The wildebeest are here! There has been so much rain in the Central and Southern Serengeti eco system over the past few months that there was no real driving factor to get the animals moving, instead they milled about making the most of the abundant grass and water. Every year approximately 1.6 million wildebeest start moving from the sweet grass plains in the Southern Serengeti through the Western Corridor into the Grumeti Region; from here they head to the Northern Serengeti and into the Mara before turning back to the plains in the south. Calving takes place over a three week period on the southern plains and anything between three and five hundred thousand calves are born, causing a glut of young which ensures a high survival rate from predators. The annual rut takes place during May and June and the timing for this coincides with their visit to Singita Grumeti, there are constant challenges thrown down and accepted by competing males. Harems are built, won, defended and lost.
The birdlife on the Grumeti this month has been lovely with some new additions being observed out on the Gambaranyera plains to the West. Species included collared pratincole, Madagascar bee-eater and Hartlaub’s bustard. We were very excited to see black and white mannikin here on Sasakwa hill as they moved through in a flock of twenty or so individuals.
When one reads about the Serengeti it evokes images of old-fashioned adventure. But it is like appreciating God’s creations; or if put in another way, it’s a place visited by God’s chosen ones, it is a welcome to his paradise. And I never thought I would experience it from an eagle’s eye perspective.
We have had some lovely bird viewing this month as always. There are anywhere between 450 and 500 species of bird recorded here in the greater Serengeti ecosystem, depending on what time of year it is. The summer months are wonderful as there are always great numbers of migratory species stopping over or passing by.