There has been beautiful bountiful rain and the wildlife and landscape are looking robust. Our guests in January were mainly Zimbabwean, and we were all relieved and delighted when it was announced on 29 January that the quarantine period for all inbound tourists was lifted with immediate effect. We simply cannot wait a moment longer to welcome our international tourists to Singita Pamushana, and share the wonders of this animal kingdom with you.
A sightings snapshot for January follows:
- The Nduna Pride provided the bulk of the sightings this month. The plains game are all well fed and healthy thanks to rains and good grazing, and this makes it harder for lions to hunt them successfully. As such the pride are looking quite skinny and hungry at this time. Various members have been seen at different times, but the largest count of them was of 14 in total: Two males, four females, and eight cubs of different ages.
- An adult male and lionesses were seen following one another, west of Chikwete Pan. They were probably from the Hippo Pride.
- A male lion killed a buffalo calf on the open areas of Banyini, and guests were able to watch him feed.
- Both of these leopard sightings have been from the safari boat cruises: A relaxed female leopard was seen walking along the shoreline, opposite Malilangwe House.
- A great sighting of a male leopard sleeping on a log. Guests watched him for more than ten minutes and also were treated to a black rhino browsing along the shore.
African wild dogs
- Sightings of the pack range between 12 and 14 members.
- The wild dogs were seen hunting and they caught two baby impalas.
- They were also seen sleeping in the shade at 02 Camp.
- Spotted hyenas are dotted all over. One was seen trailing the wild dogs, hoping for a free lunch.
- White rhinos: Fantastic crashes, up to ten in number, have been seen grazing, drinking and wallowing.
- Black rhinos: On one occasion a black rhino and crash of white rhino were spotted in the same area.
- A black rhino tested everyone’s heart function with a little mock charge. All were found to be in good health.
- There have been excellent sightings of calm elephant bulls, content with feeding on the nutritious offerings. A huge tusker was seen feeding on the mopane bushes north-east of 02 Camp.
- A breeding herd of about fifty elephants and two white rhinos was feeding south of 02 Camp.
- Large herds have been seen – sometimes over 150 Cape buffalo and at other times a herd in excess of 300. They are really enjoying the good grazing and the plentiful water and mud wallows.
- The plains are teaming with game, thanks to this year’s good grazing.
- See the ostrich story that follows!