April 2022

Singita Sabi Sand: April 2022

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Singita Sabi Sand: April 2022

Just as we were beginning to believe that the rain season was coming to an end where the hues of yellow settled in and the leaves floated down toward the earth, a blanket of grey wrapped around the land and brought with it a fresh flush of energizing green and the waterholes filled once again.

From all corners, day and night, one can hear the gurgling and snorting of rutting impala rams who are in the full swing of their mating season which allows us to feel as if there is a constant motion and little stillness. It is a beautiful energy, one filled with excitement as we start to breathe in the cold air in the morning and set out on game drive, searching for the wonders of the wilderness through the mystifying mist…

Here’s a Sightings Snapshot for April:

Lions

  • We have had some incredible lion viewing throughout April with a constant being the two Plains Camp males, who each night echo their roars out into the heavy cool air. They truly have placed themselves well as the dominant male lions of Singita Sabi Sand and have done everything they can to make sure of the safety of the Nkuhuma lionesses and their cubs.
  • With that there also comes some tragedy with the finding of the body of one of the Talamati lionesses (believed to be the tailless female, due to her no longer being viewed with the pride). It is unknown exactly what the cause of her death was, however the Plains Camp males had stolen a zebra carcass from the three young Nsevu males, and a lioness was seen moving onto the scene and being chased off by the two males. It is only speculation but due to us viewing a lioness being chased by the Plains Camp males, we think it was perhaps them that ended her life.
  • The Nkuhuma lionesses are doing extremely well and looking in great condition. It also seems as if the amber-eyed female is heavily pregnant so we look forward to hopefully welcoming some youngsters to their new found pride.
  • It seems as if the Mhangene Pride have been laying low now for quite some time in the southern parts of the reserve, however, one of the older lionesses has been seen on multiple occasions with the Plains Camp males. We have viewed her mating with the bigger of the two males and wonder if she won’t eventually draw the pride back into these areas. For now the Nkhuhuma females are keeping them well at bay.

Elephants

  • With the late rains falling mid-April, we enjoyed some spectacular elephant viewing where multiple trees were pushed over to feed on, and the large pachyderms used the soft soils to their advantage, digging for roots and bulbs. There has also been an incredible amount of baby elephants seen and it is always a joy to watch them as they explore their new surroundings.

Leopards

  • We are beginning to feel a huge shift in the leopard dynamics at the moment and it would seem that the days of the Nyeleti male are numbered. On multiple occasions closer to the end of this month, the Thamba male has been seen moving right up and into the Ebony and Boulders camp perimeter where we have never viewed him before. One morning we watched as Nyeleti male and Thamba male walk right through the western parts of the property and up to the areas just south of the lodges, growling at each other, vocalising and scent marking. With no physical fight taking place, we believe the two males are only sizing one another up and the Thamba male is becoming more confident in his approach toward claiming a larger area.
  • With the movements of the Thamba male being more centred around the territory of the Schotia female, we are starting to wonder about the safety of her single female cub. As of late we have only viewed the Schotia female on her own so it is unknown as to whether she has the cub very well hidden or if indeed the Thamba male has taken its life.
  • After weeks of viewing the Nkuwa female with suckle marks and signs of having cubs, we finally managed to view them! On the most beautiful rock, nestled high above the Mobeni and Xmobonyana River confluence, two little spotted fur balls made an appearance with their mother, and since then we have had some magnificent viewing of the three cats. We hope to continue enjoying watching their growth with their first-time mother.

Buffalo

Buffalo viewing this month has continued to be extraordinary with large herds in all corners of the property moving through the area. It truly is a wonderful sight to just sit and take in the sheer number of animals and to watch as they go about their day. One morning we viewed a herd of over three hundred buffalo crossing the Sand River to the west of Ebony and both the sight and intense sound were incredible to witness.

Cheetah

Although scarce in number, we have had some wonderful cheetah viewing this month and been able to treat our guests to one of the rarest big cat species in our area.

Bird List

The bird list for April included 14 new bird species with a sighting of a purple heron being the highlight. This brings our yearly total to 254.

Jenny Hishin
By Jenny Hishin
Author / Guest Guide