June has been a dry month with very little rain. The Grumeti River water levels continue to drop, barely spanning the width of the sandy bed below. The grasslands heave with the activity of thousands of wildebeest as they continue to utilise the central and western regions of the reserve. More recently, towards the end of June, we have started to see the wildebeest columns moving back to east. It will not be long now before they filter gently out of the Grumeti and on up towards the Mara River.
With the great herds of wildebeest and zebra moving through the concession we have seen the long grasses slowly flattened, trampled and grazed off. This has provided very favourable conditions once again for predator viewing. We have seen many lions, leopards and cheetahs this month with the changing conditions.
Plains game flood back into the central areas with huge numbers of zebra, eland and buffalo utilising the grasslands close to Sasakwa Hill.
Here’s a sightings snapshot for June:
We continue to observe great interactions between both the Butamtam and Nyasirori prides.
We are also observing nomadic lions moving around within these core territories and, in some cases, are causing unrest within the prides.
Mating pairs amongst both the Butamtam and Nyasirori prides have been viewed this month.
Good sightings of the Grumeti North female with a single daughter have been frequent, never too far from their range close to the German Bridge.
Good sightings of the Ridge Hill female and two youngsters have also been highlights this month.
We have been fortunate to witness the Sabora female cheetah making the most of good hunting conditions just west of Sabora. This female has been successful on a number of occasions hunting gazelle.
We also observed another somewhat shy female moving into the Sabora region too this month.
The elephant herds continue to keep their distance from the noisy wildebeest herds and as the wildebeest spread west we see the elephants holding in the woodlands at the base of Sasakwa Hill.
We have observed some great elephant numbers just downstream of Faru Faru.
Hyenas have been busy again this month as they follow the great herds of wildebeest.
We have been fortunate enough to witness some lovely interactions at the Boundary Pan den-site up on the Nyasirori high ground.
As always there are great herds of buffalo in the central areas.
Two large herds were observed close to the Sasakwa Hill region, with one herd regularly moving on and off the hill.
The rhinos continue to do very well in the Ikorongo region.
It seems they have really begun to establish themselves well now that conditions have dried out further.