March 2024

Singita Pamushana


Singita Pamushana: March 2024

It’s been unusually hot for March, with the average maximum shimmering at 34.1˚C, and thankfully there was some rain towards the end of the month. It has been a long hot summer and you can tell that many of the animals are looking forward to cooler temperatures, and these became noticeable after the equinox on the 20th. One of the month’s highlights was the emergence of lunar moths with their beautiful lime green wings with twisted hindwing tails.

A sightings snapshot for March follows:


The majority of sightings this month have been of the Nduna Pride. They’ve been seen in the area around Nduna Dam, but it’s been very interesting to see that members of the original pride have been found in the area of Chikokovelo, along the Chiredzi River, which is the stronghold of the River Pride.

The three pride males were seen trailing a herd of buffalo for a few days, and indeed a buffalo was killed by lions which provided many meals.

A tense sighting was of lionesses trying to kill a warthog, but they failed.

There is currently a mating pair of lions from the Nduna Pride – so that’s always promising.

Two beautiful sightings were of a pride of eight lions all relaxing on a sand bank along the Chiredzi River; and a pride of nine lions biding their time on the flat mown helipad.


Fleeting glimpses of leopards were had earlier in the month, but then there was a string of excellent sightings that included:

A mother with two cubs on the road near the lodge.

An adult male sitting on a sand bank at the confluence of the Chiredzi and Nyamasikana Rivers.

A male leopard hunting along the shoreline of the Malilangwe Dam.

Wild dogs

Two packs have been seen this month which is encouraging. The smaller pack was seen along the river and the larger pack in the central regions, and both packs were seen during one lucky drive. They should start looking for den-sites shortly, so we hope they choose the Malilangwe Reserve for this.


The hyena highlights include seeing eight clan members feeding on a zebra carcass. From the tracks at the scene we suspect the zebra was killed by a lioness and the hyenas chased her off her kill claiming it for themselves.


Sightings of both white and black rhinos have been a daily occurrence, and it has been a case of how many rhinos were seen on a game drive rather than not seeing any at all.

With limited water and territory available we are seeing black rhinos more often in places that they didn’t previously frequent.


Sightings of breeding herds have increased this month – three different herds were seen on a single drive. They seem to be enjoying the mopane leaves.

Bulls are always impressive, especially when we see the big tuskers that we’ve come to recognise over time. They are gathering at Hwata Pan to replenish their thirst.


Here are two excerpts from our guides’ daily sightings reports:

“A glorious sighting of a buffalo herd stretching out from Mahande Loop to Hwata Pan and past our vehicle heading north into the mopani treeline. We saw lots of calves. There must have been around 400 buffalo.”

“There is nowhere in the world one can be ten metres away from buffalo, rhino and elephant, while watching the sunset and enjoying drinks on the ground, except at Singita Pamushana, Malilangwe.”


Usually we see hippos in the dam, but on a short walk to the river 51 hippos were seen in an area we call Hippo Pools. We could sit on the bank and watch them interacting and calling, not more than 15 metres away.

Plains game

Excellent plains game in the central areas, plus the occasional glimpse of a sable or Lichtenstein’s hartebeest.

Rare sightings

An African wildcat was viewed during the day, a honey badger at dusk, and three porcupines (two adults and a young porcupette) were seen at night.


The birding highlight for the month has been watching carmine bee-eaters flying around the game-viewers as they hawk insects flushed from the grass.

Boat cruise

One of our longest serving guides filed a report of his “Best Boat Cruise Ever!” It was of watching a leopard seemingly trying to hunt crocodiles on the shoreline.

A report from another guide included:

“The boat cruise was out of this world with great sightings of a pride of nine lions on the shoreline, hippos, crocodiles, giraffes, birds and three elephant bulls mud-bathing. We saw so many crocodiles that we lost count.”


With the hot weather the fishing has been good, with many breams landed.

Photographic hide

The hide has been in use again. On one occasion four of the Big Five were seen from the hide: Two bull elephants, six white rhinos, a breeding herd of buffaloes, and three lions.

It is an amazing experience to sit in the hide and watch an elephant bull at such close quarters that spray from his trunk lands on you.

Rock art

Guests were in awe of the art at Mabhakweni and Chidhumo rock art sites, especially after being informed about the estimated age and seeing how defined the depictions are.


It’s a great time to start doing longer bush walks now, and they are enjoyed even more when rests are taken at some of the rock art sites.

Kambako Living Museum of Bushcraft

Visits were conducted during the month, to see the ancient bushcraft skills.

Daytrips to Gonarezhou National Park

Two different packs of African wild dogs were seen on one of the daytrips, as well as eight lions and an abundance of elephant bulls and breeding herds.