November is best known as the month that marks the beginning of the ‘short rains’ in the western Serengeti. The term refers to the fact that this rainy season lasts a shorter period of time than the ‘long rains’ of March, April and May. ‘Short rains’ perfectly describes the daily rain we get in November – short, small and quick! The rainstorms generally occur in the afternoon and hardly ever last longer than 30 minutes.
The most unforgettable feature about the rains is the fantastic skies. Pockets of rainclouds sporadically dot the Serengeti as far as the eye can see. The setting sun enhances the scene, mixing with the clouds to make beautiful and dramatic colours.
Migratory species slowly moved off of the property at the end of October, but lots of good general game has been present in the always-productive western section of the 350 000 acre concession. Herds of topi, zebra, and various other antelope grazed on the plains surrounding Singita Sabora Tented Camp and Singita Explore.
Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report November 2014
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.