March has been a challenging month but has provided us with spectacular wildlife viewing. It has, as one would expect, remained reasonably wet for the most part and the Grumeti River went from a gentle sweep to a raging torrent where the water burst its banks on a number of occasions.
We have had some lovely wildlife up on the higher ground of the Nyati plains and the Nyasirori area with great numbers of Thompsons gazelle, zebra and eland. Herds of elephants peruse the thickets on the drainage lines adjacent to the high ground and lion, leopard and cheetah are never too far away.
We have again experienced some fantastic cat sightings this month – from cheetah hunting on the plains, tree climbing lions and big shy male leopards that stare down at you from their perch with a wild intensity in their eyes.
Here’s a sightings snapshot for March:
We have seen lions daily on the reserve this month. Prides viewed include the Nyasirori, Butamtam, Mkuyu and Ridge prides.
Both the Nyasirori and Mkuyu prides made multiple buffalo kills this month.
Great sightings of the Nyasirori lions up in the trees west of Sabora.
Two lionesses split temporarily from the Nyasirori pride and have given birth to four cubs.
The Butamtam youngsters continue to do very well despite the tough conditions.
There are currently three different leopardesses each with two cubs, all active within a 6 Sq. Km area from Faru Faru, the Grumeti North Hill and along the Grumeti River.
We have experienced some fantastic sightings of the mother with two six-month-old daughters.
Three very shy leopards were observed on the property this month. The first on the Nyasirori drainage line, a second on the Mbogo drainage and the third on the Raho drainage.
Some good cheetah sightings this month in the western areas of the reserve.
A male cheetah was seen hunting on three occasions just west of Sabora.
Up on the Nyasirori high ground a mother with a single cub of 11 months has been seen a number of times.
The Sasakwa plains male was seen on two occasions in the Pundamilia Ridge region.
March has been very good for elephant sightings with the return of great numbers to Sasakwa Dam.
Elephants are still traversing large distances and are widely distributed. We’ve enjoyed many sightings down on the Grumeti River and on the Raho drainage, south of Sabora.
A highlight was watching bull elephants swimming in Sasakwa Dam. What a pleasure to see!
The hyenas have been very active this month especially in the central regions and the south west.
The Nyasirori area remains a hot spot area with active den-sites.
The Marsh area, east of Arab Camp hill has also offered good hyena viewing and two known den-sites.
Lovely herds of buffalo continue to hold out on the grass plains.
Buffalo viewing here on the Grumeti is always spectacular no matter what time of year. With the general population growth being incredibly encouraging.
The rhino continue to do very well and are establishing themselves nicely in the Ikorongo region.
The animals seem to be settling well into more defined ranges which is great to see.
Conditions have not been easy for them with all the rains and swollen drainage lines.
The Ikorongo area is for the most part inaccessible currently due to the conditions and sightings have not been frequent, however, the Conservation team on the ground are always close by and we have had some wonderful feedback on the rhinos’ progress.