Wildlife Report

The Singita Wildlife Report

First-hand ranger reports from the bushveld

Singita Grumeti

October 2015 - Grumeti, Tanzania

Lots of lion activity in October with 77 separate sightings for the month.The Butamtam pride, its territory now spanning from Sasakwa to Faru Faru, dominated the majority of the sightings. All of the Butamtam lions were ‘fat and happy’ in October, as a lack of water sources combined with large amounts of game provided excellent hunting conditions. Rare was the sighting reported where the lions didn’t have a kill with them. The two newest members of the Butamtam pride, three-month-old cubs, were seen often accompanied by two adult lionesses on the Sasakwa hill helicopter pad. There were also many sightings of the Nyasirori and Ridge prides around Sabora in the west.

Leopard activity was good in October, with sightings evenly spread out throughout the property. Leopards also benefitted from the good numbers of game on the concession and were seen often with carcasses up trees.

The mother cheetah and her two young cubs were spotted regularly in October. They mainly stayed in the Arab Camp, Rhino Rocks, and Marsh areas in between Sasakwa and Faru Faru.

Elephant sightings stayed consistent for the month. The majority of sightings were in the Faru Faru area and along the Grumeti River.

Herds of zebra and wildebeest, in their thousands, were scattered throughout the concession, providing ample general game food resources for the local predators.

Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report October 2015


  • Average maximum: 31˚C (89˚F)
  • Average minimum: 19˚C (64,4˚F)


  • Sasakwa: 145 mm
  • Faru Faru: 78,5 mm
  • Samaki: 175,6 mm
  • Risiriba: 72 mm

Singita Sabi Sand

October 2015 - Sabi Sand, South Africa

This has been a busy month with a variety of sightings that have been memorable in one way or another. The temperatures have fluctuated by over 20 degrees from the morning to the afternoon. Fortunately, after the seething hot days, we have had a few cool mornings that made it feel like winter had returned. The clear blue skies and crisp breeze were perfect conditions for game viewing. Unfortunately rain has been scarce and the effects of a dry season are starting to show. The Sand River trickles slowly and various species are congregating around water sources just before midday to avoid the hot conditions. A few dams north of the Sand River have almost dried completely and thus the small amounts of water remaining are writhing with catfish. This bounty makes easy pickings for raptors, storks and a honey badger that we saw moving in for a fishy feast. We’ve recorded 216 species of birds this month – many are visitors here to enjoy our summer and all it offers. Here’s a highlights package of the month’s sightings:

Lions: Lion sightings currently could not get any better! Two male lions of the Matimba coalition have been sighted on a few occasions and they are gradually expanding their current territorial zone north of the river. The Mhangene pride continue to dominate the central area of Singita Sabi Sand and we have watched a few interactions between the Majingalane male lions and the sub-adult males in the Mhangene pride that resulted in the young males being dispersed from the pride temporarily. One of the lionesses from the Mhangene pride has been seen with prominent suckle marks indicating that she has given birth. The lionesses has been seen moving in front of the lodges during the early morning as we suspect that the cubs are hidden in the river just east of Boulders Lodge. Exciting times ahead with this pride!

Leopards: The two sub-adult leopards from the Mobeni female leopard have become independent and there have been a few sightings of the young female. Normally we only give names to leopards in established territories, but even though these two are not yet territorial, we are referring to them as the Ntoma male and the Mawelawela female. We look forward to seeing more of these two new leopards in the future.

Buffalos: Smaller groups of males have been encountered north of the river. The larger breeding herds exceeding 200 individuals have not been viewed as regularly and this maybe due to the lack of nutritional vegetation as a result of the poor rainfall we’ve had so far this summer. The large herds are moving further for better grazing and permanent water sources.

Elephants: A large number of elephant have been seen moving along the Sand River as they are drawn to the remaining water source. It’s been a treat watching them from the lodges. (Insider tip: an ideal location to watch game is from your personal plunge pool.)

