Water, water everywhere! April has been one of the wettest months recorded in the last 11 years, with us having thundershowers almost every day. This however has not halted our guests from enjoying some fantastic game viewing – herds of elephant 300 strong, buffalo herds of 400 to 500 being seen regularly, and lions are being seen on a daily basis. I must admit that the green season is quickly becoming my favourite time of the year. The migratory herds of zebra and topi have started arriving in the area and are relishing the green grass that is plentiful at the moment.
Lions: It has been a great month for our lion prides, with a total of 122 sightings seen.
The Butamtam Pride, as with previous months, has been seen on a daily basis. We are now seeing three distinctive splits in the pride, a group of 18 spending the majority of their time around the Nyati area. A group of nine have moved onto Sasakwa Hill, and then a group of 13 moves between Sasakwa Dam and Punda Milea Hill.
I am sure we are going to have to come up with new names for these split off groups so we have a better understanding of each pride.
The group that have moved onto Sasakwa Hill have really taking a liking to spending their days resting in trees, this is mainly due to the ground being wet, but it creates some fantastic photographic opportunities as seen in these photos.
The Nyasarori Pride, due to all the rains, are spending more time on the high ground of Nyasarori, this also allows our guests to access the area as it is not as wet as the low-lying areas.
Leopards: As with last month, all the rain we have been having has made life quite tricky for our guides to spot leopards, as off-roading is stopped once we have had 20mm of rain in a day. In saying that we had an excellent total of 43 sightings seen.
The majority of these sightings were made up by Tuliea and her two sub-adult cubs. They have been spending a great deal of their time in and around Sabora Camp.
On one occasions Mishi and her guests were treated to some fantastic interaction with her, the male cub and some hyenas. They had killed a gazelle and had hoisted it up a balanites tree and several hyenas picked up on the scent and started approaching the area. The male cub did not appreciate the hyenas sniffing around and proceeded to jump down the tree in an attempt to chase off the hyenas. The hyenas were not too concerned by his threats and remained under the tree waiting for scraps to fall while the leopards fed on the carcass.
The Mkombre female has not been seen for some time, this is due to the area she frequents being very wet and making it impossible for our guides to search for her. The only times she has been seen is when she is near a road. We believe she may be in the early stages of pregnancy, if this is the case, we can expect some adorable little fluff balls in the upcoming months!
Cheetahs: We had a total of 16 sightings. Several males were seen traversing through the concession.
Elephant: A great month for elephants, with a breeding herd of 300 being seen for a week or so as they made their way across the concession.
Several big mature bulls have also been seen following the breeding herds looking for opportunities to mate with females in oestrus.
Each breeding herd that is seen has numerous youngsters, which always provide our guests with great viewing, as they shuffle between the mothers’ feet.
Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report April 2018
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.