Monthly wildlife highlights
Lion – Guests enjoyed a total of 89 lion sightings. Members of the Shish pride were seen on three kills – a zebra, a young giraffe and a young wildebeest. On one occasion all of the Shish pride were together, and guests got to see 37 lions interacting, plus both white lion cubs! The Mountain pride was seen on a buffalo kill and later in the month some of the lionesses were spotted on a zebra kill.
Leopard – We had an incredibly high number of sightings of nine different leopards. The Xhikelengane female was seen 18 times, she is looking well and moving back into her old territory which is great for us, as it extends from Dave’s crossing all the way to Xhingwenyana crossing. Tingala was seen 11 times, and interacting with an unknown male on a young waterbuck carcass. The Mahlangulene female and her two cubs where seen on an impala kill, the cubs are still a little uncertain about the vehicles. The Ndlovu and N’wanetsi males were seen along the river. The best news is that the Xhikova female is showing signs of lactating, so some little cubs should be seen around August / September. There has also been an unknown young female who seems to be settling in at the N’wanetsi Weir area. She was seen catching a monitor lizard and sharing a waterbuck carcass with another male leopard close to the lodge.
Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report April 2015
- Average minimum 16.6°C (61.8°F)
- Average maximum 39.0°C (84.2°F)
- Minimum recorded 14.0°C (57.2°F)
- Maximum recorded 37.0°C (98.6°F)
- For the period: 17 mm
- For the year to date: 99 mm
Just like March preceding it, April 2015 was unique compared to usual Aprils at Singita Grumeti. The drought and early arrival of the great wildebeest migration in March left short grass in its wake, in a month where the grass is usually quite high. After the rains started falling in the very last days of March, the concession began to turn from yellow to green and soon we had a lush green landscape of never-ending plains, beautifully contrasted by the deep blue rainy-season sky.
The migration was off the concession by early April and by the middle of the month the bulk of was back in the short-grass plains of the Southern Serengeti, where they are ‘supposed’ to be at this time of year. We assume they have gotten back onto their normal migratory track again, and hope to see them return here sometime around June.
Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report April 2015
- Average Minimum: 15.6°C (60°F)
- Average Maximum: 27°C (80.6°F)
- Average wind speed: 0.2m/s
- Sasakwa: 245mm
- Sabora: 229mm
- Faru Faru: 161mm
- Samaki: 367mm
- Risiriba: 128mm
Spots and stripes Article and photos by Nick du Plessis
Leopards are well known for their adaptability, it is the social dynamic that arguably makes them the most successful and hence, widespread, of the large cats in Africa. What we mean by ‘adaptability’ is not only the different habitats they thrive in, but also the prey they hunt and the variety of that prey. Most species tend to ‘specialize,’ but what happens if the prey they concentrate on runs out or learns to evade them? Leopards have been recorded to prey on everything from birds, eggs, lizards and even fish if necessary, and have the capability of bringing down medium size antelopes if the chance exists. But for the first time in my career I saw a large male leopard feeding on a zebra foal. This is unique and just highlights the opportunistic nature of the animal. Why it’s unique is because zebras are renowned for fighting back – they will kick, bite, chop at and even stamp the predator if they need to, and leopards, being as solitary as they are, are notorious for never picking a fight they know they won’t win. If they do and get injured, they don’t have the safety net of a pride or clan to fall back on for survival.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report March 2015
- Average minimum 18.9°C (66°F)
- Average maximum 33.0°C (91.4°F)
- Minimum recorded 10.0°C (50°F)
- Maximum recorded 37.0°C (98.6°F)
- For the period: 2 mm
- For the year to date: 81.95 mm
We expected this March to be much like years’ past. Occupancies tend to drop slightly. Wildlife sightings are steady and there is a nice amount of general game. The first few showers of the long rains arrive, bringing cooler temperatures, a release from the heat of January and February. The views across the plains are a beautiful sight as patches of rain clouds mix with large spaces of clear blue skies across the Serengeti.
Overall, March at Singita Grumeti is peaceful and serene.
Mayhem. Incredible. Surprising. Spectacular. In March 2015 we were all thrown for a loop, and not just at Singita Grumeti. The entire Serengeti Community was left scratching their heads.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report March 2015
- Average minimum 32.8 °C
- Average maximum 18.5 °C
- Average wind speed 0.5 m/s
- Sasakwa 24.8 mm
- Sabora 45 mm
- Faru Faru 16 mm
- Samaki 16 mm
- Risiriba 32 mm
I have chosen to type this article out in the field, sitting in the tracker’s seat of my Land Rover, parked in one of my favourite parts of Singita Sabi Sand. Why not? After all, I feel that I can be far more creative while out in the fresh air and sunshine, with the pleasant aromas of elephants and dry grass wafting past my nostrils, than I could ever hope to be, cooped up in an office! Zebras watch me inquisitively, while rollers and drongos swoop down to hawk insects that are flushed by a couple of warthogs grazing nearby.
After several consecutive seasons of high or above average rainfall, we are now in a situation where at the end of March, we have a season total of only around 340 mm (less than 14 inches) of rain. The average summer rainfall is in excess of 650 mm (26 inches).
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report March 2015
- Average minimum 17.3˚C (63.1˚F)
- Average maximum 35.2˚C (95.3˚F)
- Minimum recorded 11˚C (51.8˚F)
- Maximum recorded 40˚C (104˚F)
- For the month: 5 mm
- For the year to date: 340 mm