May at Singita Grumeti was flanked in contradictions and unpredictability. The month began amidst a very dry rainy season, and another seasonal phenomenon was reaching our 350 000 acre property’s doorstep more than a month earlier than it was ‘supposed’ to: We weren’t expecting you yet Meugh… meeuughhh… that inevitable sound that can only mean one thing – the Serengeti Great Migration has arrived at Singita Grumeti. Except it wasn’t June yet. It wasn’t mid-June yet. Mid-June would be in six weeks time! The 2014 ‘long rains’ saw little rain at Singita Grumeti, but while our location in the north-western Serengeti had very little rain, the central Serengeti saw almost none. The result of the lack of rain was a lack of suitable grasses, and when the wildebeest left Ndutu in the southern Serengeti at the end of March, the 80 kilometre migration to Singita Grumeti, which usually takes about two and half to three months, took only one month. By the 1st of May, our Ikorongo Game Reserve was full of at least 50 000 wildebeest. Within the next two days, wildebeest in the hundreds of thousands engulfed Singita Grumeti. The great migration had arrived.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report May 2014
- Average minimum 32.8 °C
- Average maximum 14.2 °C
- Average wind speed 0.4 m/s
- Sasakwa 32.4
- Sabora 104
- Faru Faru 37
- Samaki 144
- Risiriba 58
Morning visit to a hyena den Article by Crystal Perry
As the morning sun started to break the chill of the air, we arrived at a hyena den-site to see a large female spotted hyena. Hyenas often use termite mounds that are no longer active as their den-sites. They will usually use an already existing burrow (possibly made by an aardvark), and excavate more earth out of the burrow to make it large enough for the cubs and the females that stay with them. In this den-site there is a second entry on the other side which may help them escape danger. Luckily for us while we were there, a small bundle of black fur popped up from the entrance to inspect what was happening. The cub was very playful and it was magical to see the care provide by the female. Those little eyes watched us with interest, but stayed within the safety of the carer and the den. Young hyena cubs have a dark (almost black) coat for the first few weeks of life, with the longer hair and spots only appearing later. Judging by the colour and size, this cub was not much more than three weeks old. After taking a few photographs and enjoying witnessing the ‘tender’ side of hyena life, we left them to rest, and hope to have many more high quality sightings at or near this den.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report May 2014
- Average minimum 10.4˚C (50,7˚F)
- Average maximum 25.8˚C (78,4˚F)
- Minimum recorded 06.0˚C (42,8˚F)
- Maximum recorded 30.0˚C (86,0˚F)
- For the period: 0 mm
- For the year to date: 851 mm
Short tail but a beautiful face
The bateleur eagle (Terathopius ecaudatus) is arguably the most beautiful and definitely the most colourful bird of prey in our area. Its name has a variety of meanings – the common name bateleur refers to its swaying flight pattern. Bateleur in French refers to either a ‘tight rope walker’ or the ‘figurehead’ which could be found swaying
in front of a ship. Terathopius ecaudatus is the Latin name and directly translated means ‘a short tail but a beautiful face’, again referring to its beauty but also its lack of tail length. Its short tail helps it to fly as aerodynamically and efficiently as possible while gliding.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report May 2014
- Average minimum 28.0°C (82.4°F)
- Average maximum 12.9°C (55.2°F)
- Minimum recorded 10.0°C (50.0°F)
- Maximum recorded 31.0°C (87.8°F)
- For the period: 0 mm
- For the year to date: 262 mm
The most exciting news of the month is that a pack of wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) has chosen to den right in the middle of our property, close to the lodge. While we don’t want to disturb them at their den-site somewhere up in the hills, we are seeing them frequently at dawn and dusk when they hunt. They use the road system and trot out together, before ‘shot-gunning’ in different directions to scatter a herd of impala and hunt them. More predator highlights are that a lioness has two cubs stowed away, and a cheetah has been seen with four small cubs in tow. Rhino sightings are excellent as always, and for the past few weeks a herd of elephants has had a regular midday swim and water sports in nearby Sosigi Dam.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report May 2014
- Average minimum 14,7°C (58,4°F)
- Average maximum 27,5°C (81,5°F)
- Minimum recorded 11,1°C (51,9°F)
- Maximum recorded 32,1°C (89,7°F)
- For the month: 14,8 mm
- For the year to date: 498,2 mm
The East African “long rains” that occur from the end of March through mid-May conjure up frightening images in many people’s minds: nonstop storms, thick mud, getting stuck in a safari vehicle for hours, torrential flooding, tiny African streams instantly transformed into raging rivers filled with crocodiles and hippos, landslides, as well as general destruction and devastation.
Those of us who live and work in East Africa, at Singita Grumeti in particular, have a completely different experience of the rainy season: lush green landscapes, refreshing afternoon storms that cool off the heat of the day, absolute clarity – being able to see for miles and miles across the Serengeti, revitalised active wildlife, few guests, and pretty much the perfect time of the year to go on safari.
Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report April 2014
- Average maximum 21.2˚C (70.1˚F)
- Average minimum 16.1˚C (60.9˚F)
- Average wind speed 0.2 mps
- Sasakwa 245 mm
- Sabora 229 mm
- Faru Faru 161 mm
- Samaki 367 mm
- Risiriba 142 mm