October is always a wonderful time to be in the Grumeti, and this month was no different.
We had some great rains in the beginning of the month brining some well-deserved reprieve for the majority of the herbivores, as they did not have to travel great distances to find water. With the rains falling this allowed the migration to spend a great deal more time in our concession and, to date, they have been around for just over two months which has made for some incredible game viewing. Sabora and Nyati plains have been particularly productive as these areas have been flushed with new grass growth and the grazers are unable to resist these areas. With the migration spending a longer period in the Grumeti our predators have had an easy time of it. Lions, hyenas and the wild dogs have really enjoyed this time of bounty.
Lions: Yet again another fantastic month filled with lions! We recorded 135 different sightings throughout the month. We are mainly seeing three different prides: The Butamtam pride, Ridge pride and Mkuyu pride, all of them having numerous cubs aged between three and nine months.
The Ridge pride has five dominant males which protect and hold sway of their territory, while the Mkuyu pride and Butamtam pride have a different coalition of five males which move between the two prides. These two strong coalitions should hold sway in their respective territories for a few consecutive years.
Leopards: Our leopard sightings keep going from strength to strength, with them being seen on a daily basis. The mother and her two cubs that frequent the area north of Faru Faru camp have made up for a great deal of the sightings. The cubs are at that stage in their lives were they spending more time alone, and in a couple of months will move out from their mother’s protection and begin their solitary lifestyle.
Cheetahs: During October we have had consistent sightings of several different cheetahs. A coalition of two males has made up for the majority of the sightings along with two females which were passing through our concession. With a total of 16 cheetah sightings seen throughout the month, the majority of the guests that spent time with us got to joyously tick off a cheetah sighting.
Elephants: With Sasakwa dam drying up, elephants have been spending a great deal of time along the Grumeti River as well as the Robane drainage line which is directly north of the airstrip. So many guests on their arrival to our airstrip are welcomed by a breeding herd of elephants that spend a great deal of time in and around the area.
Read the full wildlife report here: singita-grumeti-wildlife-report-october-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.