The rain in February has been sporadic and sparse, yet the reserve looks deceptively lush. With Singita Pamushana Lodge closed from mid February to mid March for refurbishment, the guides have been putting this period to good use by doing a refresher first-aid course, spending time at the shooting range, and going on a team-building day drive to our neighbouring Gonarezhou National Park, where 67 plants species, 70 birds and countless animals were spotted and identified. The highlights were being amongst 100 elephants and seeing two different African wild dog packs.
Wildlife overview for February
Lions: All the guests that we had in the first part of February saw lions, so our system of a dedicated lion tracking team is working perfectly.
Cheetahs: Cheetah sightings have been very good too, with all guests seeing these spotted beauties during their stay.
Leopards: Leopard sightings are rare and fleeting here. However, no sooner do you make a statement like that and you are proved completely wrong. One of our guides, Mark, had an excellent and lengthy sighting of a large male leopard, with the most unusual light blue-green eyes. It had caught, killed and was feeding on a zebra foal.
Emily Capon, our lodge manager, was driving up the hill to Pamushana late one afternoon when, lo and behold, a leopard came trotting down the cobbled path towards her, before jumping on to the rocks, casting a goodbye glance over her shoulder, and disappearing!
Rhinos: Rhino sightings have been excellent as always. It is encouraging to see the population – especially the white rhinos, gain condition now that there is new green grazing material.
Elephants: As long as you know where to look, you’ll find plenty of elephants on this reserve. It’s wonderful to watch them and start identifying individual character traits.
Buffalo & Plains Game: There are many new-borns about at the moment. One of the stories that follow tells of the birth of a baby buffalo.