January 2022

Singita Sabi Sand


Singita Sabi Sand: January 2022

As the hard rains fall and the banks of the Sand River begin to rise from edge to edge, the powerful flow of water takes over and thunders through the night. It is lush, it is wet and it is spectacular!

The bushveld bellows utter beauty and continues to bring such life into this world. From the shrieking trumpets of little elephants, to the soft murmur of the cricket who calls in the grasslands, we begin this year with a fresh start.

With the symbolic rain washing away the year gone by and a wonderful year in the wilderness to look forward to, we can only know that nature will continue to inspire us.

A sightings snapshot for January follows:


  • This month has been one for the Plains Camp males when it comes to the lion dynamics on the property. These two males have gotten the year off to a great start, having mated with both of the Nkuhuma lionesses and spending a large amount of time with the two of them, providing us with many great sightings of them interacting.
  • The Nkuhuma lionesses remain on the property and seem to have made themselves at home. When not with the Plains Camp males, we have viewed these females hunting together and both feeding on several prey species. They are both in very good condition.
  • It has been a quiet month for the Mhangene Pride who we have only seen on very few occasions earlier on in the month. We believe them to have moved into some of the southern portions of the reserve at this stage however, with youngsters in the pride and with pressure from the Nzenga males further south, we are sure they will be back soon.


  • Not a day goes by that we don’t manage to see an elephant, these large pachyderms scatter the land, feeding from marula tree to marula tree as the succulent fruits begin to fall.
  • Most prevalent are the bull elephants who seem to be around every corner, either mud wallowing after a long day in the sun, or eating their favourite sweet treats. With the start of a new year, it is always a welcomed sight to see the baby elephants within their herd, beginning a new life and exploring their new surroundings.


  • On the twentieth of January, one of our guides, Marc Eschenlohr, managed to capture a female leopard and her cub on his camera trap (trail camera) in the early hours of the morning. This footage was captured north of the river and directly north of the lodges which we believe to be the territory of the Serengeti female. It is to our understanding that she had been mating with the Hosana male last year and we estimate the cub to already be around 3-4 months old as it is moving around with its mother.
  • The Schotia female has since revealed through more trail cam footage, to have given birth to two new cubs. She was seen moving both of her little fur balls from Ebony Lodge, up into the rocky outcrops behind Boulders Lodge. It wont be too long now before Schotia female brings them out to feed on their first carcass.
  • This month, a firm favourite has been the Nkuwa female. In an area usually dominated by the Mobeni female, the Nkuwa female has made herself seemingly at home. It has become a habit for all of us guides to scan the marula trees within the area in hopes to find her lying in one – it seems like her favourite thing to do, and the way we find her on most occasions!


  • January seems to be the month for males within the larger herbivore division, mostly finding bulls spending their time in mud wallows and feeding on the abundance of lush grasses. There have also been a few sightings of the larger herds to the south this month, with lions close on their trail.


  • Rivalling our previous month, it seems as though the cheetah sightings have become a lot more regular on the property. This month we were treated to some incredible viewing of the female cheetah and her cub feeding on two different kills as well as witnessing the male cheetah pushing his strength to the limit as he gave full chase to a herd of impala. Although unsuccessful it was a privilege to watch!

Bird List

  • The bird list for January totals 218 birds and includes specials of an African crake, a breeding pair of Kori bustards and half-collared kingfisher.

By Jenny Hishin
Author / Guest Guide