Our Singita Lebombo Lodge has been closed this month for renovations, so all the action was as a result of safaris from Singita Sweni. Towards the beginning of the month we had had very little rain and the rivers were all dry. There was still a pool of water at the confluence of the Sweni and N’wanetsi Rivers, which held quite a few hippos. Much of the grass was dry and in the central depression the ground was bare. Thankfully we’ve received some intermittent showers since then and have some grass growing and the area is looking much greener. The central depression, in particular, was covered with bulbous plants that shot up seemingly overnight.
Buffalos: After the first rains of the month a large herd of a few hundred buffalos moved into the concession, particularly up on the Lebombo Hills near the border with Mozambique.
Leopards: We have had at least 13 sightings of leopards this month. The two stars were the Xhikelengane female and the Ndlovu male.
Cheetahs: We had some great sightings of cheetahs and have seen them on at least 16 occasions. Unfortunately the ‘mother with four’ is now the ‘mother with three’. This female has been the star this month and we have seen her and her three cubs on at least 10 occasions
Elephants: We struggled initially to find elephants on the concession until the rains filled the rivers and pans. Since then we have had a few sightings of large herds (in excess of 40 individuals).
Lions: We have had great lion sightings again this month (over 57 sightings were recorded for the month in total). Unfortunately the larger group of the Shish pride, with the white lion, were only seen on three occasions this month. They have been outside of the concession for most of the time. On 22 March they were found in the centre of the concession finishing up a wildebeest kill. The smaller portion of the Shish pride was seen regularly, and on one occasion we found them resting on the banks of the N’wanetsi River.
Spotted hyenas: The H6 clan were seen on a few occasions this month at the den-site, although usually only at night just before the game drives return back to camp. On the 5 March a clan of 15 individuals were seen feeding on a hippo carcass at Gudzane East Windmill.