March 2019 was one of the driest months on record since we’ve been here, with thundershowers only starting very late in the month. This has had an impact on the number of plains game on the concession as many of the resident grazers moved away in search of new pastures and water, but sufficient rain in the catchment areas of the Grumeti River meant that there were a number of pools from which animals could drink, particularly when there was a very gentle flow in the river system for certain periods of the month.
Despite the lack of the large herds of herbivores, species such as buffalo and giraffe were plentiful, and on the short grass plains there were always small herds of Thomson’s gazelle and topi. Decent concentrations of wildlife including elephant, impala and waterbuck were regularly seen along the Grumeti River and also on the Sasakwa Plains. Predator numbers were once again fantastic throughout the month, the highlight being the number of leopard sightings, and then seeing a pack of wild dogs on several occasions.
Here’s a Sightings Snapshot for March:
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report March 2019
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.