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
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
August 2013 was a month of contrasts, from very hot dry days to cold wet evenings. After sustained high intensity grazing from the large herbivores, and in particular the wildebeest migration in June and July, rains in the last ten days were most welcome. Wildlife flocked onto the new green grasses, especially on the previously burnt areas. The two photos that follow were both taken on 21 August by Section Ranger, Grant Burden. From a conservation perspective, August is an important month because of the annual wildlife census, held each year between the 20th and 28th .The leopard-print helicopter and “ace pilot” are normally stationed at Sasakwa for approximately two weeks carrying out patrols and the census. During the census the helicopter is equipped with two extensions or measuring polls jutting out at ninety degrees from both sides.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report August 2013
- Average minimum 33.4°C (92.1°F)
- Average maximum 14.8 °C (58.6°F)
- Average wind speed 0.9 mps
- Sasakwa 45.0 mm
- Sabora 38.1 mm
- Faru Faru 57.5 mm
- Samaki 40.0 mm
- Risiriba 50.0 mm
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
The arrival of The Great Migration on the 1st of June kicked off what would prove to be a very exciting month for viewing wildlife at Singita Grumeti. On the first day thousands of wildebeest began arriving from the southeast, making their way north and west. They surrounded Faru Faru Lodge and the Nyati plains, and after about ten days were spread across nearly all of Singita Grumeti, from Faru Faru Lodge in the east, to the central Sasakwa plains below Sasakwa Lodge, and all the way west past Sabora Tented Camp. They milled about grazing for about four or five days and then they began to move, forming never ending lines heading back east again and then north through Ikorongo. The bulk of the herds were gone by the 20th, although we still had plenty of stragglers moving through for the entirety of the month. After Ikorongo we expect them to pass through the Lobo area of the Serengeti, and then to the Kogatende and Lamai areas where Singita’s Mara River Tented Camp is located, with a front row view of the wildebeest crossing the crocodile-infested Mara River.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report June 2013
- Average minimum 32.8˚C (91.01˚F)
- Average maximum 12.0˚C (54.68˚F)
- Minimum recorded 0.0˚C (0.0˚F)
- Maximum recorded 0.0˚C (0.0˚F)
- Sasakwa 0.0
- Sabora 0.0
- Faru Faru 0.0
- Samaki 0.0
- Risiriba 26
The long rains continued to fall in the beginning of May, but eventually the sun came out, the rain disappeared, and the land began to ‘de-sog’ itself. All areas of the reserve became accessible again and there was much to be seen…
An Enormous Feast
Our guide Saitoti Ole Kuwai was with guests on Rhino Rocks Road when he noticed some leopard tracks. He got out of the vehicle and followed them a short distance on foot. The tracks were going north towards Mbogo Drainage.
The group drove to Mbogo Drainage and, after an in-depth look, they could not find any sign of a leopard. Saitoti picked up his binoculars and looked back towards the south.
He soon noticed something red in a tree very far away. “There’s a leopard over there”, he told the guests. They drove quite a distance and the red soon came visible. A zebra foal was hanging lifeless from the tree. His haunches had already been feasted upon. Draped above the carcass was an impressive male leopard.
It’s a great accomplishment for a leopard to catch a zebra, and very rarely witnessed – let alone hoisted up a tree for all to see!
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report May 2013
- Average minimum 31.1˚C (59.3˚F)
- Average maximum 13.4˚C (81.1˚F)
- Minimum recorded 0.0˚C (0.0˚F)
- Maximum recorded 0.0˚C (0.0˚F)
- Sasakwa 90.8
- Sabora 103.9
- Faru Faru 74.34
- Samaki 163
- Risiriba 91
Wet, wet, and more wet
There is no better way to describe April in the Serengeti. The long rains arrived and the plant and wildlife of Singita Grumeti received more than their fair share of hydration. Although the watery landscape limited access to many areas of the reserve there was still plenty of interesting and exciting activity, on a daily basis.
Sabora Tented Camp
Sabora was the place to be for game viewing in April. Large herds of topi, zebra, eland and buffalo could be seen on the plains around the camp. In addition to the high volume of general game, you could have bet your bottom dollar that all the interesting wildlife action was to take place around Sabora.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report April 2013
- Average minimum 21.2˚C (70.1˚F)
- Average maximum 16.1˚C (60.9˚F)
- Minimum recorded 0.0˚C (0˚F)
- Maximum recorded 0˚C (0˚F)
- Sasakwa 245 mm
- Sabora 229 mm
- Faru Faru 161 mm
- Samaki 367 mm
- Risiriba 142 mm
It is always a treat when guests share their photos with us, especially when they are expert photographers!
