World Ranger Appreciation Day!

With World Ranger Day approaching on the 31st of July, we are celebrating the dedicated rangers and scouts responsible for protecting Africa’s priceless wildlife across the continent, and in particular in the reserves where Singita operates in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

 

 

 

 

 

Make a Contribution

 

Anti-poaching efforts are a 24/7/365 undertaking that require considerable funding in order to function. The support of our partners and donors is essential if these protected areas are to remain the world-renowned wildlife sanctuaries they are today.

Please consider making a donation to our partner funds and trusts that will help to enhance the ongoing protection of this crucial part of Africa’s natural heritage.

 

 

 


Young Zim Elephant Rescued From Mud Pit!

A young elephant has been rescued from a muddy pit in Zimbabwe after rescuers used a bulldozer to help with the rescue operation. The elephant was discovered in the pit near the resort town of Kariba, and is thought to have been stuck there for approximately 24 hours.

 

Elephant calf stuck in mud pit in Zimbabwe

© Kariba Animal Welfare Trust

 

According to reports, the elephant’s herd stood anxiously nearby while staff members from Kariba Animal Welfare Trust (KAWFT), ZimParks, Lake Harvest, and other volunteers got to work on helping to free the young animal.

 

Bulldozer removing soil to help rescue stuck elephant in Zimbabwe

© Kariba Animal Welfare Trust

 

A bulldozer was brought in to carefully and skillfully level the steep sides of the pit to allow the elephant to walk out. However, it was weak and caked in thick mud, and lay motionless in the mud even though a way out of the pit had been created.

 

Elephant calf stuck in mud with bulldozer 

The rescue team realized that the elephant was probably in dire need to water having been stuck there for so long, so they got a bucket of fresh water to tempt it out.

 

Young elephant stuck in mud in Zimbabwe

© Kariba Animal Welfare Trust

 

“That smell of water often seems to urge them on,” said the Kariba Animal Welfare Trust (KAWFT). “As the water splashing began, the competent driver continued moving more dry soil closer and the fact that a human was closer, a greater effort was made to push, get up and out the mud and out the pit.”

 

Elephant calf leaving mud pit after being rescued in Zimbabwe

© Kariba Animal Welfare Trust

 

With great relief the elephant, clearly motivated by the sound of the splashing water, was able to get out of the mud and make a dash for freedom. The pit was then filled to avoid any future danger to animals.

 

Young elephant calf walking away into bush in Zimbabwe

© Kariba Animal Welfare Trust

“We mostly always imagine the worst when going into a wild animal situation. It was a pleasure to again have the best outcome as we watched the rescued individual walk away to find the rest of the family,” KAWFT said on their Facebook post of the rescue.

Watch the video of the rescue below from Kariba Animal Welfare Trust

 


ZIMBABWE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

Zimbabwe is officially “open for business” and Victoria Falls has been feeling the effects as it welcomes even more guests from around the world.  In anticipation of this increase in visitors Ilala Lodge has been hard at work upgrading their, already, wonderful rooms and suites.

Nestled in attractive gardens, the well-appointed hotel is a mere eight-minute walk from Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Ilala Lodge Hotel is ideally located and it is very easy for guests to access all the historical sites, restaurants and activities available in Victoria Falls. We can try to describe it, but this video is worth a thousand words and a hundred pictures…

Loved by all who stay at Ilala Lodge Hotel or visit Victoria Falls, The Palm Restaurant has been consistently rated #1 on TripAdvisor and it is no surprise why. Starting with its impressive terrace overlooking the spray from the Falls, diners can enjoy their gourmet meals al fresco with views like no other. Take a culinary journey with us in this short video and you’ll see why it’s the best in town.

The Ra-Ikane offers an intimate tour and unique vantage point for viewing birdlife and wildlife up-close on the islands along the river with a maximum of only 16 guests. Have you ever seen a pod of hippos up close or enjoyed a sunset on the Zambezi River? Watch this video as we showcase all the reasons why a Ra-Ikane river cruise should be at the top of everyone’s travel bucket list…

 


Sanctuary Olonana Redifined!

We are delighted to share the new photography of Kenya’s Sanctuary Olonana with you. Since relaunching as an exceptional luxury lodge, guests have been enamoured with the design, location, and of course the renowned service Sanctuary Retreats is celebrated for.

 

 

Sanctuary Olonana’s 14 exceptional new suites flaunt clean lines and organic materials, and are the perfect mix of modern design blended with distinct traditional African finishes.

