October 2021

The banks of the Grumeti River


The banks of the Grumeti River

What a time of year to be exploring the banks of the Grumeti River! The flow of water has reduced to a gentle clear trickle, making traversing the river incredibly interesting. Large sandy banks await you with the tracks and signs of thousands of animals. The sheer numbers of zebra and wildebeest thundering through the riverbed as the great herds move from one side of the river to the other is astonishing.

Towering fig trees in groves along the watercourse offer shelter and shade for animals, birds and us during the heat of the day. There are some incredible spots to relax with a packed breakfast on the white sands in the shade of the trees and a cool breeze. Kick your boots off and walk through the clear water… what a refreshing, cooling experience as your mind wanders with nature.

There are many a hidden gems on the banks of the Grumeti River - the black-and-white-colobus monkeys are a truly magnificent find. Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most beautiful primates I have seen to date. The striking white mantle, the beautiful fluffy tail and lovely facial markings make this monkey unlike any other and they are very much at home in the riverine trees along the river course.

Colobus monkeys are rather shy, not moving far from the cover of the thick vegetation. One of the best times to spot them is after a cold night when they are warming themselves in the morning sun. The colobus can often be seen out in the open, basking in the warm rays on the outer branches of the larger trees.

Here on the Grumeti we may see small troops of up to seven or eight individuals, and there are a number of different troops that occupy the 50 km stretch of river.

Listen out for their distinctive calls booming out over the river as neighbouring troops advertise their presence in the area.

The banks of the Grumeti River hold treasures for all at this special time of year. If it’s sitting with an elephant herd as they descend into the riverbed for a drink or watching lions lying on the cool, damp sand to the phenomenal bird activity and the edible fruits of the forests.

There is something special for all our guests, from all walks of life, to connect to, whatever their interests and passions in the natural world may be.

The incredible patterns left on this fallen sycamore fig tree, made by little borer beetle larvae. As the bark of the tree comes loose and falls it exposes these wonderful mosaics in the wood.

Many of the adult beetles are important pollinators of flowers, and the larvae themselves provide food for some of the many bird species that may be seen on the river such as green wood hoopoes and various woodpeckers.