Singita Sabi Sand
Singita Sabi Sand
A sweet smell of marula fruit drifts through the air as heat rises throughout the day. It brings with it the last, lingering calls of the woodland kingfisher who will soon depart the land, and a bustle of monkeys, squirrels and elephants who are scrambling for the remains of any sweet treat they can find before the season changes. Rainfall has been minimal this month and it has become more evident in the yellowing tone of grass and the dried, cracked mud which no longer serves as a wallow to cool down for those who use it. Again, we are beginning to feel the transitional changes in the wilds and it hints to us a glimmer of excitement for each new day.
Here’s a Sightings Snapshot for February:
- It would seem as if a new shift has taken place in the world of lion dynamics at Singita Sabi Sand with the new arrivals and changes with existing lions.
- The Plains Camp males have well and truly taken ownership of the land and continue to show their dominance as we hear their distant roars throughout the night. With these males having spent so much time with the two Nkuhuma lionesses, we are very excited to announce the arrival of at least two new cubs! At this stage we haven’t quite had the chance to view them properly as they are so young, however one of our guides was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the two little fur balls at the beginning of the month, who are denning at the centre of the property. We are looking forward to seeing how the new pride develops from here as both females have mated with the Plains Camp males, however we are yet to see true signs of pregnancy from the amber-eyed female.
- Closer to the end of the month it seems as if one of the older Mhangene lionesses has also moved away from the pride to mate with the Plains Camp males. We watched in awe one evening as two Mhangene lionesses interacted with the male, both females submitting to him with no aggression from his side, only vocalisation. It was incredible to watch!
- An interesting turn of events this month has been the joining up of father and son, the last remaining Birmingham male and one of his first offspring, the Nkuhuma male. We aren’t sure what the future holds for these two, however we are glad that they have company.
- With changes assumedly in the lion dynamics to the north of the reserve, this brought some of the first viewing of the Talamati Pride. This group of eight have spent the majority of the month to the north of the river with one or two appearances to the south of the river, close to the lodges.
- Elephants, elephants, everywhere! It has been a wonderful month filled with elephant viewing, with large herds of them moving towards the marula groves and gravitating toward any form of water source they can find around the area. It has been incredible to see the amount of young elephants this year and they have brought many a smile and heart-warming feeling to every guest.
- The Schotia female has been a highlight for February. She brought her cub out to show the world and we have had some incredible viewing of the two of them, most often up on the rocky outcrops just to the east of Boulders Lodge. We know she had given birth to two cubs and by our previous month’s trail cam images it showed two being moved by her, however it seems that she only has one remaining which however sad that may be, it is nature and we are overjoyed that she has managed to look after at least one little spotted fur ball.
- The Kangela male, now more independent than ever, makes for some incredible viewing. As a young male leopard who is learning the ropes of adult life, he is often seen as a spunky, over confident young male who is always up for a hunt and often seems to be found irritating his father, the Nyeleti male. At this point in time, he is still too young to hold a territory or begin to mate so he is still tolerated in the area by the Nyeleti male. We are making the most of the time we have with him as in the coming months he will soon leave us to find a territory of his own.
- Overall, we have had some spectacular viewing of leopards this month, with 90 sightings overall for the short month!
- The larger herds are returning and with an abundance of grass to feed on in the area, the southern portions of the property are a great place to look for regular sightings of buffalo. The mud wallows are beginning to dry up and the Sand River is becoming a favourite spot for some of the older, single bulls.
- Although a rare species to be found on the reserve, we have been delighted by some wonderful cheetah viewing this month. With low numbers of this species, it has been exciting to see at least three different individuals in February.
- The bird list for February includes 14 new bird species with the lesser jacana and yellow-bellied greenbul being the highlights. This brings our yearly total to 232.