June has been a lovely month here on the Grumeti Reserve. Although a little dryer than years gone by we have seen lovely herds of migratory wildebeest, zebra and topi aggregating out on the plains. Due to the patchy, isolated and localized rainfall we have seen quite a difference in pasture and the amount of good graze across the reserve. Herds of thousands have passed through the reserve – the vast extent these great herds are still able to traverse across the greater ecosystem is truly phenomenal.
During the first half of the month the Grumeti River had a reasonable flow of which slowly shrank away to a trickle. However, later on in the month we saw her flowing once again after heavy rain in the NE catchment of the Serengeti National Park. Many of the smaller drainage lines have dried up towards the end of the month meaning that both the Grumeti River and Sasakwa Dam have been important water sources for the resident wildlife and the migratory herds. We are over the moon to be able to mention that this month we saw a second hippo calf born in the Sasakwa Dam. The small raft of five has become six!
Here’s a sightings snapshot for June:
• A total of 117 individual sightings were recorded this month. The lion population continues to do extremely well and on a number of days this month we recorded viewing close to 100 individuals in a single day! This is really quite extraordinary.
• There have been some lovely interactions with the Butamtam Pride and their four young cubs. The Nyasirori Pride also has new editions. With the ever growing herds of topi and zebra out on the western plains we have observed great interaction of the Kawanga Pride and 24 members have been seen together at any one time which has been sensational.
• A total of 37 individual sightings were recorded this month which is yet again an average of over one leopard sighting per day.
• Leopard cubs were seen with their mother along the Grumeti River.
• A total of 24 individual sightings were recorded this month.
• We have seen some really exciting cheetah hunts this month, offering some truly exceptional guest experiences.
We were truly honoured to observe an old bull elephant with incredible ivory that has been spending time on Sasakwa Hill. We’ve been referring to him as “Zito” which is Swahili for “heavy”.
• A total of 72 individual sightings were recorded this month. Elephant sighting have generally been very good for this time of the year.
• A total of 107 individual sightings were recorded this month.
• The larger herds remain out on the grasslands in impressive numbers. Some of our larger breeding herds are now in excess of 500 individuals. Buffalo numbers continue to do very well on the reserve.
• A total of 117 individual sightings were recorded this month.
• The Boundary Pan clan are moving from strength to strength and the youngsters are growing stronger by the day.
• Plains wildlife on the reserve never disappoint with some lovely zebra herds sighted on the Pofu plain, Ikorongo, on the central grasslands and the western plains.
• Eland numbers have been reasonable as have the resident herds of Thompson’s and Robert’s gazelle.
• We were lucky enough this month to also observe a Caracal mother with a very young kitten seen on the Watershed… now that’s not something you see every day!
Some exciting and informative Bush Stories follow, as well as a June Gallery of images.