With the migration spread out across our concession, we were treated to some fantastic game viewing during the month of July. The herds were here for the majority of the month before they started their push north towards the Mara River.
Our lion prides in particular made the most of the wildebeests’ presence, by killing several of them each day.
Lions: The Butamtam pride, which now spend the majority of their time around Punda Miliea and Nyati Plains are having a bountiful harvest! Each day we find them with several fresh kills and not needing to move very far in search of another. This pride has suffered a dramatic change in their numbers, going from 14 to 4, the reason being that two new males came into the area and took control of the pride, and in doing so they killed all 10 cubs. This is known as infanticide, and new males will do this so that the females will come into heat again and the males can then mate with them and ensure that their genes are passed on and not those of another male. So, throughout the month these males have been mating with the adult females, and in three months’ time we can expect several new litters of Butamtam cubs. We will be changing this pride’s name to Sasakwa pride, as they do not move very far from this area.
The Colobus pride have also been seen on a daily basis, they move between Pelican Pan and downstream of Colobus Crossing. They consist of 5 females and 12 cubs of various ages.
The Nyasarori pride is still camped out along the Raho Drainage, as there is no need to move due to the high concentration of game in this area. Our guests managed to watch them make several kills throughout the month, with the sub-adults honing their skills on the plentiful wildebeest in the area.
Leopards: The leopards too did not have to move too far to find food this month.
The female with the three cubs has unfortunately lost one, we are not sure how but with the high density of other predators in the area this is not uncommon. We did manage to see the family on a wildebeest calf kill. Here’s hoping that the remaining two cubs make it to adulthood.
The Mkombre female has only been seen twice this month, we think this is because she has cubs somewhere along the Mkombre drainage.
Cheetahs: It was a great month for cheetah sightings with five females being seen on a regular basis throughout the month. On one day four females where seen and each of them made a successful hunt on Thompson’s gazelles.
Elephants: The majority of the breeding herds across the concession were seen in and around the airstrip, as well as along the Grumeti River. With the migration moving off the property I am sure we will see an increase in our elephant sightings in the upcoming months.
Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report July 2018
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.