August was a month filled with surprises and new life. At the beginning of the month there were still vast numbers of wildebeest on the property. The migration had been here for almost seven weeks wandering on and off, making the most of the abundant grass and water available after the excessive rains in the wet season. There is new growth everywhere and many of the animals have given birth; herds of topi with lambs, lion and cheetah with cubs and eland with calves. Our guests who stayed at Singita Explore experienced early morning sunrises and the sounds of hyena on a kill as they drank their coffee, the enjoyed extended game drives that took them to parts of the property not normally accessed and at night, sitting around the campfire they observed Saturn transit Libra, as Scorpio dominated the heavens directly overhead.
This month I witnessed how predators are so incredibly good at assessing a situation, weighing up the potential benefits of a hunt and analysing the potential costs or risks at the same time.
We set off under the cover of darkness in the early morning and on to one of my favourite drainage lines to look for lions. As it began to get light I caught site of the Butamtam lionesses and their youngsters. We gently approached the lionesses and then switched the engine off and watched. One of the more mature lionesses, the daughter of ‘Mama Scar’, was busy nursing her five youngsters. This is interesting as lionesses only possess four teats.
I was out one morning looking for elephants as my guests were still hoping for further interaction with these special creatures. What we came across that day, we could not have prepared for – it was simply magical.