February 2024

Singita Pamushana


Singita Pamushana: February 2024

We’ve had high temperatures this February, and this results in much of the wildlife spending their time in the proximity of water points. At one stage we located seven species at the central Banyini waterhole: zebra, buffalo, black rhino, giraffe, kudu, impala and wildebeest. Other hotspots have been 02 Pan, Ngwenyeni Pan and Nduna platform. At Nduna a total of seven white rhinos and one black rhino were seen, with four lions a short distance away. It’s also been a joy to host keen birders this month, and concentrate on our abundance of feathered friends.

Here’s a sightings snapshot for February:


Excellent lion sightings as always. Highlights included:

Lions struggling to catch a buffalo. Eventually they managed to kill a calf, but they nearly failed and it was a hard-won result.

In a more peaceful scene lions were relaxing in the shade, and an elephant bull strolled past them without either species being too concerned.

Nduna Pride: At Nduna Dam a large herd of buffalo surrounded some inexperienced hunters from the pride. The young lions tried to hunt a buffalo but were chased away by the rest of the herd. Part of the pride spent significant time on the shore of the Malilangwe Dam, close to the harbour. Those going on a sundowner boat cruise could see the six lions relaxing on the shoreline.

River Pride: Members of this pride were seen between O2 Pan on the eastern side of the Chiredzi, and Ngwenyeni Pan on the western side, and it included a mating pair.


So very fleeting, as always. However, two good sightings were of a female at Nyamasikana Crossing heading towards Kwali, and another, shortly after the drive started, when there was a leopard standing at the edge of the road for a few minutes.

Wild dogs

There’ve been encouraging sightings of two packs of wild dogs.

A pack of six were seen along the river, and got chased by elephants.

A pack of 11 were sleeping in the open. In the same area, 20 metres away, were baboons and a hyena. The dogs chased the baboons and then found the hyena which they chased up a hill.


A large clan of hyenas was seen having a raucous banquet feeding on a buffalo carcass.

Another interesting sighting was of a clan of nine taking on a sub-adult male lion. The guide and tracker tried to investigate the cause of the fight but there was no evidence of a kill, and could have just been the hyenas taking advantage of the lone lion. The lion managed to escape without severe injuries.


It would appear that the black rhino population is vying with the white population for attention. We have had sightings of both on almost every drive! On one occasion there were six black and four white rhinos, and an elephant bull, sharing the same mud wallow.


The bulls have been showing off tremendously this month – we’ve seen them drinking, mudbathing, sparring and being obnoxious.

Two that were in musth were seen breaking trees, as if showcasing their strength and preparing a battle arena. When the physical fight started and the younger bull ran away.

A huge elephant bull insisted on ambling down the road in front of the game viewer and occasionally turning to face the vehicle , thereby showing the awestruck guests his huge tusks.

The breeding herds have been seen in the swamps and along the riverbanks and dam.


A frenetic sighting was of about 400 buffaloes, two black rhinos and six white rhinos all at Nduna Dam.

One morning game drive encountered three different herds of buffaloes. The biggest group was at Chikwete, consisting of approximately 300 animals, and it was amazing to watch them make their way down a cliff churning up a big cloud of dust.

Plains game

The highlight of the month with regards to plains game was finding a herd of majestic sable antelope, together with a herd of eland, sharing the waterhole at Banyini, with a herd of over 200 buffaloes heading towards the water.

Boat cruise

The boat cruises are always relaxing with unbeatably beautiful scenery, and sightings of hippos, crocs and birds guaranteed. Shoreline bonuses this month were lions, buffalo, waterbuck, impala, white rhino and a breeding herd of elephants that swam and waded across a narrow channel.


It’s a memorable experience for those who have never fished before to catch a fish and, if it cannot be released, have the chefs prepare it for dinner.

Photographic hide

There have been a couple of forays into the sunken hide, and they’ve been productive during the later hours of the afternoon and evening. The pan has attracted numerous white rhinos, a black rhino bull, elephant bulls, a buffalo bull and a herd of 30 eland.

Rock art

The San rock art that prevails here is so artistic, refined and delicate compared to that of Bantu-speakers rock art which is sometimes found superimposed over San or Khoi paintings.

Kambako Living Museum of Bushcraft

Visits to this interactive museum just beyond our boundary are always fascinating and thoroughly enjoyed.


A couple of bush walks have been conducted this month, the guides taking care to choose open clear habitat because the grass is high and the bush thick at this time, which reduces visibility.