July has again been a very dry month with very little rainfall. Fortunately, there has been enough soil moisture to spur on the green flushes over the burns in the central regions. A thick carpet of green can be seen in these areas bringing back many plains wildlife species such as zebra, impala, wildebeest and warthog. Also, lovely to note is the number of oribi sighted this month on Sasakwa Hill. We have been lucky enough to see a number of pairs establishing themselves in the hills and valleys, making the most of the good grazing availability.
Towards the end of the month we have started to see the last of the wildebeest herds moving off to the north east. The last of the smaller herds pass by Sasakwa Hill in their drips and drabs with zebra never far away. We have seen some lovely zebra numbers moving back into the central areas alongside eland and Thompson’s gazelle. The cats have been wonderful as always and with the movement of wildebeest away from the area we begin to see some lovely elephant numbers returning to the now quieter grasslands and woodlands.
The Grumeti River continues to flow, although very shallow now, the clear waters pass over the white sands. There has been little rain in the catchment the last two months and so the flow is testament to huge amount of water that has continued to percolate through the soils continually topping up the main drainage lines.
The Ikorongo region in the north east has seen fantastic elephant numbers on the river, good buffalo herds too and wildebeest as they march from the central areas. There have been great giraffe and zebra sightings on the Grumeti River, downstream of Bangwezi and also great Defassa waterbuck numbers.
Here’s a sightings snapshot for July:
Great interactions with the Butamtam, Ridge and Nyasirori prides this month.
Interesting movements observed of nomadic lions moving through and trying to establish around Sasakwa Hill.
Great sightings of the Grumeti North female and daughter this month, close to the old German Bridge.
We have had some nice sightings of Tulia’s young male cub on the Boundary Pan drainage.
The Sasakwa male has been sighted on a number of occasions west of Sasakwa Dam. and in the valley beneath Kilima.
We have had some great sighting of the Sabora female just west of Sabora.
Some huge aggregations sighted on the Sasakwa plains. As the wildebeest move out of the region, the breeding herds of elephant begin to move back in.
Some fantastic elephant viewing in the Ikorongo region, in the vicinity of the Grumeti River, south of Bangwezi.
The usual hyena numbers observed with the clans not covering big distances when hunting as there has been a slow and steady stream of wildebeest herds filtering back through from the west.
Great interactions in the Marsh area and on the Rhino Rocks with good clan numbers hunting wildebeest.
The great buffalo herds had almost seemed to have given way to the great numbers of wildebeest, however, this month they are very much back in the centre of attention in the central areas.
Great buffalo numbers in the Ikorongo region on the Grumeti River and a herd of 1000+ sighted in the Triangle region of the concession.
The rhino are doing extremely well these days. Ivan and Victory have been seen spending time together and there is every possibility they are mating.
All cows with calves seem to be healthy, fit and strong.