May has been an inspiring month, full of great energy and wildlife magic!
A great change has come around in both weather and conditions. Towards the end of the month we began to see the rain finally cease and the grasslands begin to change colour to a beautiful golden yellow. The dry, cold winds began to blow and the smell of bush fire smoke was drifting in across the plains.
On the 21st of May we began to see the great herds of wildebeest moving onto the reserve as twenty thousand individuals poured into the Ikorongo region upon the Nyabehu River. Shortly after this we saw other herds of both zebra and wildebeest moving onto the central grasslands from the south. The migration is back on the Grumeti and the energy of the movement is incredibly exciting!
A sightings snapshot for May follows:
Fantastic sighting of the Butamtam, Nyasirori, Ridge and Colobus prides this month. The first half of the month saw incredible action as lion prides turned their attention to large prey species.
The huge, powerful lionesses of the Butamtam successfully brought down a number of buffalo towards the beginning of the month.
The Ridge pride were successful with their efforts in bringing down a bull giraffe on Sasakwa Hill, a few hundred yards from Sasakwa Lodge. They cleverly ran the giraffe upon the rocks causing it to lose its footing.
We have observed mating pairs within the Butamtam pride.
Nomadic lions seem to be establishing themselves on the Nyasirori high ground.
Leopard sightings this month have been very good with great time spent with the Grumeti North female and her two 9-month-old daughters.
Other leopard sightings have included an old female close to German Bridge, a young male on Nyasirori drainage line and the Ridge Hill mother with her two five-month-old cubs.
Cheetah sightings this month have been tough but we had the pleasure of witnessing a female hunting just west of Sabora who was able to bring down a young Robert’s gazelle. It was an incredible chase.
We expect to see cheetahs more regularly from now as the migratory animals move in to graze and trample the tall obscuring grass.
The Sasakwa male has been sighted on two occasions in the central areas.
Lovely sightings of great herds and aggregations this month on the reserve.
We have seen, on more than one occasion, elephants swimming in the Grumeti River which is always wonderful.
Many of the great aggregations have been spending time south of Koroya Hill.
There have been some great territorial disputes between clans in the west.
Good hyena numbers have been observed in the Nyati region and also in the Sabora region.
The den-site on the Nyasirori high ground has been very active and a good number of youngsters are beginning to relax in the presence of the vehicle.
Incredible herds sighted out west with numbers reaching 600. Some very impressive bulls within the breeding herds suggests strong genetics and healthy competition.
Buffalo numbers in the central regions are fantastic and the resident herds provide some spectacular viewing.
The rhino story here on the Grumeti is incredibly exciting. One of our wild rhino cows has given birth and the calf is approximately three weeks old now, and seems to be doing very well. A historical moment really as this is the first birth to take place here on the Grumeti with the reintroduced animals.
The rhino are doing very well in general and continue to move from strength to strength.