Wild dogs: A pack of twenty-one wild dogs have been seen north of the Sand River. With their puppies growing up they are covering more ground which means more sightings are bound to occur.


Read the full report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report October 2015


  • Average minimum: 19.1˚C (68.4˚F)
  • Average maximum: 30.3˚C (86.5˚F)
  • Minimum recorded: 15◦C (59˚F)
  • Maximum recorded: 37˚C (98.6˚F)


  • For the month: 18.2 mm
  • For the year to date: 188 mm

Singita Kruger National Park

October 2015 - Singita Kruger National Park, South Africa

Buffalo: A breeding herd of around fifty buffalo have been seen regularly in the central region of the concession, moving to and from the eastern and western boundaries in search of water. A few bachelor herds have also been seen trailing behind the breeding herd or at rest near the last remaining water points.

Leopards: The N’wanetsi male has been seen on ten occasions this month. He spends most of his time along the riverine vegetation of the N’wanetsi River, waiting for animals to come down and drink at one of the last remaining pools just north of the lodges. The Xhikelengane female was seen regularly this month and spent most of her time on the western half of the concession. We had great views of her feeding on an impala carcass. The Mahlangulene female has been keeping a leopard-low profile, but guests enjoyed one sighting of her male cub mid-month.


Cheetahs: Cheetah sightings have been on the increase this month. Two sub-adult male cheetahs were seen on eight different occasions, using the central area as their new hunting ground. We were also thrilled and privileged to see a mother and four newborn cubs in the north-western part of our concession.


Elephants: The elephants have been concentrated along the N’wanetsi River feeding on the green riverine vegetation. This photo was taken of a young bull elephant scratching off dried mud from his rear end, to remove ticks and other ecto-parasites. The elephants can regularly be seen taking mud baths during the heat of the day to try and relieve them from the hot and dry conditions we’re experiencing.

Lions: The lion viewing has been spectacular! The Shishangaan females and youngsters have regularly been seen near the lodges. Their hunting efforts have been very successful and we often came across them feeding on animals that they managed to ambush near the water’s edge. The Shishangaan males have remained further north in the concession mating with the Mountain pride females. The Xhirombe pride was only seen on one occasion, in the east towards our boundary with Mozambique.

Hyenas: There’s a new spotted hyena den near camp. The (H6) clan members, including their cubs are extremely relaxed with vehicles and we are able to get great views of the young ones suckling and playing. The youngest cubs are still dark brown in colour and should start developing a spotted coat around four months of age. The Nyokene clan were seen regularly towards the beginning of the month. The Nyokene cubs are growing up quickly and becoming more inquisitive.


Read the full report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report October 2015


  • Average minimum: 19.2°C (66.8°F)
  • Average maximum: 32°C (89.6°F)
  • Minimum recorded: 17°C (62.6°F)
  • Maximum recorded: 40°C (104°F)


  • For the period: 17 mm
  • For the year to date: 147.5 mm

Singita Pamushana

October 2015 - Pamushana, Zimbabwe

Thank goodness for air-conditioners! October has been boiling hot, and while our guests relax in their cool villas, swim in their private pools and enjoy spa treatments, the animals try to do the same – well, in the shade of a tree, the waterholes and the mud wallows… Once the heat has simmered there’s a concentration of activity, and both man and beast congregate at the plains and pans which results in excellent game viewing.

Here’s an overview of October’s wildlife news:

Wild dogs: We’ve still had the pack of wild dogs on the reserve in October, and they’re travelling great distances with the pups keeping up. The pups are tearing into fresh kills now, rather than waiting for the adults to regurgitate meat for them.

Lions: Guests were lucky enough to have a close and calm view of a lioness with her two cubs resting on the banks of Chiredzi River, in the shade. The signs are good for more cubs to be born in about three and a half month’s time because we’ve seen two pairs of mating lions this month. A kudu gave the whereabouts of a male lion away, when it sounded the alarm and we followed the sound to the vicinity of the lion relaxing under some thick cover. The coalition of three male lions is well, and no doubt sussing out where they can establish a territory.