Dominique Kaziras and Nolwenn Hadet stayed with us in the beginning of March. With the help of their expert guide, Eugen Shao, they took some amazing photographs.
We would like to thank them for sharing their photos and subsequently providing us with a great deal of content for the journal this month. Thanks Dominique and Nolwenn!
Dominique, Nolwenn, and Eugen were on game drive around Sabora Tented Camp, when they came across a python with an impala it had suffocated to death. The python was now ready to feast on its hard-earned meal.
It was a truly spectacular sight, as one considers the size of this snake’s head and mouth compared to this large female impala.
A python’s lower jaw is made up of two halves. The halves unhinge from the top jaw, which allows them to swallow prey much larger than their head. Both jaws have multiple rows of sharp re-curved teeth and each half of the lower jaw moves independently of the other. This, along with their backward facing teeth, allows them to ‘walk-in’ their freshly captured prey.
Their skin is very flexible, allowing the body to extend once the prey is swallowed. This huge meal will satisfy the python for up to two months before it will have to eat again.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Journal March 2013
- Average maximum 35.9°C (96,6˚F)
- Average minimum 15.8°C (60,4˚F)
- Average mean 22.7°C (72,8˚F)
- Sasakwa 118.5 mm
- Sabora 206.0 mm
- Faru Faru 155.0 mm
- Samaki 190.0 mm
- Risiriba 98 mm
Long grasses: this is the only way to describe February. After the short rains the grass sprung up at the end of January and continued to stay intact throughout the second month of the year. This had little impact on the game viewing, although it was testing for one’s photography skills… February was also a month full of action, as you will see in this month’s slightly lengthier than usual journal. P.S. Did you spot the creature in the picture above? If not, look again…(It’s no wonder Panthera leos are such stealthy predators!). Adas Anthony was out with his guests, Michael Llewelyn and Deborah Davis, when they came across a single female cheetah. She was hungry and wanting to hunt. They followed her for a short while until she spotted an impala. The cheetah slowly stalked, hidden by the long grass. She finally pounced and a chase ensued, but sadly for the cheetah the impala got away. The world’s fastest mammal rested for a while after her exertion, but hungry and determined, she recovered and continued her search for food. Adas, Michael and Deborah followed her for the next couple of hours. Some time later she came across a second impala and a chase ensued. But again, the cheetah missed. By this time she had expended her energy to the fullest twice, and the morning was almost over. She would take the remainder of the day to sleep and resume her hunting efforts in the late afternoon, so the group headed back to the lodge. This episode is an extremely accurate depiction of the majority of the Serengeti’s predatory animals’ efforts to obtain food. It is not easy. On average, cheetahs make one kill out of every three attempts.
- Average Minimum:34°C (93°F)
- Average Maximum:15°C (59°F)
- Sasakwa:53.3 mm
- Sabora: 68.0mm
- Faru Faru: 92.0mm
January at Singita Grumeti was a month marked by change: The holiday festivities quietened down, the rains stopped, the sun came out and the short grass grew to extremely long lengths within a matter of days. But, the one thing that continued to be consistent was excellent game viewing. 28 Cheetah sightings in September, 25 in October, 35 in November and 44 in December. Our cheetah sightings have been climbing recently and January was the best so far – 60 different cheetah sightings, and most of them consisting of more than one animal! The usual suspects on the property have become more and more comfortable with the vehicles and are less afraid to be seen. Then there are multiple newcomers who continue to sporadically show up. They include two additional brothers and a few single females. All of the newcomers are still quite skittish. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for our cheetah population at Singita Grumeti. Currently we are averaging two sightings a day and many guests have been lucky enough to witness a gazelle being hunted. We hope all of these world speed record holders are here to stay! Over the past seven months we’ve had regular sightings of the female cheetah and her single cub, in the sequence of photographs that follow. Making it to adulthood is difficult in the bush, especially for cats, so it has been awesome to watch this cub continue to grow and survive.
- Average Minimum:15°C (59°F)
- Average Maximum:32°C (90°F)
- Minimum Recorded:22°C (72°F)
- Maximum Recorded:0°C (32°F)
- For the period:0 mm (0 in)
- For the year to date:321 mm (13 in)