June has been a month for the cats! With migratory wildebeest and zebra slowly trickling into the Singita Grumeti Reserve the leopard, lion and cheetah sightings have been nothing short of fabulous. With very little rain this month, the grasslands have begun to dry out considerably. The Grumeti River has dropped to a clear, steady flow providing some beautiful photographic opportunities with the wild apricot climber in full bloom on the riverine. The great migration moves ever closer as huge numbers threaten to break through the southern boundary and we wait with bated breath.
Here’s a sightings snapshot for June:
- The lion prides are stable, healthy and doing incredibly well here on the reserve.
- Fantastic sightings of our central resident pride, the Butamtam. These animals have been waiting for what might seem like a lifetime to them for good numbers of prey species to come back through their territory.
- There have been some interesting sightings of two large lions that have moved down into the central areas from Ikorongo. We stumbled across them one day on Rhino Rocks after they had brought down a buffalo during the night.
- This month has also offered some lovely Nyasirori and West Pride sightings closer to Sabora Camp and Marula Explore. These lions have been hunting both wildebeest and zebra regularly and providing us with some awesome action.
- There have been some great leopard sightings this June. We have been fortunate to witness two different mating pairs in the central areas.
- The Grumeti North female’s daughter is doing exceptionally well. She is spending more and more time away from her mother now that she is almost two years old. We are very fortunate to continue to see her hunting and killing independently.
- We have had some great observations of the Ridge Hill female and her youngsters this month.
- Very good leopard sightings close to Faru Faru and downstream Grumeti River.
- Some fantastic cheetah sightings this month.
- Two young brothers sighted on the Sasakwa plains were especially memorable. At this time of year, the colour contrasts of a spotted cat in the golden grasses and the hazy blue skies make for some incredible photography.
- The large Sasakwa male has been sighted roaming the grasslands just to the south of Koroya hill.
- A single female has been sighted hunting in the Sabora region, which has been fantastic.
- Another female was sighted on the Sand Road, 2 km west of German Bridge.
- Elephant viewing this month has been steady with some lovely herds utilising the central areas.
- Again, as we saw in May, we have had some good elephant activity on Sasakwa Hill and in the adjacent valleys.
- Some very large bulls were seen this month in the western reaches of the reserve.
- Lovely elephant herds have been observed as they move in and around the Grumeti River, downstream of Faru Faru.
- Spotted hyena activity is on the increase in the central areas as we see more and more plains wildlife moving back into the reserve.
- There has been great activity on Sasakwa Hill and the evenings are often filled with eerie hyena howls.
- The Nyasirori high ground, south of Sabora, has seen some wicked interactions between hyenas and some of the lions in the area.
- Great herds of buffalo as usual here on the reserve.
- Large herds have been observed all over the reserve. Especially high numbers in the central and western areas.
- With the return of the migratory animals we have also seen huge herds of topi in the western regions, good eland numbers and Thompson’s gazelles in the central areas.
- The giraffe numbers this month have been amazing with some lovely aggregations at times. Herds of up to thirty animals walking out across the golden plains providing some exceptional guest experiences.
All animals are in good health. Of interest is that Buhtle was recently seen with Ivan, possibly mating, however this is not confirmed. Ivan has also been seen together with Helleria and Otto. Possibly mating, not confirmed. Laikipia and Eric have been seen browsing together, both in good condition.