Territorial expansion…? Article by Ross Couper
The last few weeks have been exciting to say the least, it has been action-packed for the month. The Mhangeni pride has been within the central sections of the property, periodically moving south and maintaining a permanent movement between the various drainages and successfully hunting game within these areas. This lasted for a period of almost two weeks. The central sections of the Singita property are currently the dividing line between the two major male lion coalitions, the Majingilane males in the south east and the Selati male coalition in the north west. Both coalitions have been seen over this boundary line on different intervals. Two of the Majingilane males ventured across the territorial boundary at the same time that it was reported that the Selati males were roaring. The sound of other males roaring instinctively caused the Majingilane males to start roaring as well, and within a few hours the remaining two males of the Majingilane coalition had joined forces, and were found in the early hours of the morning well into the Selati males’ territory.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report February 2014
- Average minimum 17.0˚C (62.6˚F)
- Average maximum 34.0˚C (93.2˚F)
- Minimum recorded 19.0˚C (66.2˚F)
- Maximum recorded 31.8˚C (89.2˚F))
- For the period: 65 mm
- For the year to date: 573 mm
The mother cheetah and her three sub-adult cubs, who have grown up at Singita Grumeti since first being spotted in August 2012, were mostly minding their business and lazily trying to hunt. The four would walk for a couple hundred metres and then lie down for a rest before getting up again. During one of their resting intervals a very agitated bird was annoyed at their presence and tried in vain to shoo them off. The four cheetahs didn’t even notice. The wattled lapwing spent about 10 minutes running towards them and chirping at the top of its lungs.
Lapwings are ground-nesters, and it is possible this one was trying to ward the cheetahs away from its eggs. In any case the cheetahs paid the brave bird’s presence no mind, and eventually the cheetahs and lapwing moved on.
Download the full Wildlife Report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report November 2013
In the October report we wrote that we were sure the last of the migratory herds were leaving the area, making their journey back south. It probably was the last of the herds, but what we didn’t consider was that they would prematurely turn around and come back!
In late November the Lamai area was once again flooded with hundreds of thousands of wildebeest. Normally by late November the wildebeest should be in the central Serengeti, about 100 kilometres south of Lamai, and en route to the short grass plains of Ndutu in the southern Serengeti where they calve.
Of course, like the weather, no one can ever 100% predict the Great Migration, and in fact the weather has everything to do with their return to Lamai.
The rains started later than usual this year, and the southern areas of the Serengeti were still rather dry. This explains the wildebeest’s return to the much more lush and green grasses of the Lamai triangle, where there was still a steady amount of rain.
If the excitement of their return wasn’t enough, guests were able to view a crossing of about 80 animals just 300 metres away from the camp!
Who knows what their next move will be?
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report November 2013
The Mara River is a water wonderland that dominates the Lamai triangle. The river and the small springs and tributaries that feed into it, provide generous access to water for the game living here, whether it be for drinking, cooling off or just having fun. The festival of life plays out on the seamless banks that stretch unhindered to the horizon, but every now and then the urge to cross the river is irresistible, and the drama reaches its zenith.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report October 2013
In the Wildlife Report for October 2012, Head Guide Ryan Schmitt remarked, “Whenever anyone asks me what I think the best time of year to visit Singita Grumeti is, my answer is always the same: There is no doubt in my mind, it is October.” Ryan has been here for six years, and once again October proved to be an impressive month.
