It’s been a month of festivities and feasting for all – especially the predators. Early bird guests and guides have seen a female cheetah chasing an impala – but speed’s not everything, the impala jinked away to safety. Using the same strategy a wildebeest outwitted a lion after a high-speed chase and the bull made a great escape into the thick bush. We’ve seen a pack of 26 African wild dogs hunting along the river and a young male leopard stalking impalas. This journal details two predator feasts, and if you, like me, cannot eat dinner and watch Grey’s Anatomy at the same time due to the gory images I suggest you keep all food far away from you, especially any carpaccio! The predators did reveal their softer sides as well this month, such as when a clan of five adult hyenas delighted guests by playing with their four cubs next to the road and when two lionesses showed off their five cubs of different ages, the youngest being a 12-week-old ball of fluff.
Read the full report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report Dec 2014
- Average Minimum:27.1°C (71°F)
- Average Maximum:32.3°C (90.1°F)
- Minimum Recorded:16.5°C (61.7°F)
- Maximum Recorded:38.9°C (102°F)
- For the period: 148 mm
- For the year to date:791.6 mm
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
- 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)
- For the month: 129,4 mm
- For the year to date: 643,6 mm
It’s an itchy scratchy time of year if you don’t have a good moisturizer but, as you’ll see from the photo above and the story further on, rhinos make a plan where they can. However, we did receive an early sprinkling of rain mid-month, about 10 mm, so that has brought some relief to all. We’ve been taking advantage of the dry short cropped
landscape by taking guests on walks and have had some excellent encounters with black and white rhinos.
An advantage of cruising aboard the Suncatcher is that animals don’t seem intimidated by our presence and on a couple of occasions this month guests have spotted a male leopard on the shore of Malilangwe Dam. We’ve also enjoyed a breeding herd of more than 30 elephants feeding, drinking and swimming, two black rhinos very close to the boat, hippos and lots of birds.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report Oct 2014
- Average minimum 18,3°C (64,9°F)
- Average maximum 31,7°C (89,0°F)
- Minimum recorded 14,6°C (58,2°F)
- Maximum recorded 41,4°C (106,5°F)
- For the month: 12,2 mm
- For the year to date: 514,8 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
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
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
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 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
- 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)
- For the month: 14,8 mm
- For the year to date: 498,2 mm
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
- 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)
- For the month: 12,4 mm
- For the year to date: 483,4 mm
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
- 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)
- For the period: 113,0 mm
- For the year to date: 471,0 mm