April has been another wet month with heavy rains persisting. The Grumeti River has burst its banks on a number of occasions, taking with it many trees and bridges alike. This month we have lost two bridges to the torrents! The Old German Bridge, built at the turn of the century, can no longer be used as the banks have been washed away either side and the bridge structure itself has been badly damaged. The second bridge to go down was the main Fort Ikoma Bridge. We have not seen the rivers swell this way in the last ten years.
However, despite the rains, the air is clear and fresh and the wildlife of the Grumeti Reserve continues to thrive. We have had some wonderful cat sightings this month, including leopards, lions and cheetahs. The elephants have moved back into the reserve in great numbers and at times, looking south from Koroya Hill, you may cast your eyes over 350 elephants or more. Out west, on the open plains, herds of zebra and topi congregate in their thousands and there are many great eland on the high ground.
The colours in the sky during the evening light are incredible and the clarity for photographic opportunity is magical.
Here’s a sightings snapshot for April:
We have seen the Butamtam and Nyasirori lions most days this month.
The four youngsters of the Butamtam Pride are doing very well and continue to stay strong.
The Nyasirori Pride continue to hunt buffalo on the grasslands west of Sabora Camp.
The Ridge Pride are also doing very well. The pride consists of three lionesses and four cubs of ten months.
We have had great leopard sightings again this month.
The Grumeti North female and her two daughters of six months are doing very well and are spending most of their time along the Sand Road.
A very exciting observation of another leopardess with two cubs of four months old was made at the base of Ridge Hill.
A shy male leopard has also been observed in the Sand Road location and Tulia’s son has been seen up on the Nyasirori high ground.
Cheetah sightings this month have been lower than previous months as many individuals move into the National Park onto the higher ground when things get really wet here.
We have observed a very relaxed female, however, in the Grumeti North Hill region, just west of Faru Faru. It was lovely to see her scanning from the termite mounds as she looked for a meal.
April has seen hundreds of elephants arriving onto the reserve.
Some magical displays took place at Sasakwa Dam and in the Koroya Hill region.
We have witnessed elephants mating a number of times this month.
The Boundary Pan Clan are doing very well and managing to hang in there during the tough conditions. The youngsters are getting stronger and stronger which is great to see.
There have been lovely herds of buffalo, as always, here on the Grumeti.
Buffalo bulls have been utilising the Sasakwa Hill region extensively this month.
Large herds were observed in the west.
The rhinos continue to do very well in Ikorongo region.
The animals seem to be settling well into more defined ranges which is great to see.