It’s been a month of thrilling sightings, newborns and close encounters. First of all I want to tell you about the arrival of 17 wild dogs on our reserve. Seven adults and ten playful pups were seen at one of the pans. Guests enjoyed a thrilling afternoon watching the pack chasing elephants, wildebeest and hyenas! The season for wild dog denning has just finished and we suspect that this pack has arrived on our property via the south, from Gonarezhou National Park. We fervently hope they’ll make this their home for a while, and I’ll be sure to keep you updated with photos and stories if they do. Also vying for number one top sighting slot were the witnessed birth of a baby giraffe and the arrival of a baby boy black rhino. Weighing in at only 40 kg, and looking like a cartoon character, there can be few things more adorable than a rhino calf. (I do realise that I tend to say this about all young animals – but that’s just how it is!) Photos to follow next month, so please stay tuned…
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report August 2013
- Average minimum 15,4˚C (59,7˚F)
- Average maximum 28,5˚C (83,3˚F)
- Minimum recorded 11,0˚C (51,8˚F)
- Maximum recorded 35,9˚C (96,6˚F)
- For the period: 0 mm
- For the year to date: 354,6 mm)
About a week after the bulk of the Migration left Singita Grumeti, they began filtering into the area where Singita Mara River Tented Camp is located, in the remote Lamai Triangle, on the bank of the famous Mara River. They first arrived in the Kogatende area about 10 kilometres south of the camp and reachable by game drive. After a couple of days though, game drives were no longer necessary, as thousands of wildebeest congregated right across the river from camp. The numbers grew and grew, the great herds waiting until the last possible minute before they had to face the inevitable – crossing the croc-infested Mara River. Whether pushed in by the shoving behind them or out of pure bravery, the first wildebeest eventually made the leap of faith into the mighty Mara. Within a second of that first leap thousands followed. The crossing was a truly amazing spectacle. These wildebeests are not only susceptible to the dangerous jaws of the crocodiles, but also to each other. With the huge number of them crossing the river, individuals are also accidentally pushed under and drowned by their own kind.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report July 2013
Dry, dry, dry!
It seems like only yesterday when we were writing the April report with the theme: “Wet, wet, wet!” The month of July is the peak of the dry season at Singita Grumeti, but with the dry weather comes great game viewing. Because of the lack of rain, access to water diminishes and the game begins to concentrate itself around the many water holes, drainage lines and pans around the reserves. What is more fun than watching elephants swimming? We’ll give you the answer: NOTHING! Almost every day in July herds of elephants from various reaches of the reserve would congregate at Sasakwa Dam, which now has three permanent inhabitants… (more on that later.) After quenching their elephant-sized thirst (on average they drink 60 litres of water a day) they would enjoy a swim, playing and splashing around with one another.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report July 2013
- Average minimum 32.7 °C (90.8°F)
- Average maximum 13.3°C (55.9°F)
- Minimum recorded 0.0˚C (0˚F)
- Maximum recorded 0.0˚C (0˚F)
- Sasakwa 0
- Sabora 0
- Faru Faru 0
- Samaki 0
- Risiriba 18.0 mm
Over the last month we had a total of 29 leopard sightings, but what was impressive was not the number of sightings, but rather the quality of sightings that we experienced. The Sticky Thorn female, with her two cubs in tow, is moving back onto the concession. Her return is as a result of most of the water drying up just beyond our concession in the west. Here we have permanent pools of water like the N’wanetsi River and Gudzane Dam. These permanent sources of clean drinking water attract prey species in drier times, and with prey species concentrated in one area you can be sure that predators are close by! One sighting that stands out in particular of the Sticky Thorn female and her two cubs was when they were feeding off an African rock python that she had caught and hoisted into a large leadwood tree. It made for outstanding leopard viewing! Another relaxed female who made a good few appearances was the Xikhova female, and what really excited us about seeing her was the fact that she looked to be nursing some cubs as well! Although we haven’t seen them yet it’s a very exciting time, as we wait with baited breath for the first sign of her new fur balls. What is so evident about the concession at the moment is the fact that we’ve reached the stage where we have a number of relaxed adult animals of different species, which means when they produce another generation, their calm demeanour is imparted to their young.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report July 2013
- Average minimum 09.9°C (49.8°F)
- Average maximum 24.9°C (67.8°F)
- Minimum recorded 07.0°C (44.6°F)
- Maximum recorded 32.0°C (89.6°F)
- For the period: 11 mm
- For the year to date: 409.5 mm
Introducing the Othawa pride cubs (Images and article by guide, Marlon du Toit)
After months of huge anticipation and many attempts at getting a glimpse at these young cubs, the day finally arrived, and boy did I soak in all the goodness! To see eight little bundles of lion fluff bounding towards your vehicle across the white beach-like sand of the aptly named Sand River is an absolute dream come true. These lion cubs remained well hidden within the thickets along the banks of the river for many weeks, a useful method of protecting them, especially in the absence of their mothers. We would get a glimpse of a cub every now and then, but to see all of them right there in the open was incredible. These lionesses are over five years old and are yet to raise a litter successfully. Male lion coalitions have been too unsettling in the past, killing previous litters and preventing the lionesses from entering oestrus for longer periods than usual. The resident males, known as the Selati Coalition, are now well established and thanks to that the Othawa Pride has grown to eleven in total. The cubs now need protection from the rival males, known as the Majingilane Coalition. Their survival depends on the Selati Coalition’s strength and the ingenuity of their experienced mothers. As it stands they rarely venture far east into their territory for fear of an encounter with the Majingilane Coalition. Male lions are well known for ending the lives of young cubs fathered by other males, and this would be disastrous. Let’s trust that these cubs will all make it safely to adulthood.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report July 2013
- Average minimum 07.3˚C (45.1˚F)
- Average maximum 22.7˚C (73.0˚F)
- Minimum recorded 02.0˚C (35.6˚F)
- Maximum recorded 27.5˚C (81.5˚F)
- For the period: 10 mm
- For the year to date: 938 mm