With the rains continuing to fall during the month, the landscape has become a sea of green. We had a steady stream of wildebeest starting their final push down south to their birthing grounds in the southern Serengeti, so guests were spoiled with some incredible game viewing. By the end of the month the last of the weak and wounded wildebeest had made their way out of our area, and our resident game of zebra, topi, and eland came out of hiding and filled up the plains again.
Lions: Our lion sightings are truly amazing at the moment! With them being seen on a daily basis, this month we recorded 122 different sightings, with 53 individuals being the most seen in one day. Majority of these sightings are made up of the Ridge and Mkuyu prides. The Ridge pride consists of 21 members – five adult females, five males and 11 cubs varying in age from three to ten months. The Mkuyu pride is made up of 19 members – four males, four females and ten cubs.
We have the Butamtam pride which is five females of which four are pregnant, so we can expect this pride to increase in the coming months.
Cheetahs: November was a great month for cheetah sightings, with a total of 34 confirmed sightings seen. We had the return of the mother and three cubs which we were seeing regularly a few months ago, the cubs are now nine months old, and also a mother with a single cub of two months of age, which has spent a great deal of time in and around the Arab Camp thicket area.
Elephants: Elephant sightings continue to be a daily occurrence in the Grumeti. With the rain falling more consistently, they are now traversing throughout the concession as water is readily available.
Leopards: Again our leopard sightings are becoming very consistent, with a total of 31 leopard sightings seen during the month. The Mbogo drainage female still had her female cub with her but the male has seemed to have moved off from under mom’s protection and has been seen several times on his own. Two of our resident dominant males have been seen regularly throughout the month and on one occasion one of the males was seen mating with a female, so we can expect some new arrivals in three months’ time.
Wild dogs: Several guests managed to witness the wild dog pack hunt and bring down wildebeest on a few occasions. Wild dogs are the most successful hunters out of all our large predators, with a success rate of up to 90%.
Read the full wildlife report here: singita-grumeti-wildlife-report-november-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.