September 2022

Singita Sabi Sand: September 2022


Singita Sabi Sand: September 2022

September has welcomed us with warm arms. Familiar sounds now join the dawn chorus as migrant birds slowly return from their winter rest. A sprinkle of rain here and there transforms the landscape to vibrant greens while delicate flowers emerge from the undergrowth. The golden glow of the early morning sunrise creeps up on us earlier each day as spring has truly sprung in the South African lowveld.

Here’s a snapshot of wildlife sightings for the month:


  • The Plains Camp male lions have truly stamped their authority on the central and western parts of the Sabi Sand pushing the Nkuhuma and Birmingham males back east.
  • This hasn’t boded well for the Othawa Pride as the pride is now down to a single lioness and two of her sub-adults.
  • The Mhangene Pride seem to have spotted an opportunity to push back west as their pride of just four lionesses is now the largest pride of females, of the three prides in the area. They are looking in great condition and hopefully will be making a comeback to the numbers that they once were.
  • A recent discovery of a newborn cub, just days old, from one of the two Nkuhuma lionesses has everyone excited at Singita. The cub was seen right in the heart of Singita along the Mobeni drainage. We will give them the space they deserve during these early stages of the cub’s life.


  • A new era is underway as Thamba male leopard now reigns from southern Castleton all the way to the Sand River. He has been mating with the Schotia female. The start of their mating bout saw him steal a kill from the shy Ntoma female. An incredible scene set in the rain, as the mating pair were up in a marula tree while a clan of three hyenas circled below.
  • With Thamba now patrolling throughout Singita, viewing of the Kangela male leopard has been scarce and mainly along the Sand River or just north of it as he avoids the unrelated male.
  • The underdog, the Misava male leopard, is looking in good condition and is always a welcome surprise as he pops up in some of the strangest places. One particular day he was seen watching the Nkuhuma lionesses as they fed on a kudu carcass, hoping to scavenge anything that may have been left. Unfortunately for him he didn’t get any leftovers but he delighted our guests as he slowly meandered through the riverine forest.
  • To the north of the Sand River, the elusive Serengeti female has been seen a few times at night with her one-year-old cub. Viewing her at night sees a change in her behaviour as she feels more comfortable under the cover of darkness.

Wild dogs

  • We have had a few sightings of a pack of eight, as well as a small splinter pack of three males. Wild dogs are always exciting to spend time with as they often lead you to beautiful parts of the reserve or other species on their persistent search for prey. With the abundance of elephants on the reserve at the moment an encounter between the two iconic African mammals is almost guaranteed.

Unusual sightings

  • We have also been spoilt with a few pangolin sightings giving our guests the opportunity to get out of the vehicle and follow this secretive ant-eating mammal while it goes about its daily life. What a positive sign for conservation for this species in the area!

Bird list

  • The bird list for September includes one new species, bringing our bird list for the year up to 272 birds so far. Specials for the month included little egret.

Read the full report here >>

By Jenny Hishin
Author / Guest Guide