It’s achingly dry, but some cold days have snuck in between the very hot ones. Flame creepers lick the tops of trees signalling their warning, and bushwillow blossoms compete for space on the branches. All the animals are drawn to the permanent water sources, so it really is a good time to be on safari if you want to see the diversity of species we have here at Singita Pamushana.
A Sightings Snapshot for September follows:
Excellent sightings of black and white rhinos, especially now that the vegetation is dry.
Up to 18 different white rhinos have been seen coming and going at Hwata Pan in the evenings, and at least three have little calves with them.
Guests have enjoyed excellent black rhino sightings where they’ve showed the calmer side of their temperaments.
With the vegetation so dry it is a harsh time for elephants, and they are very actively feeding from bark and dry grass trying to extract all the nutrients they need.
Breeding herds of about 50 elephants with their babies have been seen, and wonderful moments of them crossing the Chiredzi River.
We’ve had daily sightings of either the River, Southern or Northern Prides, thanks to our dedicated Lion Tracking Team.
The Southern Pride’s three cubs are doing well and learning all things lion.
Lion mating activity has been observed in the River Pride.
Sightings have been brief and sporadic throughout the month, until the last week where we enjoyed a fantastic sighting of a large male drinking from a pan and calmly making his way to shady cover.
The two brothers have been spending a lot of time hunting around the open areas of our airstrip and the Banyini. They’ve been actively scent marking in the hope that a female should pass through their territory, and to let any other passing males know that they “own” the area.
Fantastic news is that our Malilangwe pack of 10 has left their den with their latest litter of 12 pups. The pups are not all the same size so it’s not impossible that both the alpha and beta female gave birth to puppies.
Another pack that frequents Malilangwe and Gonarezhou has been seen regularly too – they are four adults with five pups.
Buffalo sightings of hundreds at a time are guaranteed if you spend time at any of the permanent water sources during this dry season.
There is huge hyena activity at the moment. They trail the wild dog packs; they travel far and wide during the night, and they spend time with their young cubs during the day.
In addition to all the usual suspects guests have been enjoying sightings of sable, Lichtenstein hartebeest and eland. It is still surprising that although eland are huge antelope they are by far the shyest and most skittish.
A highlight for all was seeing a brown hyena.
One game drive returning to the lodge saw a porcupine near a river crossing and then another two near another river crossing – along with a glimpse of a leopard.
Boat cruises & fishing
The water is warming up, the tilapia are starting to spawn, and the fishing is good.
Walks & rock art
It’s an excellent time to walk, and most of our walks incorporate viewing of the ancient rock art sites dotted around the hills on the reserve. On one walk four white rhinos and one black rhino were seen, in addition to the rock art.