January has been an amazing month here at Singita Kruger Park! We were initially a little bit concerned that the fires that burnt in the area to the west of the concession in November and early December would cause green grass to sprout up there after the rains and draw a lot of the grazers out of the area. Fortunately for us there has not been a lot of precipitation this last month, and the green grass that did start growing got burnt away by the fierce sun. Inside the concession, though, we did have a small amount of rain in the central-southern part of the area at the beginning of the month and this allowed the grass to grow well. The shaded valleys stopped this grass from desiccating too quickly and the few pools that still have water in the N’wanetsi River and the water in Gudzani Dam have attracted a lot of game into the area. We have really had a bumper month of game-viewing – and all relatively close to camp. A drive along the N’wanetsi River late in the morning and in the heat of the afternoon has produced a lot of animals. Every few metres there are more impalas and more zebras and more wildebeest and more giraffes and more waterbuck… you get what I mean! It has been phenomenal! This has also meant that we have not had a shortage of predator sightings in the area. The birdlife has also been great, with all the migrants back in the area. We have even had a few sightings of the extremely rare Egyptian vulture again. There have been quite a few bee-eaters in the area, including the beautiful carmines and even sightings of blue-cheeked bee-eaters. European rollers have been everywhere! The pastel blue coloration of their feathers is very pretty. We have even had a few sightings of the elusive white-backed night herons and dwarf bitterns.
Although we have not had enough rain to fill the pans or cause the river to flow there are still a few pools and this has provided water for the animals. Unfortunately, this water is starting to stagnate now and is slowly disappearing and we are therefore looking forward to hopefully receiving some rain in February.