored – as bored as only two mischievous hyena cubs can be…It was a little chilly, dew clung to the leaves and the sun was slow in getting up for the day. The scene was set for one of the most memorable mornings I’ve had at a den-site.

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


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 18,3°C (64,9°F)
  • Average maximum 28,4°C (83,2°F)
  • Minimum recorded 15,6°C (60,0°F)
  • Maximum recorded 33,9°C (93,0°F)

Rainfall

  • For the month: 12,4 mm
  • For the year to date: 483,4 mm

Singita Kruger National Park

March 2014 - Singita Kruger National Park, South Africa

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


Temperatures

  • 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)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 92.5 mm
  • For the year to date: 247 mm

Singita Pamushana

March 2014 - Pamushana, Zimbabwe

Spillage!

It happened on 21 March after a 13-year absence. A downpour of 51 mm in two hours made our full-to-thebrim dam spill its contents in the early afternoon. There was much excitement and celebration after all the will-it or-won’t-it anticipation, and to see the cascade of white water fill the Nyamasikana riverbed below filled our hearts with awe and gratitude. This little fellow looked very grateful that I didn’t tread on him – I’d been following in the footsteps – literally of one of our scouts as we tracked a black rhino, and as I was about to place my foot down in the disturbed soil I saw this smiley face peering at me. Contrary to popular belief many frogs and toads don’t live in and around permanent water. Some complete their entire lifecycle on land, while others migrate long distances to reach water during the breeding season. Those that live in suitable soil make burrows and construct tunnels by digging backwards into the soil. Another astonishing fact is that toads can live for 40 years!

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


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 21,4°C (70,5°F)
  • Average maximum 31,2°C (88,1°F)
  • Minimum recorded 18,7°C (65,6°F)
  • Maximum recorded 35,2°C (95,3°F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 113,0 mm
  • For the year to date: 471,0 mm

Singita Pamushana

January 2014 - Pamushana, Zimbabwe

It’s the month of baobabs fruiting, birds nesting, flowers advertising, insects pollinating, dung beetles rolling, frogs foaming, fungi blooming, sand grouse scuttling and woodland kingfishers whistling their piercing calls. We’ve had our best rains in decades and, as I write this, the Malilangwe Dam is 75 cm to spill. To describe the landscape as verdant would be an understatement – it looks more like a tropical rain forest of central Africa. Of course there’s nothing subtle, slight or gradual about our seasons in the Zimbabwean low veld - we’ve performed a quick wardrobe change from a bone-dry skimpy vest of vegetation to a drenched jungle green coat that ‘s resulted in herds of fat herbivores and flocks of brilliant birds. When it comes to game viewing I can assure you that the game is most certainly on! You may not see that many predators but it’s a time to slow down, look at the finer details, find peace and let it all soak in.

Download the full wildlife report here: SP Wildlife Report Jan 2014

 


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 21,7°C (71,0°F)
  • Average maximum 30,8°C (87,4°F))
  • Minimum recorded 19,4°C (66,9°F)
  • Maximum recorded 34,2°C (93,5°F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 231,4 mm
  • For the year to date: 860,8 mm

Singita Pamushana

November 2013 - Pamushana, Zimbabwe

This month’s photos and stories all seem to be about the lust for life and the persistent pursuit of it. The baby bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) in the photo above was born just below our Director’s home, on 1 November. This little calf is the product of a six-month gestation period and will spend an unusually long lying-up period of about four months, being stowed away and then nursed when its mother returns to it every few hours. It’s great to have these spiral-horned antelope living in close proximity to our staff housing because they are a favourite prey species of leopards and, although bushbuck are rather small, they make a very loud, deep resonating bark when alarmed. Interestingly enough they rely on their earthy colouration and white spots to conceal themselves, so the bark they make is ventriloquial – it lets the predator know it’s been spotted, even
though the predator may not have seen the bushbuck, and it lets us know that there’s possibly a predator too close to hom

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report November 2013


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 20,8°C (69,4°F)
  • Average maximum 34,4°C (93,9°F)
  • Minimum recorded 18,2°C (64,7°F)
  • Maximum recorded 43,2°C (109,7°F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 69,4 mm
  • For the year to date: 456,8 mm

Singita Pamushana

October 2013 - Pamushana, Zimbabwe

The news of the month is that the first rains have arrived, and even better news is that the forecasted weather patterns predict that we could receive more consistent rain over the next few months, rather than the ‘once-off deluge’ of last year. As part of a team-building exercise, and because all staff are ambassadors for conservation, those who work in the lodge were invited for a game drive – and what a game drive it turned out to be! One of our chefs returned with photos and stories of rock art that is so significant to see in its own context, tracks of various animals in the dust, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, waterbuck, hippos, elephants, and a sighting of the young female leopard who features in the ‘Cats and dogs’ story this month. On this occasion the staff spotted her cautiously walking through a relatively open area. Seconds later two golden bullets bore down on her – this time it was two male cheetahs who had seen her and given chase. She shimmied up a tree to outwit them, and stayed safely out of reach – even though the brothers ‘pretended’ to walk away nonchalantly in an effort to entice her down. Thank goodness this leopard is such a skilled climber – as you will see in the story that follows on page 12.

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report October 2013

 


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 18,0˚C (64,4˚F)
  • Average maximum 31,2˚C (88,1˚F)
  • Minimum recorded 12,7˚C (54,8˚F)
  • Maximum recorded 39,1˚C (102,3˚F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 15,4 mm
  • For the year to date: 387,4 mm

Singita Pamushana

September 2013 - Pamushana, Zimbabwe

If you’d like to see plentiful wildlife sightings and different species interacting on your safari, call a Singita Reservations Consultant right now and board the first plane bound for Africa! The bushveld is achingly dry, and while this doesn’t fit with a conventional view of beauty, it has a spartan allure all its own. While driving through a mopane woodland with their copper-gold leaves drifting down in front of their sooty black-grey bark you can see that it is exactly this vegetation and time of year that a leopard’s rosetted coat has evolved to in order to provide near-perfect concealment. The game is concentrated around the shallow water holes, and if you spend a good couple of hours at any of these you’ll see species that tolerate each other drinking together, while others seemingly wait their turn on the peripheries. Elephants can be the playground bullies barging in and hogging all the space unsharingly, while many predators bide their time nearby, waiting for plains game to take a life-sustaining or life-ending drink.

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report September 2013

 


Temperatures

  • Average minimum 17,2°C (62,9°F)
  • Average maximum 32,7°C (90,8°F)
  • Minimum recorded 11,8°C (53,2°F)
  • Maximum recorded 42,3°C (108,1°F)

Rainfall

  • For the period: 17,4 mm
  • For the year to date: 372,0 mm

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