Singita Pamushana: July 2023
It has been a month of crisp mornings giving way to blissful sunshine days. Punctuating the time between game drives have been a few soccer matches where some of our young and super-energetic guests have teamed up with staff to have a game on our well-kept soccer pitch. Continuing the sports the youngsters have had great fun lobbing baobab fruit off the trees in order to taste the sherbetty seeds within. But back to the serious business of game drives here’s an overview of wildlife sightings for the month:
Southern Pride: This pride provided great sightings as they spent time around Hwata Pan.
River Pride: This pride has been spending much of its time on the western side of the Chiredzi River.
Nduna Pride: There has been mating activity within this pride. A mating pair were seen on Bandama Road, and later in the month three males and two females were mating, around Lojaan area. As the safari group approached this sighting they also saw a white rhino walking towards the lions.
Male coalitions: Two males killed a wildebeest on the Banyini open areas, and fed heartily on the carcass while keeping some hyenas and jackals at bay. An added sighting bonus was of them drinking at the pan after their big meal.
The leopard news is that there is a female nursing cubs around the Nhanga Pan area. The cub/s are yet to be seen…
A lucky sighting was of a leopard that came to drink water at the confluence of the Nyamasikana and Meso Rivers, while guests were on a safari cruise having sundowners.
Standout sightings were:
Hearing a commotion of elephants trumpeting and splashing water, to such an extent we thought it might be a breeding herd trying to defend their calves from lions. It turned out to be some exuberant elephant bulls swimming in the river and having a whale of a time! While watching them a herd of buffalos traipsed down to the riverbed as well.
There have been fascinating sightings of breeding herds along the river banks interacting among themselves, feeding and trumpeting out warnings and discipline.
White rhinos: Sightings have been prolific. On one occasion 18 white rhinos were seen during an afternoon/evening drive. A white rhino highlight was seeing a little calf with its mother.
Black rhinos: Black rhinos are always trickier to find, and sometimes they find you. One group of guests was watching the pack of wild dogs and pups when a black rhino crossed the road about 30 meters in front of their vehicle. One group of guests spent a few days in pursuit of a black rhino sighting, and were rewarded with a mother and calf. The guests were so happy they whooped in delight!
There have been daily sightings of vast herds, either drinking at Banyini, Hwata or along the Chiredzi River.
It’s just the very best news to announce – that a pack of 11 African wild dogs has a litter of seven pups in the northern area of our reserve. The pups should be leaving the den any day now.
Spotted hyenas are seen almost daily. One standout sighting was when a lone hyena tried to have a drink at a pan where rhinos and three elephant bulls were drinking. The hyena tried to join the drinking party but one bull elephant was having none of it and kept chasing it away.
During these dryer months the plains game sightings are at their best, and antelope such as nyala, sable and eland are seen regularly.
Now being the ideal time to walk in the bushveld many of the conducted walks have included visiting rock art sites. It’s incredible to hear about and see these paintings while enjoying a rest and refreshment stop during a walk.
During these dry months wildlife has no choice but to drink at permanent water spots, and our sunken hide at one of these provides ‘up close and personal’ animal observations. One patient group spent the afternoon and early eve there and were rewarded with elephant bulls, white rhinos and lions.
Walks can take the form of a general stroll looking at the nuances of Nature, or tracking and safely approaching an animal, or visiting a rock art site, or deciding that your destination is the biggest baobab on the property. Often the journey is as rewarding as the destination.
Gonarezhou Day Trips
A guaranteed way to see breeding herds of elephants, and incredible scenery.
These safari boat cruises are a unique offering of Singita Pamushana and Malilangwe House. In a way they’re mesmerising. Regardless of whether you see a tiny malachite kingfisher or an enormous crocodile there is simply no better place on the planet to enjoy a sundowner!