Whenever anyone asks me what I think the best time of the year is to visit Singita Grumeti, my answer is always the same, “There is no doubt in my mind, it’s October”. October gives us allthat the migration period has to offer,plus we aren’t only seeing huge herds of wildebeest. They join in with herds of topi, Thompson’s gazelles, eland and, of course, zebra whichprovides ample opportunity for our resident big cats to indulge in regular meals. This diversity of game makes October a truly rounded time to be on safari at Singita Grumeti.The puzzle of this is that historically October has been one of the quieter months for guests visiting East Africa, and Singita Grumeti. But finally this year the puzzle fitted together for the full effect! We had an incredible month of game viewing and this time we had guests here to experience the many reasons why I think October is the best month of all.It’s difficult to get a close-up shot of eland. Their large size makes them slow runners and they are very wary about any potential predators getting near them, for fear they will not have the speed to get away. Usually, the closest they allow you to come is about 500 metres before they trot off in the opposite direction, ensuring they keep the safe amount of distance between themselves and you, the potential predator.
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.