October has been a lovely month here at the Singita Grumeti. With the scattered rain showers throughout the region we have seen lovely green pastures in the central and western areas which have attracted many thousands of wildebeest, zebra, topi, buffalo and gazelle. It has been fantastic to see such great numbers of wildebeest moving back onto the reserve from the north-east, the word of green pastures has gotten out and to see the columns strung out across the grasslands has been magical.
The predators have been wonderful this month. Great lion activity all over Singita Grumeti with interesting developments in dynamics all over the property. The leopard and cheetah sightings have really been great too this month with the shorter grass and more favourable conditions, making sightings somewhat easier and more frequent. Cheetah sighting particularly have been very interesting this month with a handful of new individuals observed in the western regions.
The Grumeti River continues a steady trickle across the white sands of the river bed. The elephant activity on our 50 km stretch of the river has been fantastic with many matriarchal herds utilising the river water and the ample food supply on her banks and the adjacent areas.
Here’s a sightings snapshot for October:
The lions on the Grumeti never fail to disappoint with their increasing numbers and amazing interactions. The Butamtam Pride have been busy as usual in the central areas from Farasi to Pundamilia Hill and Sasakwa Dam area. They have been fortunate this month with the abundance of wildebeest and zebra with no shortage of favoured prey species.
We have seen some interesting changes in the dynamics/social structures of the lions on the property over the last six months with numbers of lions moving into the Grumeti from outside regions.
Great Nyasirori Pride activity continues in the Sabora camp region.
Shy lionesses with youngsters observed moving onto the Mkomure drainage.
Ridge Pride active in the Sasakwa Hill region, along the valleys and towards the Ridge Hills.
Leopard sightings have been very good this month with regular Grumeti North Hill Female and daughter sightings. The 15-month old daughter seems to be fit and strong and continues to maintain a healthy bond with her mother, as females usually do. She may spend days alone but it never seems to be too long before they reunite.
We have also had some good sightings of the German Bridge Female as she works her way along the banks of the river.
Lovely sightings of the Grumeti North Drainage Male.
The Ridge Hill mother and two continue to do very well. She has a daughter and a son of 13 months old. The little family unit continues to utilise the woodlands of the Western Ridge Hills.
Cheetah sightings and movements have been very interesting this month with the bulk of the action in the favourable habitat of the Sabora plains.
A mother and two youngsters of just over a year old have been sighted regularly in the vicinity of camp.
The Sabora Male continues to prowl the grasslands east of Sabora and has been successfully hunting wildebeest youngsters much of the time.
Another single female has also been seen regularly in the Fisi Access region, just North of Sabora.
The elephant numbers on the Grumeti have begun to shrink ever so slightly as we receive more rain, as surface water becomes more prevalent, however, we still remain with our more than fair share!
Elephant herds on the Grumeti River have been awesome! Some aggregations of 70+ have not been uncommon on the Grumeti River, especially in the Colobus Crossing region.
We have seen somewhat sporadic movements of elephants throughout the rest of the reserve.
Very good numbers in the Bangwezi region.
Our familiar matriarchal units close to Sasakwa Hill and the Rubana Drainage always pop up from time to time.
Spotted hyena sightings have been great, especially in the Nyasirori high ground area.
Good spotted hyena numbers observed on the Kawanga plains.
The larger buffalo herds here on the Grumeti may number up to 800 individuals, especially some of the western herds.
The buffalo herds are sedentary and despite the changing seasons remain in similar regions utilising the given pasture despite its palatability and fibrous content.
Great herds can be seen dotted all throughout the region and this is always an impressive sight here at Singita Grumeti.
Buffalo herds on the Sabora plains.
The rhino continue to do well. There have been challenges…. there will always be challenges, however, the rhino population remains strong and continues to move in the right direction.
Lindiwe and calf are well and to witness these animals trot out across the grasslands from the vantage of a light aircraft is simply magical.
Both Eric and Ivan seem to have worked out their quarrels over territories with Ivan moving off to occupy areas further afield.