In the Wildlife Report for July 2013 we spoke about the Sasakwa Dam hippo, who during his 5-year tenure living at the dam had loved and lost and found love again. This month the hippo’s life underwent a major change once more…
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report October 2013
- Average minimum 33.9 °C
- Average maximum 16.3 °C
- Average wind speed 0.7 m/s
- Sasakwa 15.1 mm
- Sabora 07.0 mm
- Faru Faru 15.0 mm
- Samaki 27.0 mm
- Risiriba 02.0 mm
Buffalo versus lion versus leopard
As guests were having afternoon snacks on the riverside deck before game drive, we noticed a male lion sleeping on the opposite side of the river. Then a large buffalo bull ambled into the scene. Next, all drama broke lose. Two more male lions appeared and they set off after the now terrified buffalo. To our astonishment, teacups in hand, the lions killed the buffalo right in front of Boulders Lodge, rooms 9 and 10. Unbelievable! For the next three days we had ring-side viewing. The lions did not bother moving much as they had food and water right there next to them. The only activity seemed to be within their ever-growing bellies filled with buffalo meat. On the first morning a male leopard, known as the Nyalethi male, crept in to view. While the lions were feeding he would keep a respectful distance, never showing himself to his far larger relatives. All he was waiting for was a window of opportunity for a potential free meal.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Journal September 2013
- Average minimum 13.3˚C (50.5˚F)
- Average maximum 28.8˚C (81.1˚F)
- Minimum recorded 07.0˚C (44.6˚F)
- Maximum recorded 39.0˚C (93.2˚F)
- For the period: 21 mm
- For the year to date: 985 mm
We can’t stop talking about the migration in this wildlife report, but it’s because the migrants are always here! After strong showings in July and August, the herds of wildebeest continued to impress throughout September. River crossings were a daily occurrence and there were 35 crossings in the Mara River Tented Camp area, in the 30 days of the month. What follows is a photo essay of the sights – I think you’ll agree the images speak for themselves.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlfie Report September 2013
The rains that finally came at the end of August after a long dry season continued to fall every few days in September. The burnt areas that were turning green became fully rejuvenated. The leading herds of the great migration slowly filtered back through the property, now heading south for the short grass plains of Ndutu where they will arrive around December/January to calve. Wildlife on Sasakwa Hill was the main theme of September. Herds of elephants and the Butamtam Pride of lions were seen on a regular basis throughout the month. It may not be the mighty Mara River, famed for the annual migration crossings where wildebeest and zebra risk being eaten by crocodiles or simply drowning from the strong currents (also the location of Singita’s Mara River Tented Camp), but don’t think sights at Grumeti are any less spectacular…
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report September 2013
- Average minimum 30.5ºC (86.9ºF)
- Average maximum 15.3ºC (59.5ºF)
- Average wind speed 0.5m/s
- Sasakwa 89.8mm
- Sabora 125.2mm
- Faru Faru 160.3mm
- Samaki 35mm
- Risiriba 72mm
About a week after the bulk of the Migration left Singita Grumeti, they began filtering into the area where Singita Mara River Tented Camp is located, in the remote Lamai Triangle, on the bank of the famous Mara River. They first arrived in the Kogatende area about 10 kilometres south of the camp and reachable by game drive. After a couple of days though, game drives were no longer necessary, as thousands of wildebeest congregated right across the river from camp. The numbers grew and grew, the great herds waiting until the last possible minute before they had to face the inevitable – crossing the croc-infested Mara River. Whether pushed in by the shoving behind them or out of pure bravery, the first wildebeest eventually made the leap of faith into the mighty Mara. Within a second of that first leap thousands followed. The crossing was a truly amazing spectacle. These wildebeests are not only susceptible to the dangerous jaws of the crocodiles, but also to each other. With the huge number of them crossing the river, individuals are also accidentally pushed under and drowned by their own kind.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report July 2013
Dry, dry, dry!
It seems like only yesterday when we were writing the April report with the theme: “Wet, wet, wet!” The month of July is the peak of the dry season at Singita Grumeti, but with the dry weather comes great game viewing. Because of the lack of rain, access to water diminishes and the game begins to concentrate itself around the many water holes, drainage lines and pans around the reserves. What is more fun than watching elephants swimming? We’ll give you the answer: NOTHING! Almost every day in July herds of elephants from various reaches of the reserve would congregate at Sasakwa Dam, which now has three permanent inhabitants… (more on that later.) After quenching their elephant-sized thirst (on average they drink 60 litres of water a day) they would enjoy a swim, playing and splashing around with one another.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report July 2013
- Average minimum 32.7 °C (90.8°F)
- Average maximum 13.3°C (55.9°F)
- Minimum recorded 0.0˚C (0˚F)
- Maximum recorded 0.0˚C (0˚F)
- Sasakwa 0
- Sabora 0
- Faru Faru 0
- Samaki 0
- Risiriba 18.0 mm