December 2018 has been a lovely month here on the Grumeti Reserve. We have received some reasonable rainfall and the environment is looking beautifully green. During the first half of the month we still had huge numbers of migratory wildebeest, zebra and topi, and the grasslands were alive with thousands of animals. As we moved into the second half of the month we saw many of these great herds begin to move off to the south east, returning to the national park as they headed for the southern regions of the Serengeti.
With the moving on of the great herds we saw the return of fantastic elephant numbers. The Raho drainage line has seen hundreds of individuals as they feed along the seasonal waterways and it has once again been lovely to have many elephants back on Sasakwa Hill.
The resident herds have provided some stunning wildlife experiences this month with herds of buffalo 600 strong and great herds of eland in the Nyati and Nyasirori regions. Many smaller herds of topi remain in the Gambaranyera area of the western region and the giraffe numbers have yet again been sensational. Most days out on drive you would almost certainly witness journeys of giraffe, 30 to 40 strong, on the Sasakwa Plains and south of Koroya Hill.
The cats have yet again, been nothing short of fantastic. The lion sightings have been incredible, cheetah sightings have picked up significantly compared to last month and leopard sightings have ticked over as one would expect. There has also been a considerable number of serval sightings this month which has been a very welcome aspect of the wildlife experience.
All in all, a truly fantastic end to 2018. The Grumeti Reserve, with all its incredible life, seems to be rolling from strength to strength. A phenomenal year of nature at its very best and another year filled with some of the best wildlife experiences to be had anywhere in Africa.
Here’s a Sightings Snapshot for December 2018:
Interesting Bird Sightings
Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report – December 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.