A dusty haze falls over the bushveld and the bright bursts of green are few and far between. Water is scarce, it has been sapped up by the dry winter’s heat and minimal rain. However, life goes on and as we observe the animals using all survival skills in order to live, we remember that we too are able to survive even the harshest of seasons. The chilly winter mornings begin with incredibly beautiful sunrises in which we observe birds and small mammals alike basking in the warmth of our solar system’s central star. With that the beginnings of all daily routines start to take place. Warm up, get moving and find water, for in every daily routine there comes possibility and in possibility we can always look forward to exceptional surprises presented to us by nature.
Here’s a Sightings Snapshot for July:
Lion movements across the property continue to change and surprise us. Last month saw the arrival of three young male lions moving into the northern parts of Singita Sabi Sands. These three males have continued to make their presence known and have also since been seen mating with a lioness who we believe may be from the Othawa pride.
The Nsevu pride have seemingly begun to explore wider areas and have been witnessed on a few occasions hunting in our south-eastern parts of the property. With more than twenty lions in the pride, they truly are a staggering sight to behold.
Due to the Nsevu pride spending some more time on our property, this has meant that the Birmingham males have also started to move into a closer range. With roars coming from both the two Birmingham males, as well as the three young males in the north, this meant that the Othawa male has had to make a bigger name for himself within his territory and remain sure that his area is secure.
We continue to view large numbers of elephants around the property, perhaps due to the fallen leaves and cleared vegetation, we tend to view much larger herds of thirty plus elephants moving through the bush often looking like a large rocky area from afar until you make sense of their movements. There are very limited water sources at this stage, therefore viewing around waterholes during the day are excellent places to observe a herd and their behaviours.
July has been a month for wild dogs, with two different packs and their pups showing themselves on the property. Last month we mentioned that a den-site had been found north of the Sand River and we were waiting to let the pack establish themselves. This month we have had the incredible privilege to view the Othawa pack introducing us to their eleven puppies!
Not only is the Schotia female continuing to thrive, but her young female cub has shown incredible signs of independence in the way of stalking and catching her first young impala and attempting to suffocate it as leopards typically would. Unfortunately for her, the appearance of her older brother, the Tavangumi male, meant that all of her hard work went to waste as he stole the impala from under her.
Both the Shangwa young male and Tavangumi male continue to mill about, still growing into their independence and remaining in their natal area with the tolerance still in place from their father, Nyeleti male. However, they do seem to be branching out into new explorative places in search of their own future territories.
The female cheetah and her two cubs have definitely begun to explore the area and begin moving from their general home range. We are seeing the male cheetah more regularly as he patrols his territory in the southern parts of the property.
The bird list for July includes two new bird species, bringing our yearly total to 269.