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
Just like the three previous months, the first half of October was characterised by lots of game all over the concession. Large herds of migratory zebra continued to slowly move through the area, as well as pockets of a few thousand wildebeest. The migratory animals joined hundreds of topi on the Sabora Plains. The topi calving season that began in late September continued into October, and multitudes of tiny calves dotted the herds throughout the plains. In addition to all of the seasonal activity in October, a few guests were lucky enough to witness some really impressive sightings, many involving interspecies interactions, particularly among predators.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report October 2014
- Average maximum 32.9 °C
- Average minimum 15.8 °C
- Average wind speed 0.4 m/s
- Sasakwa 62.3 mm
- Sabora 94.5 mm
- Faru Faru 55 mm
- Samaki 121 mm
- Risiriba 128 mm
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
- 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)
- For the period: 17 mm
- For the year to date: 280.5 mm
Crackerjack sightings are the bonus of the hot dry weather we’re experiencing. Some of the highlights that have had our safari-goers on the edge of their seats include a mother cheetah with her three young cubs, a majestic herd of sable quenching their thirst, about fifty normally evasive eland mingling at a pan with buffaloes and hartebeest as well as a caracal darting for cover. On the water a split second sighting of a young otter caused much excitement, as did the female leopard that guests spotted relaxing on the banks of the dam. Thanks to the short dry grass, guided walks in the wild have been possible, and these are always a revelation.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report September 2014
- Average minimum 17,1°C (62,7°F)
- Average maximum 31,3°C (88,3°F)
- Minimum recorded 12,1°C (53,7°F)
- Maximum recorded 38,7°C (101,6°F)
- For the month: 2,4 mm
- For the year to date: 502,6 mm
If August was ‘big zebra’ month, September must go down as ‘big cat’ month. Guests witnessed several hunts and kills, and then more leopard hoists were located than normal, so most of this month’s report will be based on feline viewing on the concession. September also saw thousands of wildebeest moving through the concession, mostly in a south and westerly direction into the Serengeti National Park, and then many of the very large zebra herds have started giving way to the resident species.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report September 2014
- Average maximum 33°C
- Average minimum 14.9 °C
- Average wind speed 0.5 m/s
- Sasakwa 115.2
- Sabora 55.5
- Faru Faru 60.5
- Samaki 97.0
- Risiriba 35.0
“August has some pretty big shoes to fill.” This was the statement we made in our July Wildlife Report. It seemed like most of the 350 000 zebra migration that follow the 1.5 million wildebeest were on Singita Grumeti’s 350 000 acre property during July. They mingled with the large multitudes of other general game and made the savannahs a beautiful site to behold. Although we have plenty of resident zebra we were sure that after a month the travelling masses would move on in early August. We were wrong. And we couldn’t be happier about how wrong we were! Large herds of zebra continued to stay here for the entire month of August, adding to the already spectacular landscape.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife report August 2014
- Average maximum 32°C
- Average minimum 15.1 °C
- Average wind speed 0.5 m/s
- Average wind speed 0.5 m/s
- Sabora 62.0
- Faru Faru 6.0
- Samaki 62.0)
- Risiriba 105.0
This month our guests have been delighted by safari walks, game approaches on foot, sit-ins at our photographic hides, excellent fishing, sundowner boat cruises, visits to our cavernous galleries of ancient rock paintings, Kambako Bushcraft Museum and the spectacularly colourful, oxide-rich sandstone strata of Chilojo Cliffs. Wildlife highlights include 30 elephants in a breeding herd, drinking, feeding and bathing at the edge of Malilangwe Dam. While the guests and guide cruised past in the boat one particular elephant bull did quite the circus display – he gave a small but vocal charge ending with him stopping near the boat and standing straight up on his two hind legs with his trunk stretched high! We’ve spotted a female leopard perched high in a tree, a pride of seven lions drinking and snoozing at Banyini Pan – one lioness had tangled with a porcupine as she had tell-tale broken quills sticking into her face and chest. A herd of 300 buffaloes congregated for their daily drink, sightings of black and white rhinos have been excellent as always, but the best news of the month by far is that the pack of 13 wild dogs that have been denning close to the lodge have introduced their ELEVEN pups to the game drives! We’d not seen the pups up until now, but since they are just big enough to start exploring and joining the adults on hunting forays we’ve had some joyous sightings of them in the last week – they’ve even started playing around and coming up close to investigate the game viewing vehicles!
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report August 2014
- Average minimum 14,1˚C (57,3˚F)
- Average maximum 29,1˚C (84,3˚F)
- Minimum recorded 10,8˚C (49,6˚F)
- Maximum recorded 36,2˚C (97,1˚F)
- For the month: 1,4 mm
- For the year to date: 500,2 mm
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
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
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
- 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)
- For the month: 0,6 mm
- For the year to date: 498,8 mm