October has been a fabulous month here on the Singita Grumeti Reserve. Fantastic plains game numbers have been rolling across the plains. Thousands of zebra and wildebeest were
observed on the banks of the Grumeti River, as well as buffalo herds, elephants and great nursery herds of eland - sometimes two hundred strong. The grasslands are alive with a hum of activity as the great herds resonate over the endless horizon. It has also been a great month for many migratory birds moving back through this area.
The Grumeti River continues to flow but only just, and the water is crystal clear. A walking adventure down the river is simply breath-taking!
Here’s a sightings snapshot for October:
- The Butamtam pride of the central region continue to go from strength to strength. Many youngsters observed within the social structure and the young are looking fit and strong.
- With the return of many prey species, the lions are hunting successfully, almost daily.
- Great Nyasirori pride interactions closer to the Sabora Camp.
- Fantastic lion sightings on the Grumeti River. Viewing lions on the river sand is such a lovely dynamic, offering unique opportunities for photography.
- Great sightings of both the Grumeti North female and daughter. Both individuals have been spending a lot of their time close to the Grumeti River, hunting on the banks. There is a possibility that the Grumeti North female may have a newly born litter somewhere at the bottom of the Eagles Nest drainage as she appears to be lactating and she was observed calling gently in the thick vegetation at that location. Incredibly exciting!
- Many animals have been using the river as a valuable water source and the leopards have been ambushing prey close its banks in the good cover.
- We’ve been observing a mother and two young cubs on the Mbogo drainage, upstream of Faru Faru Lodge. The animals are rather shy and so we embark on a very gentle habituation process as we begin getting them used to the vehicles from a distance.
- Cheetah sightings have been lovely this month with action on the Sasakwa plains, balloon launch site area and the Sabora region.
- A mother and her 4-month-old cub have been utilising the balloon launch site region. The mother has been hunting impala and Thompson’s gazelles in the area and providing some great sightings.
- The Sasakwa male continues to hunt the Sasakwa plains and, with his bulk and strength, we have been fortunate to see this impressive cat bring down wildebeest and their calves.
- A single female cheetah continues to hunt just southwest of Sabora.
- Large herds of elephants have been sighted moving through the reserve recently.
- Ikorongo region has seen some incredible herds in the area and on the Grumeti River.
- Single large bull elephants have been observed during the heat of the day staying close to the river, bathing and drinking.
- Large aggregations have been seen in the west, close to Marula and Balanites Explore camps.
The spotted hyena clans have been keeping busy out on the western plains, the Nyati high ground and in the vicinity of Sasakwa hill.
Strong clan numbers have been seen close to the large herds of Topi in the western regions. Over the last four weeks the Topi have been giving birth and the hyena work the herds patiently, ever looking for an opportunity to hunt.
- The buffalo herds here on the Grumeti Reserve are larger than ever.
- There has been a wonderful breeding herd visiting the Grumeti River most days, to drink, offering awesome viewing as the herd moves down into the riverbed.
- Great herds on the Sasakwa plains and western areas. Ikorongo also offering great herd numbers.
- Rhino are dispersing throughout the region. Some individuals have begun their more extensive movements. Others have taken to the Grumeti River and neighbouring drainage lines within the greater Ikorongo area. Animals are doing very well. Physical conditions are very good and all calves seem to be doing very well which is fantastic news.