Singita Lamai is closed for the rainy season and reopens in May, so there’s no wildlife report from there this month. But lots has been happening at Singita Grumeti.
Lions: Over the past few months the majority of lion sightings have taken place in the western area of the concession around Sabora and the Explore camps. In March the Butamtam pride, which had been spread from east to west, converged onto the central area of the concession and the majority of sightings were on the Sasakwa Plains and near to Punda Milia Hill.
We finally figured out what was happening with the new Butamtam cubs and conclude that there are currently five of them: two cubs of about six months old and another three of about two months old. We have also spotted a third female who is lactating so we suspect there are a few more we haven’t seen yet.
Leopards: Sightings of leopards decreased compared to February, which is to be expected, as for four years in a row February has been the number one month for leopard sightings.
As per usual, the majority of sightings occurred in the Faru Faru area along the Grumeti River. There were, however, also a good amount of sightings on Sasakwa Hill.
Cheetahs: The two sets of mother cheetahs with two cubs once again dominated cheetah sightings for the third month in a row.
Elephants: Elephant sightings stayed steady in March, although they consisted of small breeding herds, as opposed to the many larger herds seen in February. This is typical as the rains came again in March, and when the rains start falling herds tend to split into smaller family groups as the availability of water resources is spread out.
Wild dogs: We had three sightings of wild dogs this month, which is great! The number of animals in the pack consisted of 13 to 16 dogs in each sighting. Guests were lucky enough to witness the wild dogs make two Thompson’s gazelle kills in one sighting!
Specials: Special sightings this month included: a side striped jackal just east of Sabora Camp, a tawny eagle successfully hunting a guinea fowl north of Punda Milia Ridge, a male and female porcupine with a tiny baby north of junction Sand Road and Main Ikoma Road, a honey badger along Farasi Road, and three large herds of 40+ giraffe.
Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report March 2016
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.