Over the past few years September has been a month of reprieve for our resident and migratory animals, as it is normally the start of our early rains and this year was no different. With the majority of the standing water having dried up throughout the concession, Sasakwa Dam was again a focal point for the majority of the animals as it was one of the few reaming bodies of water in the area. We got our first rains on the 14th and this allowed the game to spread out and not have to make the long journey to Sasakwa Dam each day.
The rains also signify the begging of the calving season for many of our resident herbivores. Zebra, topi and Thompson’s gazelle will all start to drop their babies with the promise of fresh new grass playing a major role in this.
The migration, that are known to follow the rains, made their way in huge numbers across Grumeti, with Sasakwa and Sabora plains being overrun with wildebeest. With the large numbers of game around it was a time of bounty for our predators, with numerous kills being seen throughout the month and many other wonderful sightings.
Lions: Lion sightings have truly been incredible over the last few months and September did not disappoint, with a total of 123 different recorded sightings. The majority of these sightings took place around Sasakwa Dam and the many drainage lines that are found within our area. Raho drainage was particularly productive as we have a pride of 21 which move along it – they consist of five males, five females, five cubs of 10 months, three of 4 months and three of 2 months. They provided many guests with some unforgettable sightings.
Leopards: Our leopard sightings are really becoming more consistent with them being seen on a regular basis, 38 different sightings this month. We have several females with cubs at the moment: Tulia and her two cubs which are seen in the vicinity of Sabora and Nyasarori Drainage; the Faru female and her two cubs which are seen in and around the lodge and along Mbogo Drainage; then the female and her single cub near Colobus Crossing – all good signs that our leopard population is on the increase.
Cheetahs: With the large number of lion and leopard sightings this month our cheetah sightings have dropped somewhat, with only 14 recorded sightings. Two brothers and a single female have made up for the majority of the sightings.
Elephants: Sasakwa Dam has been a hub for the elephants this month, with them being seen on a daily basis. Many different herds come and go throughout the day providing the guests with some wonderful sightings, as the herds drink, take mud baths, and swim.
Read the full wildlife report here: singita-grumeti-wildlife-report-september-2016
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.