Founded in 1898, Kruger is one of the oldest national parks in the world and at over 4.8 million acres, it’s also one of the largest. Singita was granted a 33,000-acre concession of the park in 2001 and permitted to construct lodges and private roads in this unexplored part of the park, which was done in strict accordance with our “touching the earth lightly” principle. This means that the way the property was developed, buildings were erected, vegetation was cleared, and how the lodges operated then and now, was done with the utmost environmental sensitivity.
For more than 15 years, and in line with Singita’s ethos as a conservation company, every effort has been made to respect, protect and conserve this area for future generations, and Singita remains entirely committed to minimising the impact of our tourism operation on this unspoilt wilderness. The result of this approach is that a pristine piece of Africa in the Kruger National Park, in which flora and fauna are thriving, is being preserved for future generations, and allowing Singita to offer guests the greatest game viewing on earth.
One of the wildlife experiences that Singita Kruger National Park is well known for, is its lion sightings; in fact, our field guides often refer to this concession as “Lebombo: Land of Lions”. In November last year, the team recorded no fewer than 77 sightings over the course of the month, with a further 71 sightings in December.
The Mountain Pride is definitely one of the main attractions at the moment, no doubt due to the regular sightings of three new cubs. Spotting these cubs is always a highlight while on game drive; usually full of energy, bounding through the grass and chasing each other between grooming sessions with their mother. The other adult females are also looking healthy and well fed.
The Shish Pride has been quiet, and it is assumed that this is probably because the young males are at an age where they need to leave the pride and the large, territorial males elsewhere in the concession are getting aggressive as a result. The Xhirombe Pride were only seen a few times towards the end of last year but these sightings proved that the pride is looking healthy. The females should be pregnant now and we are expecting that they will give birth to cubs sometime soon, either just over the border in Mozambique or in one of the secluded, steep-sided valleys to the south of N’wanetsi Crossing.
These are just a few examples of the recent big cat activity at Singita Kruger National Park, taken from the field guides’ Wildlife Reports. These monthly journals track the game and landscape changes in each of Singita’s five private reserves and concessions across Africa, and are bursting with amazing photographs taken in the bush. They also serve as a wonderful record of the success of Singita’s dedicated and ongoing conservation work.
In 2001, to strengthen Kruger’s future financial sustainability, the Park authority decided to make approximately 3% of its more remote areas available as private concessions for 25-year lease periods. Singita Lebombo and Sweni Lodges were the result of this agreement. With the support of our guests, our sustainable tourism model funds the conservation work needed to help preserve and protect parts of the Kruger National Park ecosystem. Please visit our website to find out more about Singita’s wildlife conservation and community partnership programmes in the area.
Thanks to Singita field guides Jacques Briam & Brian Rode for their wildlife photos.