It’s been a sunny and somewhat balmy month for this time of year, and we’ve had a welcome 25 mm of rain. We’ve welcomed several guests to Singita Pamushana in June, and some of them were families with young children. There is much to keep youngsters engaged here, and one of the highlights for them is learning the art of tracking and dung identification!
Here’s an overview of wildlife sightings and activity for the month:
- The prides have quite a few cubs at the moment, and they are always such a treat to see.
- A pride of four lions were seen below Chikwete Cliffs - one male, a lioness and two cubs.
- Two lionesses and a lion were seen feeding on a wildebeest along the Mahande River.
- A coalition of two adult male lions looking very full were seen sleeping for hours north of the Banyini Pan.
- The Southern Pride were found on the southern side of Chiloveka Dam. They were well fed from a kill.
- Three lionesses, two cubs and the pride male were on site.
- Leopards sightings have been unexpected this month – one female was seen as we drove up the hill leading to the lodge, and another was spotted on the water’s edge five minutes into a boat cruise!
- There have been excellent sightings of both black and white rhinos.
- On one drive twelve white rhinos were seen feeding south of the Banyini Pan.
- The best sighting of a black rhino this month was when guests and guide were on a boat cruise and a black rhino had waded into the river, and was calmly drinking.
- A great many bulls have been seen, and a few good tuskers among them.
- Some bulls tried to chase off four white rhinos from the same waterhole – water is now becoming scarce and the elephants are less willing to share.
- A delightful scene with elephants was that of a breeding herd where all the youngsters and babies were playing in the mud.
- Large herds of buffalo, numbering in the 100s, are seen daily, as well as individual old dagga boys enjoying a quiet life of solitude.
- The pack/s should be denning this month.
- The highlight sighting was while watching a black rhino drinking, a hunting party of dogs crashed the scene and chased a young nyala bull into the water!
- A clan of hyena continue to dominate in the central areas, and on occasion one may give a game viewer a thorough roadworthy inspection.
- The plains game are abundant – no game drive returns without having seen several impala, giraffe, zebra and wildebeest. Sometimes the more reclusive antelope like sable are seen.
Other wildlife sightings
- Seeing a honey badger was a brilliant bonus! It was near Nduna and it quickly trundled off into the rocky outcrops nearby.
- Guests had a super sighting of a porcupine close to Old Hyena Den, as it was out on a foraging mission.
- It’s lovely to see the resident pair of black-backed jackals on the Banyini.
Bush walks and rock art
- It’s a good time to do bush walks, now that the vegetation is thinning out. On one walk three white rhinos were seen resting in the shade of mopane trees. Some of the walks included visiting rock art sites and hearing the interpretation of these paintings by the guide, while the guests caught their breath and absorbed the scene.
Boat cruising and fishing
- The water safaris are so popular. Not only are guests guaranteed sightings of hippos and crocodiles and birds, but you never know what else could be seen.
- The children who visited us this month were taught the art and techniques of fishing and were rewarded by landing four very good size tilapia.
Kambako Living Museum of Bushcraft
- At Kambako Julius was, as always, at his best showcasing the talents of the vanishing lifestyle of hunter/gatherers, as well as some traditional dances which the guest participated in and thoroughly enjoyed.
Day trips to Gonarezhou National Park
- The highlight of one day trip was the epic Chilojo Cliffs with beautiful light and, later, a surprise viewing of a young male leopard. Another was seeing the landscape of Gonarezhou, plus a pride of lions and two leopards!