Wildlife overview for December
Lions: We suspect the Nduna pride have new cubs hidden away as we’ve only seen two of the pride lionesses, one big male and three cubs of around eight months old. Head Guide, Brad Fouché, managed to view five different, adult male lions in less than a 24 hour period with his guests. We’ve seen a single lioness near a popular pan and we suspect she’s a new arrival from Gonarezhou National Park as she is young and very afraid of people and vehicles.
Rhinos: Rhino sightings are very good, but unfortunately there has been some territorial fighting by black rhino bulls. Our wildlife team intervened on an occasion when a small bull was found in poor condition from being ‘bullied’, and that individual is recovering well.
Wild Dogs: Wild dog dynamics are as interesting and patchy as their coats! Eleven pups were born, making the pack total 27. They then went down to 25; then to 23. Now it seems the pack has split and we are seeing 15 dogs together at the moment. There have been times when the two packs have been on the reserve at the same time.
Cheetahs: These fast felines are doing well. We mostly see the ‘short-tale female’ with her grown daughter, and the two brothers as well. The pregnant cheetah photographed at the end of this journal has yet to reveal her cubs to us…
Elephants: Our Nduna area has provided amazing sightings of bulls as well as breeding herds; on a number of occasions we’ve seen about 130 elephant drinking and swimming at sunset at Nduna Dam.
Buffalo & Plains Game: The buffalo herds have split somewhat to cope with feeding pressure. The impala have started lambing and there are the most delightful little long-legged lambs in their nursery groups.
Birds: The crowned eagle pair is still at their nest site, and a lanner falcon is nesting at Nduna and spending a lot of
time chasing the fish eagles around! Special sightings include sacred ibis and glossy ibis spotted from the boat, while on one of our water safaris. This is a first in this region for many of us guides. A scwacco heron has been seen in the central areas and painted snipe have been heard calling. A staff member was lucky enough to see a narina trogon at his house – to put this into perspective it’s like the aardvark of the bird world!
Read the full report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report Dec 2015
Snakes are one of the most feared creatures in the world, especially in our African culture. If my non-guiding peers were asked to choose between touching a lion or a snake, automatically they’d prefer to touch a lion. It is because of a mistaken belief that all snakes are venomous, big or small. So, how do you know which snake is venomous or non-venomous? The rule is to always ask a professional person to identify it for you.
During a morning game drive, we passed through the airstrip heading east on the Orphan Road. As we drove towards Buffalo Fence Road, we were stunned to see an impala in full flight clearing the road in front of us. We knew immediately that some sort of predator was within the proximity, but there’s only one hunter that causes that reaction…
In preparation for this article I have been reading up on zebras and found some really interesting information in the book, ‘The Behaviour Guide to African Mammals’ by Richard D. Estes.