September 2022

Singita Kruger National Park: September 2022


Singita Kruger National Park: September 2022

Spring has come with beautiful flowers this year. We have seen the flame creepers and climbing combretum highlighting the bush in the southern part of the concession. The blood-red flowers of the weeping boer-bean tree have a high nectar content and have been attracting a lot of different birds. Reptiles have started to show themselves, and we have seen a boomslang which has been spending time around the Lebombo Access Road.

Migratory birds are slowly coming back, we have seen some bee-eaters, a Wahlberg eagle, a yellow-billed kite, and a Klass’s cuckoo. The Klass’s cuckoo has been very active calling along the N’wanetsi River. European bee-eaters were seen once on H6 near S37. The impala lilies are still in flower and many of the long-tailed cassia trees are still showing their beautiful bloom, with their bright yellow blossoms.

Some of these trees, however, have finished flowering and are starting to get their lime-green foliage. Other plants that are in flower at the moment, or are starting to flower, include the russet bushwillows.

Here’s a Sightings Snapshot for September:


The Shishangaan Pride has been running away from the new males that have arrived in the area and now they seem like they have accepted the Trichardt males as the dominant males for the territory. Some of the lionesses were seen mating with them. They have been spotted spending time around the N’wanetsi River and moving east towards the eastern boundary with Mozambique. We are hoping to see cubs in the next couple of months. There are currently seven lionesses in the pride.

Mananga Pride has also been spending time in the concession. The pride is still split into two groups, a group of seventeen and eight. They sometimes join together when they have killed a big animal. They have been moving between Gundzane Dam and the Xinkelengana drainage, where there have been large numbers of zebra, kudu, wildebeest and waterbuck. The Shishangaan males were also seen joining them from time to time.

Mountain Pride has often crossed east into Mozambique and has not been spending a lot of time in the concession.


The Nhlanguleni female was spotted on an impala kill around the Central Depression, and her cubs are looking healthy. It looks like she is using the rocky outcrops to hide her cubs and then moves west into the depression to hunt.

The Dumbana female has expanded her territory. A few months ago she was seen near the lodge and moving north towards the southern side of the central depression. We think she travels distances to allow her cubs to become independent and start learning to hunt because they are almost ready to leave their mother. She has been very successful in providing food for her cubs. A male leopard was spotted when the Dumbana was feeding on an impala kill and the next day one of the cubs had a huge cut on his shoulder. This might have happened when the young male was trying to hunt or feed.

A skittish male leopard has been spotted a couple of times south of the concession, on the way to the Poort.

Wild dogs

We have not had any sightings for this month. Tracks have been spotted in the south-east of the concession, near the fenceline, moving up and down. We still believe they are in Mozambique where they might have been denning. The pack will probably move back once the pups are old enough to hunt with them.

Spotted hyenas

Hyena sightings have been good. Almost every night we will come across a hyena or hear them vocalizing.

A clan of hyenas was seen finishing up a buffalo carcass that was killed by the Mananga Pride at Gundzane north.

We have located a den-site west of Dudu’s Crossing on top of the ridge, but unfortunately cannot get access with a vehicle. A heavily pregnant female was seen at Xineneni Poort, lying in the water, and headed north towards the den later.


We had amazing elephant sightings this month of them drinking and wallowing along the N’wanetsi River. Sightings have been mainly in the late morning when guides are about to make their way back to camp.

Tiny little calves have also been spotted amongst the different breeding herd groups.


A breeding herd totalling around a thousand buffalo has been recorded moving in east and out west of the concession. They have been closely followed by Mananga Pride, looking for hunting opportunities.

Currently we have two groups of buffalo bulls in the concession that spend time in the hills and regularly come to the last remaining pools of water to quench their thirst.

Plains game

Prominent pathways have been created coming from the east in the mountainous terrain and down towards the depression area. We have seen wildebeest, zebras, impalas, giraffes, waterbuck, buffalos, and elephants together in one area.

We have been fortunate to see young giraffe calves and there are many females that seem to be expecting.

Rare animals and other sightings

Two male cheetahs were seen coming into the concession from the west. They tried to hunt some waterbuck but were not successful.

The same day the two males were located, a female cheetah with two cubs was also seen moving into the sticky thorn thickets.


A gorgeous bush-shrike was spotted around Nyokeni Valley. It was an incredible sighting of this beautiful bird. First sighting that has ever been recorded on the property.

We had quite a few sightings of eastern nicators around the lodge and they have been very vocal, contacting each other.

A breeding pair of greater painted-snipes has been seen regularly.

By Jenny Hishin
Author / Guest Guide