August at Singita Mara River Tented Camp could easily be dubbed the month of the pachyderm. Throughout the month we enjoyed spectacular sightings of elephant herds right from the comfort of the deck. On one particular day we had a herd of 60 just across the river, down on a lower bank, enjoying the lush green grass and rolling in the sand. The herd consisted of animals from six months old, all the way to the wise old giants of 50 years and above.
Lion: Lion sightings dipped slightly in August, because the majority of game drives were focused on the amazing migration crossings taking place daily, along the river. A few mating pairs were seen, one in the northern sector of the Lamai Triangle and another on the south eastern edge of the Mara River, so maybe in January or February we may begin seeing a few litters of lion cubs as well…
Leopard: Wow, what a month August was for leopards! There were 18 leopard sightings, which is one of the most sightings we’ve had in one month since opening the camp in 2012. A mother leopard and her two young cubs were definitely one highlight, and a big male with two wildebeest carcasses was a mainstay on the Kampi Kampi plains, for four consecutive days.
Cheetah: Cheetah sightings remained consistent. This area is their ideal habitat.
Elephant: Mara River Tented Camp was the place to be for elephant viewing in August, as you will read about below.
Migration: The wildebeest migration that flooded the area in the middle of July remained throughout the month of August. River crossings were a daily occurrence, often more than one per day! More on that also below.
Raptors: Where there is a migration there are thousands of vultures in tow, especially once the wildebeest start crossing the Mara River and the huge number of fatalities make a feast for the winged scavengers.
Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife reports August 2015
The month of July in the northern Serengeti finally saw the arrival of the immense herds of wildebeest for which the region is known at this time of year. As the plains of the central Serengeti and the western corridor slowly began to dry out, the herds mobilized north and began to filter into the Lamai Triangle.
By the middle of the month large herds emerged onto the plains north of the camp, and soon after guides and guests started witnessing herds crossing the Mara River. Many guests have been enthralled by the spectacle of thousands of wildebeest stumbling down the steep banks and crossing the treacherous river.
The wildebeest headed towards the Kogatende area. Crossings have been seen from the area of Crossing Point 6, close to the Kogatende Bridge, all the way down to Crossing Point 1, just a couple of kilometres north of the camp. As more and more animals arrive in the area, crossings become more frequent and more populous. Some guests were fortunate to witness up to three crossings on one game drive, sometimes in excess of 30 000 wildebeest at a time.
Read the full report hereSingita Lamai Wildlife Report July 2015:
The month of June in the Lamai was unusually wet with the first half of the month yielding rainstorms of colossal proportions. The rain patterns of the Serengeti have been rather mercurial this year, seeing the second quarter producing more storm clouds which inevitably dictate the ebb and flow of the Mara River and, so to, the movement of the wildlife. On some mornings the level of the river rose over 60 cm in a matter of hours.
With the paucity of roads in the Lamai Triangle much of the concession was inaccessible for the first half of the month. Many afternoons were spent looking over the plains as ominous clouds thundered towards us
bringing with them the sweet scent of an African tempest. The deluge has however led to the plains flourishing and emanating with emerald hues.
Our lion, cheetah and elephant sightings have been very good – and we even had a rare sighting of a black rhino this month. Other highlights were 12 ground hornbills; a black-backed jackal killing a Thomson gazelle fawn plus two hyenas arriving to steal the kill and sightings of thousands of wildebeest on Nyamalumbwa Plains.
Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report June 2015
For the 2nd year in a row, February in Lamai was characterized by good general game in the area. Zebra, topi, eland, buffalo and gazelle were common out on the plains. The perfect mix of rain and sunshine made for great grazing.
Eternal enemies relived
Violent interactions take place daily in wildlife areas between different species, mostly between predators and prey. From time to time we get to witness exchanges between predators. Of these, lion and hyena battles have to be one of the most impressive shows.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report Feb 2015
Rain, rain, rain! During all of December and the first eight days of January the rain came down every day, in Lamai. The waters of the Mara River rose high and flowed fast and for a small time some bridges became un-crossable. Mother Nature delivered a truly authentic, wild, African bush experience, and guests were able to enjoy the whole thing from the safety of the Camp and the Land Rovers.
The great thing about the rain is it cools everything down and the wildlife is more active than usual. The cool whether puts an extra skip in the animals’ step with the result that running, jumping and playing is more commonplace.
Once the rain tapered in January the sun came out, and as the water level of the river went back down, the grass shot up. Long grasses will dominate the landscape until the migration comes through again or the National Parks Authority does their annual burning.
Read the full report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife report Dec 2014 and Jan 2015
The migration was far gone in November, but good general game remained on the plains. When the migration moves through an area the wildebeests chop the grass short with their teeth and hooves, leaving freshly cut, short grass that most grazing species find very tasty. Zebra, topi, Thomson’s gazelle and a few wildebeest stragglers dotted the savannahs of the Lamai Triangle, feasting on all the goodness.
Read the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report November 2014
A long, successful season
On the last day of June this year I received an email from Lodge Manager Kevin Pongola, at Singita Lamai, Mara River Tented Camp: “It’s happening…” he wrote, “crossing at number 7 is active… will update you later with the details.” This report came after three long weeks of silence since the migration had left our Singita Grumeti property, and now 80 000 wildebeest were crossing the mighty Mara River onto Lamai Triangle, about 60 km away, where Singita Lamai, Mara River Tented Camp is situated. Since then, the area surrounding Mara River Tented Camp saw three straight months of migration. The herds remained present for the first week of October, but after that the bulk of them had cleared the area, making their long journey back south to the short grass plains of Ndutu. Not all the of action stopped though, as a few lagging groups were still moving out of the area, up until the middle of the month. Our guests saw a handful of crossings of wildebeest and zebra, in groups of 50 to100. This is maybe not as epic as 80 000 strong, but any crossing is always very exciting!
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report October 2014
There was no shortage of game in September at Singita Mara River Tented Camp. The large migratory herds of wildebeest continued to occupy the Lamai area for the third straight month in a row. Most of the herds spent the majority of the month on the plains of the Lamai triangle and around the Kenyan border. Of course, there was plenty of the always exciting back and forth movement across the river as well.
Crossings were an almost daily occurrence and on one day guests watched two separate crossings from their lunch tables on the deck at the camp!
Read the full report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report September 2014
The Great Migration arrived in Lamai at the end of June and the wildebeest were a continuous presence throughout July. August did not disappoint either as the herds remained in the general vicinity, crossing north and south and north again across the Mara River, in the surrounds of Singita Mara River Tented Camp. Guests enjoyed 12 dramatic crossings during the month. One particularly exciting crossing happened right in front of the camp, and lasted for over 20 minutes.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report August 2014
Crossing season has started
In the June Lamai Wildlife Report we explained how the migration was ‘missing in action’ from the Lamai area, until the final day of the month when 80 000 wildebeest were seen crossing to the northern side of the Mara River, about 8 km upstream of Kogatende. The rest is history. Crossings occurred on a regular basis throughout the month of July. Mara River Tented Camp guests saw a total of 16 crossings and 2 crocodile kills. Towards the middle of the month, the migration began to fill up the plains of the Lamai Triangle north of the Mara River.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report July 2014