 

 

Floor-to-ceiling glass doors fold open to reveal magnificent Mara River views. The glamorous marble- and slate-accented ensuites feature a generous tub, double vanity and a rain shower.

 

 

Contemporary architecture is juxtaposed with time-tested building practices such as Maasai mudding and stone walls, with soothing organic tones and a variety of textures adding warmth and character.

 

 

Inspired by the Masai Mara’s breath-taking natural wonders, an abundance of wildlife, and a dramatic river which runs right past its forest setting, this luxurious lodge provides an exhilarating environment which connects you to this extraordinary Kenyan landscape in a truly enriching way.


Hitching a Ride

One afternoon we left South Africa’s River Lodge for our afternoon safari and headed into the southern parts of the reserve to locate some of the plains game animals that are usually in big herds on Mashutu plains. Did you know Kapama has over 40 species of mammals?  After about half an hour into the drive, Michael my tracker pointed something out to us on the ground. Any guides first impression might have been that it was one of the tracks of the Big 5. However, to my amazement he was pointing out a dung beetle with a dung sphere as big as a tennis ball. Would you believe that was not the most impressive thing? On top of this mammoth ball, was his female counterpart.

I would estimate the dung ball to be around +- 200grams or even more. I did not want to pick the ball up and disturb his rhythm. As we watched, the scene became more comical. He was struggling to not only push the ball but also push it up a small hill. He would move his boulder about halfway up this hill, lose strength and then sadly roll back down into the road again. I heard soft chatter from my guests with an occasionally Aww! each time it happened. After a few minutes of watching his patience, persistence and perseverance, I was so tempted to get out and give the poor guy a hand but I certainly did not want to interfere with nature so we left him to do all the hard work. After trying for more than 5 minutes he managed to push the dung ball all the way up and over the small hill and disappeared off into the bushes.

 

 

Many of the guests didn’t understand the impact and significance of what we had all just witnessed. I informed them with dung beetles when it’s a big ball and there’s another dung beetle attached to that ball, that it is a female who has chosen her mate as the one for her and her egg will be on the inside of the ball. With the egg being on the inside, ensures that it would eventually have a food source and eat its way out and be an adult dung beetle.

This specific dung beetle must have been a very brave and strong character as some dung beetles will prefer to steal the bigger and better balls from other males and take it as their own. If the eggs and larvae are already placed inside the ball, the “thief” will eat all of them. He truly took on a mighty challenge of trying to get this huge dung ball to a safe place.

 

 

Some interesting facts about dung beetles:
·     Dung beetles have well-developed wings and six legs which help them dig tunnels and collect & roll dung.
·     Dung beetles are very strong animals and can carry a weight 50 times heavier than their body weight (This is clearly evident from the size this male is pushing around)
·     Dung beetles are solitary little things which meet with other beetles only during mating season.
·     Majority of dung beetles consume dung produced by herbivores.
·      Studies show that dung beetles use their dung balls to cool off. During the hotter periods of the day, it has been observed that they will climb on top of their dung balls to give their feet a break from the hot ground. When scientists put silicone “shoes” on the dung beetles, it was observed that they took fewer breaks and managed to push their ball for longer. Thermal imaging shows that the dung balls are considerably cooler than the surrounding environment, most likely due to their moisture content.

One thing I always like to tell my guests whenever I happen to find a dung beetle is, if it weren’t for dung beetles, dung would harden and cover the ground. Grass and other plants would find it very difficult to grow. They also assist in fertilizing the ground by breaking up and burying the dung.

 

 

This was a unique sighting for me. When out on safari it is not always about the Big 5 and the most popular animals that can be fascinating and interesting.  Even the smallest of creatures can make a game drive a wonderful experience.

Story and photos by: Ebenezer Rhode – River Lodge


Serengeti Girls Run 2018

Join the first-ever all-women run across Africa’s vast Serengeti plains to raise funds for girl & women empowerment.

Whether on foot or supporting from the shadow vehicle, we’re calling on runners of all levels to become part of this three-day journey of women united for a common cause.

African Safari

 

This once-in-a-lifetime, all-women run across the Serengeti wilderness will raise funds for girl and women empowerment programs – creating the next generation of female leaders in conservation.

 

Tanzania Safaris

 

Experience the Serengeti like never before as you traverse the vast plains on foot followed by a shadow vehicle and support team. End off each day with sunset game drives and evenings around the campfire at Singita Explore, a private use tented camp right in the heart of this 350,000 acre piece of African wilderness.

 

In line with Singita’s commitment to women’s empowerment programs in the Serengeti, a portion of the nightly rate will be subsidized as further support of this initiative.

 

African Safari