After a dry and desolate October, November brought with it new life. The rains that started falling at the end of October and continued into November began to affect the landscape. The browns and tans of the Singita Grumeti concession turned to lush greens almost overnight, looking beautiful against the deep blue Serengeti sky. The once empty water-points across the concession filled up quickly. By the middle of November no one would have guessed that just two weeks earlier it was parched. The Grumeti River also went from being almost bone-dry to almost overflowing. The river pumped water through the drainage lines that flow off from it, and for a few days the Mbogo drainage turned from a small estuary to a raging river.
It’s all been happening this month, so let’s cut straight to the chase…
Lots of great lion sightings in November with an average of about two sightings per day. The five young Butamtam pride males, recently kicked out of the pride by the three dominant Butamtam males, were seen a few times on the Sabora Plains. The three dominant males were mainly in the Sasakwa and Faru areas over this time, but Sabora Plains is part of their territory, so it’s only a matter of time before they run the five young males off again. Only time will tell where they end up, but we expect their nomadic phase to last a few more years, until they have gained the strength and confidence to claim their own territory. If all five survive the next few years, they will be a force to be reckoned with.
Leopard spotting were also very good in November, with a total of 25 sightings. A mating pair was seen south of the Main Road around the Nyati Plains area, which was very exciting. The Tulia female and her two male cubs, who have grown in leaps and bounds, were seen a few times as well.
The wild dogs were only seen once this month on the Nyati Plains, just north of the border with the Serengeti National Park. The alpha male and female of the pack are still in their boma with their new pups in the Serengeti National Park, so the rest of the pack tends to hang around that area as well. Once the pups are old enough, we are sure we will see more of the whole pack.
The mother cheetah with two cubs, and another mother cheetah with two sub-adults, dominated cheetah sightings. The only different cheetahs that were seen was a single male on Mpofu Plains in Ikorongo and a single female west of Sabora Camp.
There were daily sightings of elephants in November, and a lot of them were of very big herds. Breeding herds of over 100 elephants were seen on 11 occasions.
A few herds of migratory animals were still in the area at the beginning of the month, but by mid-month they had moved off.
Read the full report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report November 2015.
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.