July is traditionally the busiest migration month at Singita Grumeti. After experiencing some relatively late rain in the first week of July, in patches across the concession, we started to see an increase of wildebeest onto Grumeti Reserve in the western and eastern sections in huge numbers, along with really large herds of topi and zebra.
With the arrival of the large herds comes the cutting back of the grasses, and we started to see an increase in predator sightings, where certain parts of the concession came alive with activity. The number of zebra on the concession has been incredible for July, with Sabora and the Explore Camps having experienced huge numbers throughout the month. Zebra enjoy the inflorescence or flowering parts of the upper grass stem, and with this in abundance, certainly added to their presence. There is a wealth of lion cubs on the concession and the predator count on the bi-annual helicopter survey produced some staggering results, which will be made available later in the year.
Here’s a sightings snapshot for July:
A total of 126 individual sightings were recorded this month. The lion population continues to do extremely well and the sightings improved significantly when the large herds of wildebeest and zebra arrived. New cubs from the Nyasirori Pride were seen on a few occasions.
A total of 51 sightings for the month – this included sightings of 9 different individuals on one day.
A total of 43 individual sightings were recorded this month with the last ten days of the month producing two or more sightings per day. A mother and young cub has been seen on the Sasakwa Plains, along with the regular sighting of a young male off Old School areas and a large male along Rhino Rocks. An adult female has also been seen along the Gambaranyera Plains near Balanites Explore.
A total of 95 individual sightings were recorded this month, this largely due to reports from the numerous herds in the Ikorongo Game Reserve, where herds were constantly seen in and along the Grumeti River.
A total of 125 individual sightings were recorded this month, this also due to activity in the Ikorongo Game Reserve and far reaches of the western areas of the Grumeti Game Reserve.
A total of 52 individual sightings were recorded.
The plains game in July was sensational. The wildebeest migration tends to force some of the other grazers off the concession, but due to the patchy rainfall and huge grassland areas, we still saw large herds of topi in the Gambaranyera plains and decent size herds of gazelle on the higher ground, short grass plains. Zebra numbers have just been phenomenal throughout the month, especially toward Faru and the watershed areas where they spend their days after drinking at Sasakwa Dam.
We had a small herd of Coke’s hartebeest below Sasakwa Lodge, almost daily.
Wes, from the Grumeti Fund, was fortunate enough to see a pangolin one evening along Sabora Access; and Grumeti Fund Director, Steve, had a leopard on his balcony at home late one evening!