April 2024

Singita Pamushana Lodge


Singita Pamushana Lodge: April 2024

Reading through each guide’s April sighting report gives an accurate indication of just how good the wildlife sightings have been this month. The lodge has been busy, especially with some large groups, and the more guides out covering different areas of the reserve results in more sightings being called in. It’s a win-win for everyone and all our guests have marvelled at the diversity of wildlife to be seen here.

We are well into autumn now, and have had very little rain. Chiloveka Dam in the south is dry, which has resulted in a concentration of animals drinking at a natural spring in that area. Elsewhere the animals are drawn to the few pans that receive piped water, or else they drink from the other dams and rivers.

A sightings snapshot for the month:


Lion sightings have been excellent! One group of guests managed to see two different prides in one morning.

Nduna Pride: A female buffalo was killed and we presume fed on by five members of the pride before the coalition of three males claimed the rest of the carcass. The two lionesses, one sub-adult male and two sub-adult females left the carcass to drink at Simbiri Dam which was such a picturesque setting amid the sandstone rocks and cliffs. Later in the month, at Nduna Dam, nine lions were seen. The pride managed to kill another buffalo which provided a feast for all. An epic sighting that took place at month’s end was at Hlamba Mlonga where three hungry lions, walked up the rocky incline alongside Simbiri Dam in an effort to survey for prey. Eventually a herd of buffalos walked between the lions and the water. It was a huge herd and the lions waited for the last one before launching an attack. One male lion jumped on the back of a buffalo which fought the lion and escaped. The buffalos then circled back and chased the lions out of sight.

River Pride: Four members were seen hunting north of Ray’s Drift, and feeding on a kill in that area. From there they moved over to the Hippo side of the river and successfully hunted a female waterbuck – an incredible sighting for guests that are seasoned safari travellers. Expecting to find the pride still feeding on the waterbuck the next morning, they were instead tracked to a different location, far away, where they were found feeding on another kill.

Nyamasikana Pan is way in the north, and not visited as regularly as those in the central areas, so it was wonderful to be rewarded with a sighting of five lions sleeping in the shade there.

Another great sighting, barely out of the starting blocks from the lodge, was of one male and three lionesses on West Valley Road, actively roaming and roaring ,responding to another male that was calling from the dam. We think the lionesses could be coming into season hence all the calling.


Highlights for the month include:

Seeing two leopards while on a boat cruise – one was marking territory below Malilangwe House and one was drinking on the northern shore.

An action-packed morning ensued when a female leopard was seen killing an impala ram on Southern Straight Road, east of the Buffalo Fence junction. Having killed the impala the distress calls from other impalas caught the attention of four spotted hyenas who then overpowered the leopard and stole the kill leaving her running for her life.

A mating pair of leopards was seen (with an bull black rhino in close proximity) at the hippo trails before Nyamasikana Crossing on West Valley Road.

Wild dogs

African wild dogs have been seen on both sides of the Chiredzi River. The pack of 12 with a pregnant alpha female was last seen in the north of the property which is a good sign, as that’s where they denned last year, and it’s denning season now.


There have been some interesting sightings of hyenas around the Malilangwe Dam, while guests have been enjoying the boat cruises. One was when a hyena caught a terrapin and the sounds of its powerful jaws crushing the shell where amplified over the water. Another was when a hyena was seen feeding on a buffalo carcass, followed by a fiery sundowner and icy moonrise.


Of course, rhino sightings top the list – it’s what we’re best known for!

Crashes of several white rhinos are often seen grazing or drinking together. Highlights include a white rhino bull using a termite mound as a pillow, and a mother with a newborn infant.

Every guide has their own lucky spot for finding black rhinos, but a hotspot that we’ve all been working of late is a block of good browsing habitat between the river and Binya Road. Lone bulls are seen, or young bulls together, and most often a cow with a calf close behind.


A breeding herd of more than 60 elephants was viewed for much of the month around the Croc Creek area as they headed towards the Malilangwe Dam at the base of the lodge, to drink and feed on the green vegetation there. A delight is the abundance of baby elephants tottering about between the pillars of legs.

An enormous breeding herd of 115 elephants was seen on the Hippos side, feeding at the swamps.

An overwhelming sighting was finding the afterbirth where an elephant had just given birth, and nearby the newborn elephant baby finding its footing to keep up with the rest of the family.


Vast herds of up to 500 buffalo are seen on a daily basis, at the water points. However, a puzzling sighting was finding three buffalo carcasses floating in the Malilangwe Dam. It’s possible there was a stampede, caused by lions, and the animals drowned in the ensuing chaos.

Plains game

Excellent plains game as always, and seen on every drive. Now that water is more scarce we’ve also had sightings of sable antelope, eland and hartebeest. A wonderful afternoon was spent at Nduna Dam, where more than 20 giraffes quenched their thirst.

Boat cruise

Idyllic, peaceful, mesmerising and addictive as always, with some great wildlife sightings further elevating the experience. On one cloudy and overcast afternoon we didn’t expect to see much wildlife, but were happily proved wrong when we found about 150 elephants and 200 buffaloes scattered along the shoreline.


There have been some good catches of tilapia, and one group of dedicated fishermen caught a good number of tigerfish, with the biggest weighing in at 8.2 pounds (3.7 kilograms).

Photographic hide

This is the best place to spend several hours, underground in a dark space, eye-level to the water, if you are an avid and dedicated photographer. This month the following species have been seen from within the hide: white rhinos, black rhinos, zebras, kudus, warthogs, elephants, impalas, giraffes, eland, sable, wildebeest, lions. On one occasion a lioness arrived at the waterhole but was not allowed to get to the water by a crash of white rhinos. They grouped together and charged her. Eventually the lioness went to the side and drank from there, which gave the humans in the hide an opportunity to see the predator at very close range!

Rock art

Our guests are always in awe of the rock art we show them – an everlasting history of the resourceful and highly skilled Bushmen/San that lived here hundreds of years ago.


The drier and more sparse the vegetation, the better for conducting bush walks and tracking animals on foot, so now is a good time for these immersive activities.

Kambako Living Museum of Bushcraft

Our guests were introduced to the bygone ways of Shangaan people in order to find water, gather food, make tools, ignite fire and extract salt from the soil. They also tasted the local sadza and okra.

Daytrips to Gonarezhou National Park

These trips are a full day out to our neighbouring National Park, where scenic views, Chilojo Cliffs and herds of elephants are guaranteed.