Wildlife Report

The Singita Wildlife Report

First-hand ranger reports from the bushveld

Singita Grumeti

October 2015 - Grumeti, Tanzania

Lots of lion activity in October with 77 separate sightings for the month.The Butamtam pride, its territory now spanning from Sasakwa to Faru Faru, dominated the majority of the sightings. All of the Butamtam lions were ‘fat and happy’ in October, as a lack of water sources combined with large amounts of game provided excellent hunting conditions. Rare was the sighting reported where the lions didn’t have a kill with them. The two newest members of the Butamtam pride, three-month-old cubs, were seen often accompanied by two adult lionesses on the Sasakwa hill helicopter pad. There were also many sightings of the Nyasirori and Ridge prides around Sabora in the west.

Leopard activity was good in October, with sightings evenly spread out throughout the property. Leopards also benefitted from the good numbers of game on the concession and were seen often with carcasses up trees.

The mother cheetah and her two young cubs were spotted regularly in October. They mainly stayed in the Arab Camp, Rhino Rocks, and Marsh areas in between Sasakwa and Faru Faru.

Elephant sightings stayed consistent for the month. The majority of sightings were in the Faru Faru area and along the Grumeti River.

Herds of zebra and wildebeest, in their thousands, were scattered throughout the concession, providing ample general game food resources for the local predators.

Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report October 2015


  • Average maximum: 31˚C (89˚F)
  • Average minimum: 19˚C (64,4˚F)


  • Sasakwa: 145 mm
  • Faru Faru: 78,5 mm
  • Samaki: 175,6 mm
  • Risiriba: 72 mm

Singita Grumeti

September 2015 - Grumeti, Tanzania

Most of the drainage lines had dried up, but after receiving good rains in the vicinity of Singita Faru Faru Lodge in early September, the burnt areas grasses turned green within a week, and very high densities of Thomson gazelle and zebra were recorded.

 Lions: September ticked along nicely with predator sightings. The lion distribution continues to intrigue us, with the Butamtam Pride continually splitting and then disappearing for days, and even weeks on end. It adds to the mystique of the Singita Grumeti concession when a group of nine to twelve animals are not seen for ages; with no sign of vulture activity, something you would expect to see with lions killing larger plains game species. The Ridge Pride, with ten members, was seen on more than two occasions, and the split in the west is fascinating between the Sabora West Pride of eight, and the Kawanga Pride of seventeen. The location of the Singita Explore “Marula” and “Balanites” Tented Camps was incredible in September as huge herds of topi, wildebeest and zebra congregated on the Gambaranyera Plains, and we were lucky to see the two western prides on a few occasions. The guides frequently visited this area, particularly from Singita Sabora Tented Camp, as it was the highest concentration of plains wildlife on the concession. Although the grasses on most of the plains were relatively short, the lions on the concession continued to spend quality time in trees, avoiding biting flies, possibly enjoying more of a draft from the breeze, and having a nice elevated position to survey the savanna.

Leopards: The Tulia female and her two cubs dominated the leopard sightings for the month. A few of the guides had a magnificent sighting one morning when, from a distance, a black-backed jackal was howling an alarm call. Moving in and observing, initially from a distance, we watched as the leopard and her cubs fed on a Thomson gazelle carcass, while the stressed jackal and a clan of excited hyaenas mingled below a balanites tree (Balanites aegyptiaca). The clan knew that eventually they would receive a few scraps, but not an entire carcass; so when it did drop from the tree it was fantastic to watch how they went about ripping the carcass to pieces and dashing off with the spoils.


Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report September 2015


  • Average Maximum: 31,7˚C (89˚F)
  • Average Minimum: 18˚C (64,4˚F)


  • Sasakwa: 34 mm
  • Faru Faru: 20 mm
  • Samaki: 37 mm
  • Risiriba: 16,5 mm

Singita Grumeti

August 2015 - Grumeti, Tanzania

Lions: August was predictably a good month for lion sightings. As the western sectors of the concession dried out further, the game moved towards the central areas, and following them went the lions. The Ridge Pride and the various sub-groups of the Butamtam Pride made up the vast majority of our sightings for the month. A nice bonus has been the arrival of three cubs to one of the Ridge Pride females. Also, there was a sighting of two small cubs along the Grumeti River, just downstream from Faru Faru. They are likely to belong to one of the Butamtam Pride females.

Leopard: There were a few occasions in August where we seemed to have a really tough time locating any of these inconspicuous big cats. Luckily, the longer you go without seeing one only means you are just getting closer to your next sighting. We still had great sightings of Tulia and her two growing cubs. A total of 19 leopard sightings were recorded at Grumeti in August.

Cheetah: Once again, the majority of August’s sightings were predominantly comprised of the two sets of females with their respective cubs.

Wild dogs: The wild dogs made themselves available to be viewed by the Singita guides on only one occasion in August. For the most part, they continue to avoid the Grumeti area! This should undoubtedly change at some point.