Rhinos: Our rhino sightings are as excellent as ever, and there have been some peaceful close encounters with black rhinos – see the story in this journal.

Cheetahs: This mother cheetah and her female cub had sent all the plains game into hiding in the savannah area.


Unbelievable sightings of big old bulls are to be had at the moment. They arrive at their favourite waterholes regularly each day for drinking, mud and dust bathing, tree rubbing and the inevitable male jousting, bumping and shoving.

Buffalo and plains game: Two male cheetahs got a run for their money when nine buffalo bulls chased them away from the waterhole they were drinking at. Relations were less fractious on another day when some buffalo bulls shared the pan with sable antelope, eland and warthog. Elsewhere there’s been a lot of plains game to be seen, the likes of kudu, nyala, waterbuck, sable, Lichtenstein hartebeest and giraffe.

Birds: It’s such a joy to see the first migrants arrive for summer, and to hear their distinctive songs.

Photo hide: Our photo hide is the place to be when it is hot and dry like this. It is cool and dark and offers some of the best African wildlife photographic opportunities available. See the photo above and the story that follows.

Walks: Guests have enjoyed walks along the shady riverbanks, while crocodiles lie basking on the shore and animals rest in the cover.

Water safari: A cruise is the best way to end a day or a safari trip. One group were rewarded with an elephant bull drinking, three buffalo bulls lying in the water, pods of hippos snorkelling and a multitude of birds – while they sipped their sundowners.


Read the full report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report October 2015


  • Average minimum: 21,1˚C (59,1˚F)
  • Minimum recorded:18,4˚C (48,7˚F)
  • Average maximum: 35,1˚C (84,0˚F)
  • Maximum recorded: 40,7˚C (94,2˚F)


  • For the month: 3 mm
  • For the year to date: 196 mm

Singita Grumeti

September 2015 - Grumeti, Tanzania

Most of the drainage lines had dried up, but after receiving good rains in the vicinity of Singita Faru Faru Lodge in early September, the burnt areas grasses turned green within a week, and very high densities of Thomson gazelle and zebra were recorded.

 Lions: September ticked along nicely with predator sightings. The lion distribution continues to intrigue us, with the Butamtam Pride continually splitting and then disappearing for days, and even weeks on end. It adds to the mystique of the Singita Grumeti concession when a group of nine to twelve animals are not seen for ages; with no sign of vulture activity, something you would expect to see with lions killing larger plains game species. The Ridge Pride, with ten members, was seen on more than two occasions, and the split in the west is fascinating between the Sabora West Pride of eight, and the Kawanga Pride of seventeen. The location of the Singita Explore “Marula” and “Balanites” Tented Camps was incredible in September as huge herds of topi, wildebeest and zebra congregated on the Gambaranyera Plains, and we were lucky to see the two western prides on a few occasions. The guides frequently visited this area, particularly from Singita Sabora Tented Camp, as it was the highest concentration of plains wildlife on the concession. Although the grasses on most of the plains were relatively short, the lions on the concession continued to spend quality time in trees, avoiding biting flies, possibly enjoying more of a draft from the breeze, and having a nice elevated position to survey the savanna.

Leopards: The Tulia female and her two cubs dominated the leopard sightings for the month. A few of the guides had a magnificent sighting one morning when, from a distance, a black-backed jackal was howling an alarm call. Moving in and observing, initially from a distance, we watched as the leopard and her cubs fed on a Thomson gazelle carcass, while the stressed jackal and a clan of excited hyaenas mingled below a balanites tree (Balanites aegyptiaca). The clan knew that eventually they would receive a few scraps, but not an entire carcass; so when it did drop from the tree it was fantastic to watch how they went about ripping the carcass to pieces and dashing off with the spoils.


Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report September 2015


  • Average Maximum: 31,7˚C (89˚F)
  • Average Minimum: 18˚C (64,4˚F)


  • Sasakwa: 34 mm
  • Faru Faru: 20 mm
  • Samaki: 37 mm
  • Risiriba: 16,5 mm

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