May 2024

Singita Grumeti & Lamai


Singita Grumeti & Lamai: May 2024

May is always an interesting month as we look at the greater Serengeti ecosystem, the weather and the effects this will have on the migrating wildebeest and zebra. Conditions in the south are drying slowly but still green in essence. We have seen movements of large herds into the central region of the Serengeti, however, the larger herds are still some distance away. Mega herds stretch across the horizon from the Gol Kopjes to the Masai rocks in the south-east.

The Grumeti grasslands are still wet in places, even though the last ten days of the month saw little rain. The Grumeti River still flows strong and muddy and it may be some time before we start to see the water levels drop considerably.

Wildlife viewing, as always, has been brilliant with some great photographic opportunities this month.

Here’s a sightings snapshot for May:


Wonderful lion sightings for the month with some great sightings of our resident prides.

  • A Butamtam mating pair observed at the base of Pundamilia Hill.
  • 14 members of the Butamtam Pride seen just north of Sasakwa Dam.
  • 12 members of the Nyasirori Pride seen just east of the Nyasirori Ranger Post.
  • 15 members of the Butamtam Pride were seen on a buffalo carcass in the marsh area.
  • The Sasakwa Pride of five seen on the hill close to sales pavilion.
  • The Nyasirori Pride seen on the Nyasirori high ground close to the Boundary Pan drainage.
  • Three members of the Mkuyu Pride seen on the Faru Faru access.
  • Four Butamtam lionesses seen on a wildebeest kill on the Nyati plains.
  • 10 Butamtam lionesses seen hunting buffalo just south of OP 7.
  • 19 members of the Butamtam Pride gathered together on a buffalo kill, Sand Road.
  • Seven members of the Nyasirori Pride seen on a buffalo kill, Sabora drainage.


  • Mbogo female seen with her two cubs of four months old, just west of the Mbogo drainage. The cubs are well, looking fit and strong.
  • A young male seen on the River Road close to Eagles Nest Loop.
  • Sasakwa male leopard seen on the concrete strips passing maintenance block.
  • A male leopard seen at Boundary Pan, up in a sausage tree, with a Nile monitor kill.
  • Mbogo female with her two cubs were seen again a little further down the Mbogo drainage.
  • Mbogo male leopard seen on the drainage line, north of the main Fort Ikoma Road.
  • A shy male seen on the Sabora drainage.
  • The Sasakwa female leopard seen with her two cubs of five months old on the airstrip road at the eastern base of Sasakwa Hill.
  • A male leopard seen on the Nyasirori drainage with a porcupine kill.
  • The Mbogo female seen just north of the Faru Faru lodge access.


  • Some lovely sightings of a female cheetah on the Nyasirori high ground. This female was seen hunting Thompson’s gazelle successfully on a number of occasions in the area. She has occupied the area between Nyasirori Dam and Mbuni crossing for the month of May.


May has been a wonderful month for elephant viewing on the reserve, as is usual for this time of year.

  • Matriarchal herds have been seen moving through the greater region on many occasions. Some herds consisting of up to 30 individuals, other smaller herds in the region of Sasakwa Hill.
  • Towards the end of the month, we observed groups of large bulls following some of the herds in the central regions.
  • A group of 4 large bulls was seen in the southern Ikorongo close to Mbega Bridge.
  • “Zito” arrived on the Nyasirori high ground on the 29th of the month. This is incredible news for us here on the Grumeti. This bull elephant of 50 years plus is a true icon of the Serengeti and it has been quite some time since we had last laid eyes on him. Very excited to have him return once again.


  • Large herds of buffalo seen all over the reserve.
  • Good buffalo bull activity on Sasakwa Hill during the night.
  • A lovely herd of buffalo bulls seen close to Pelican Pan on the Grumeti River Road.
  • Some huge herds of 500 – 700 strong out on the Gambaranyera plains in the West.
  • Herds shifting considerably at night as being hassled regularly by lions.
  • Large herds often seen with great numbers of cattle egrets this month. Such a beautiful spectacle!


  • The rhinos on the reserve continue to do very well.
  • A particular female dispersed considerable distance, met and spent time with an established male from the northern Serengeti population. As a result, this female fell pregnant and is now rearing her first calf.
  • Preparations for further relocation projects of the eastern black rhino are underway and we hope to successfully add another 10 individuals within the system in the coming years.

Other interesting sightings:

  • We have had some great serval and caracal sightings this month, despite the very long grass. I think this is probably the reason why we have had such great sightings - due to the fact that these cats just can’t resist the opportunity to get away from the grass from time to time. As a result, we are experiencing some great sightings on the roads and two-tracks across the reserve.
  • Fantastic plains wildlife seen on the Nyasirori high ground including eland, zebra, warthog, Thompson’s gazelle, Robert’s gazelle and giraffe.
  • Some lovely Temminck’s and violet-tipped courser sightings this month.