Elephant: We continued to have some great elephant viewing during the month, including one large elephant bull sporting large tusks, as well as a characteristic floppy ear. We also had a lovely sighting of a newborn elephant calf that was seen with its mother and the rest of the herd, drinking at Sasakwa Dam.

Other sightings: Although the wildebeest herds have all but disappeared towards the northern Serengeti and the Mara River, the zebra herds have moved onto the property en-masse. This in itself is an incredible spectacle to behold.  Guide Braya Masunga had a brief encounter with an aardvark one evening; unfortunately it was so brief that he was unable to snap a picture of these shy and rarely seen creatures.


Read the full wildlife report here:  Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report August 2015


  • Average Minimum:16.7°C (62.06°F)
  • Average Maximum:31°C (87.8°F)


  • Sasakwa:7.5 mm
  • Sabora:11 mm
  • Faru Faru:7.5 mm
  • Samaki:0 mm
  • Risiriba:21 mm

Singita Grumeti

July 2015 - Grumeti, Tanzania

Lions: As always we had good daily sightings of lions in July. Prides seen were the usual suspects: Sabora West pride, Ridge pride, and Butamtam pride. The Butamtam pride has extended its territory east to the Grumeti River, downstream of Faru Faru, but we are now left wondering where the Mkuyu pride, whose territory has always been this same area of the Grumeti River, moved to?

Six of the Butamtam sub-adult males are now over two years old. It is only a matter of time that their dominant male father(s) kick them out of the pride…

Leopard: Leopard sightings were steady this month, but the Tulia female and her two adorable cubs were not seen until the very end of the month.

Cheetah: Excellent cheetah sightings this month. The most seen of these spotted cats were a female with two young cubs, a female with two eight-month old cubs, and two adult brothers.

Wild Dogs: After some stellar sightings in June, the wild dogs were nowhere to be found in July. Word has it that they have been spending a lot of time in the Nyasirori area of the National Park, southwest of Sabora Camp.

Elephant: The month of July is the peak of the dry season here at Singita Grumeti reserves and, as expected, elephants could be found daily having a drink at the major water points on the property. The Sasakwa Dam and Grumeti River were the best ‘hot’ spots.


A cause for celebration! The migration of thousands of wildebeest arrived and stayed with us the entire month.

For all of June there was no sign of the migration, and it seemed like no one in the Serengeti knew where exactly the herds were. We were beginning to believe the wildebeest had passed the Singita Grumeti concession completely. Then, in the first week of July, the guides reported good herds of wildebeest south of the concession in the National Park. By the 10th of the month, wildebeest were filtering through from the south everywhere: crossing the Grumeti River around Faru Faru in the east, onto the Nyati Plains in the central areas, and onto the Sabora Plains and Nyasirori Areas in the west. Pretty soon the concession was covered with wildebeest. The gnus spread thick across the Sasakwa Plains as well as to the east and west.

At the end of July they began moving out in large lines, making their way north.


Read The full report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report July 2015


  • Average maximum: 30.9 °C (87.6 °F
  • Average minimum: 16.4 °C (61.5 °F)
  • Average wind speed: 6 m/s


  • Sasakwa : 63 mm
  • Sabora: 9 mm
  • Faru Faru: 15 mm
  • Samaki: 3 mm
  • Risiriba: 45 mm

Singita Grumeti

April 2015 - Grumeti,

Just like March preceding it, April 2015 was unique compared to usual Aprils at Singita Grumeti. The drought and early arrival of the great wildebeest migration in March left short grass in its wake, in a month where the grass is usually quite high. After the rains started falling in the very last days of March, the concession began to turn from yellow to green and soon we had a lush green landscape of never-ending plains, beautifully contrasted by the deep blue rainy-season sky.

The migration was off the concession by early April and by the middle of the month the bulk of was back in the short-grass plains of the Southern Serengeti, where they are ‘supposed’ to be at this time of year. We assume they have gotten back onto their normal migratory track again, and hope to see them return here sometime around June.

Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report April 2015


  • Average Minimum: 15.6°C (60°F)
  • Average Maximum: 27°C (80.6°F)
  • Average wind speed: 0.2m/s


  • Sasakwa: 245mm
  • Sabora: 229mm
  • Faru Faru: 161mm
  • Samaki: 367mm
  • Risiriba: 128mm

Singita Grumeti

March 2015 - Grumeti, Tanzania

We expected this March to be much like years’ past.  Occupancies tend to drop slightly. Wildlife sightings are steady and there is a nice amount of general game. The first few showers of the long rains arrive, bringing cooler temperatures, a release from the heat of January and February. The views across the plains are a beautiful sight as patches of rain clouds mix with large spaces of clear blue skies across the Serengeti.

Overall, March at Singita Grumeti is peaceful and serene.

