The transition between being out in the wild and feeling comfortable is so seamless at Singita that you often have to remind yourself that it’s not every day you get to stop for a sundowner and a group of zebra amble pass your temporary bush bar with little concern of your presence. It is one of those moments where for a few minutes you become part of the landscape, immersing yourself into the wilderness. There is something special about the sound of the bush whilst you have stopped, it is utterly indescribable when your senses become so in tune with the natural “quiet noise” around you, that at first – it sounds deafening to an untrained ear and later becomes more apparent with the acquaintance of being immersed into the serenity. The feeling of the African earth under your feet whilst being on safari is a must, whether you are experiencing a walking trail or climbing out of the vehicle to enjoy a sundowner. This is just the start of falling in love with a place that we are fortunate enough to call home, which has resulted in many of our guests referring to Singita as their home too.
Here’s a highlights package of the month’s sightings
Lions: The sub-adult lions from the Mhangene pride continue to move vast distances across the reserve and have been viewed hunting buffalo on a few occasions. The hunts have been unsuccessful for the most part but the experiences are valuable lessons for the nomadic pride of young lions.
Leopard: The leopard viewing never ceases to amaze us in the Sabi Sand region. Several sightings this month were recorded with the viewing of three different leopards in one sighting. For obvious reasons most of the recordings have been with a female and her litter along with a resident male in the vicinity.
Elephants: As the last of the marula fruits have fallen from the trees, the last kernels are being collected by tree squirrels and stored for the winter ahead. Notably the elephant droppings continue to show signs of the fruits, and even some saplings have been visible emerging from the droppings as it is fertile compost and provides perfect growth conditions.
Wild dogs: A resident pack of nine wild dogs continues to move throughout the area. A favourite tactic of the wild dogs is to herd their prey towards rivers, lakes and other bodies of water and this has been notable with many of the sightings being recorded this month. The bulk of the hunts have occurred along the banks of the Sand River as the pack aims to flush out the prey species from the banks and chase them away from the water. Generally the prey would normally avoid bodies of water, but on occasion will run into the water in desperation to escape from the dogs. As always the wild dog sightings are highly active and social and are endlessly fascinating to watch.
Buffalo: Small herds have been viewed in the south of the reserve, however older males have been sighted at various seasonal waterholes, cooling off in the mud. Unexpected sightings have occurred in the most unlikely areas, however with the movement of lions, this has had a knock-on effect to the dominant prey species and buffalo, in particular, became sporadic to the predator pressure.