During this month of May we have had several overcast days and some windy ones too. The daytime temperatures have dropped, and early mornings require you to wear a fleece. We have just gone through the white syringa trees changing leaf colour, just before they get ready to drop their leaves to the ground. This makes for amazing views of bright yellow crowns interspersed with the green canopy tops. A sure sign that the African winter has arrived.
Here’s a snapshot of May’s sightings:
Lions spotted with two new cubs around the Nduna area.
Lots of lion activity seen in the past weeks around HQ and Simbiri. Mostly the Nduna pride.
River pride seen on the Hippo Valley side of the reserve, on a buffalo kill.
Leopard cub seen on West Valley Road with mother, although she was not visible at the time.
Further sightings of a small female leopard seen on Binya Road just before the Nyamasikana Bridge.
The dogs were seen at Logaan Dam, they had chased a female waterbuck with her calf into the dam. The dogs had managed to nearly rip one of the calf’s ears off and cause a bit of superficial damage to the little one’s face. The female waterbuck then, in the dam, had to defend her little one from a crocodile. This gave the dogs another chance and they grabbed the calf, but mum was very quick to attack the dogs and save her young. The croc lost as did the wild dogs and both waterbucks managed to live another day! Eight dogs were seen but the missing dog is the heavily pregnant female which suggest they have now found a den-site.
Early morning and evening have proved to be very lucrative for seeing hyenas. I would have to say it is the most prevalent call heard at night after the hippos’.
Rhinos, both species, have been seen more frequently this month, especially white rhino. Most common sightings have been Banyini, Hwata and parts of the Orphan Road.
The big herd, totalling 70 individuals, is frequently seen at or near Sosigi Dam, around 10h00.
Seems to be several musth bulls being seen in different locations around the property.
Another huge herd of elephant has recently been frequenting the swamps on the Hippo Valley side of the property.
Buffalo herds are seen at least twice a week at Banyini Pan. Traveling south on the Binya Road its common to see signs of herds crossing or seeing the herds themselves. A very small herd has been frequenting the West Valley and Nyari areas.
There is a large herd of 300 buffalo being seen often at Sosigi Dam, and another one at Logaan Dam.
Boat cruises & fishing
Not many cruises have been happening and the fishing has been rather slow with the cold weather coming in. A few good bream have been caught and a couple of tigerfish.
Walks and rock art
This month we are now up to 80 rock art sites that we have visited and cleared as well as logged several new sites. We have covered over 100km on foot to date.
We are most fortunate to have Alan Yeowart, Head of Singita’s Safari Operations and Training, share a training lecture with us this month.