Mayhem. Incredible. Surprising. Spectacular. In March 2015 we were all thrown for a loop, and not just at Singita Grumeti. The entire Serengeti Community was left scratching their heads.

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report March 2015


  • Average minimum 32.8 °C
  • Average maximum 18.5 °C
  • Average wind speed 0.5 m/s


  • Sasakwa 24.8 mm
  • Sabora 45 mm
  • Faru Faru 16 mm
  • Samaki 16 mm
  • Risiriba 32 mm

Singita Grumeti

February 2015 - Grumeti, Tanzania

February was marked by a larger than expected amount of rain. Hard and heavy evening downpours took place two or three times a week, cooling down the temperature in one of the typically warmest months of the year. The Nyati Plains was the place to be as hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of topi and zebra spread across the expanse for kilometres, with small pockets of eland and gazelle dotted amongst them. The 32-strong Butamtam Pride of lions was also quick to figure out that this was where the food was and they made the Nyati area their home, dispersed among different locations in their respective immediate family groups.

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report February 2015


  • Average minimum 32.1 °C
  • Average maximum 17.6 °C/li>
  • Average wind speed .26 m/s


  • Sasakwa 122.6 mm
  • Sabora 74.5 mm
  • Faru Faru 65 mm
  • Samaki 33 mm
  • Risiriba 152 mm

Singita Grumeti

January 2015 - Grumeti, Tanzania

The short rains of November and December tapered at Singita Grumeti at the beginning of January. The grass, which was sufficiently watered, grew under the sun’s heat and by the middle of the month the concession was covered in long grass. Long grass will continue to dominate the landscape here until the migration passes through Singita Grumeti in about five months’ time. The first month of the year was definitely a month of new beginnings as new members were added to our wildlife family.

Adding up!

The Butamtam Pride keeps growing (see our November 2014 Report) and we spotted more new pride members at the beginning of January. One of the older pride lionesses, aptly named “Scar” by our team, due to the prominent scar on her front right shoulder, was seen this month with four cubs that are about six weeks old.

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife report January 2015


  • Average maximum 29.9 °C
  • Average minimum 17.2 °C
  • Average wind speed 0.2 m/s


  • Sasakwa 41.1 mm
  • Sabora 15.0 mm
  • Faru Faru 20.2 mm
  • Samaki 66.0 mm
  • Risiriba 86.0 mm

Singita Grumeti

December 2014 - Grumeti, Tanzania

Leopard update

A number of leopard sightings in the past year have contributed significantly to the continued improvement of leopard habituation at Singita Grumeti. Our recent, most noteworthy sighting yet, was that of a female leopard stalking and killing a male impala west of Faru Faru in the late afternoon, witnessed by Field Guide, Jeremiah and his guests. This is a clear indicator that leopards in the reserve have become more accepting of our safari-traversing activities and that they have slowly reverted to the type of hunting behaviour which is typical of leopards (for the first time in approximately 50 years). Leopards characteristically hunt both during the day and at night. However, in the seven years prior to 2003, before Grumeti became a photographic safari destination, it was in fact a hunting area. It was then that leopards in this area adapted to hunting only at night when the potential human threat was not around. Until almost a year ago, witnessing a leopard kill on the reserve was completely unheard of! Fortunately, these big cats are beginning to feel more comfortable and the kill that Jeremiah and his guests saw, was in fact the third kill we have recorded this year!

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report December 2014


  • Average minimum 29.4˚C (84.9˚F)
  • Average maximum 16.4˚C (61.5˚F)


  • Sasakwa 100.7 mm
  • Sabora 98 mm
  • Faru Faru 67.5 mm
  • Samaki 208 mm
  • Risiriba 105 mm

Singita Grumeti

November 2014 - Grumeti, Tanzania

November is best known as the month that marks the beginning of the ‘short rains’ in the western Serengeti. The term refers to the fact that this rainy season lasts a shorter period of time than the ‘long rains’ of March, April and May. ‘Short rains’ perfectly describes the daily rain we get in November – short, small and quick! The rainstorms generally occur in the afternoon and hardly ever last longer than 30 minutes.
The most unforgettable feature about the rains is the fantastic skies. Pockets of rainclouds sporadically dot the Serengeti as far as the eye can see. The setting sun enhances the scene, mixing with the clouds to make beautiful and dramatic colours.

Migratory species slowly moved off of the property at the end of October, but lots of good general game has been present in the always-productive western section of the 350 000 acre concession. Herds of topi, zebra, and various other antelope grazed on the plains surrounding Singita Sabora Tented Camp and Singita Explore.


Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report November 2014


  • Average minimum 15.1˚C (59.18˚F)
  • Average maximum 34˚C (93.2˚F)
  • Average wind 0.4m/s


  • Sasakwa: 101.8 mm
  • Sabora: 116 mm
  • Faru Faru: 80 mm
  • Samaki: 85.5 mm
  • Risiriba: 88 mm

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