December has been a relatively dry month, compared to previous years, with the rains only falling in the last few days of the month. Due to the inconsistent rains, we had the migration show up on our doorstep towards the end of the month which is very surprising, not that we were complaining!
With migration being around our predators were again spoiled for choice and they took full advantage of this. Almost all of the kills that were witnessed at the end of the month were of the plentiful wildebeest!
Lions: Again, what a great month for lion sightings, with a total of 144 sightings seen. All our prides are doing exceptionally well, none of the cubs have been lost or killed and we have had several new arrivals to our Nyasirori and Butamtam prides respectively. There are three new additions in each pride, with the youngsters being about three weeks old.
We are still expecting more as we go into the new year as several females are heavily pregnant, and four active ‘honeymoon couples’ were seen during the month.
Leopards: The mother and her two cubs along the Mbogo drainage made up for a large percentage of our sightings throughout the month, with them being seen on 32 occasions.
Two of our dominate males were also seen during the month, but due to them having large territories they were only seen on a few occasions.
Cheetahs: With us not receiving a great deal of rain our grass plains have remained relatively short, making it ideal for spotting cheetah. Both the ‘mother and three’ (three cubs) and ‘mother and one’ (one cub) were seen regularly during the month, and with them needing to produce milk and feed their growing cubs, several hunts were witnessed by our guests.
Elephants: Elephant sightings are now a daily occurrence across the concession. This month we had a large breeding herd of approximately 300 that were seen around Sasakwa hill for a two week period which made for some fantastic viewing.
Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report December 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.