The Lamai Triangle experiences a dramatic transformation between the months of June and July, both aesthetically and in terms of wildlife, particularly when the migratory animals show up as early as they did this season.
During the month of June there was still a fair amount of precipitation, more so than Grumeti had which is just 80 kilometres (50 miles) to the south west of Lamai. The game in the immediate area of the camp was superb during this time. Great sightings of large groups of giraffe, as well as eland, topi and gazelles, and on occasions even good elephant sightings were to be had close to the camp and even within the camp itself.
July started drying off nicely and this made for perfect game viewing conditions once the large herds of wildebeest arrived. Collectively, they eat the equivalent of around 4 000 tons of grass per day, and that’s not taking into account the amount of grass that is just trampled underfoot as they move around.
The shorter the grass gets, the better the game viewing becomes. Lion, leopard and cheetah sightings start climbing dramatically as the environment opens up.
Leopards: In July we ended the month with twelve sightings, in June we only managed to accumulate three sightings. The leopards in the Lamai Triangle are mostly relaxed, which is a nice windfall for us because as long as they are resting in a tree we will get to see them. The drainage line that runs to the east of the camp all the way to the border is the best place to view these special cats.
Lions: In June we massed a total of 15 lion sightings for the month. This is a very good figure considering we had 13 days with no guests in camp.
July on the other hand provided almost daily viewing of lions. And the grand total for lion sightings by the end of July was 37. Baring in mind that the migration and crossings are the big draw card, getting this many sightings is terrific.
Cheetahs: There was a 100% increase in sightings of cheetahs between the two months from six in June to twelve recorded in July.
The majority of the sightings were made up of two males that frequent the border area between the Maasai Mara and the northern Serengeti.
Elephants: Elephant were regularly seen throughout both months. From time to time they would come into camp and spend some quality time just feeding while guests would watch them as they sipped on an expertly made cocktail! I couldn’t think of a better way to end a long safari day!
General: There were also some unusual sightings, in July in particular. One of the guides got to see a female East African black rhino and her calf. There was also a good sighting of…wait for it snake lovers… a black-necked spitting cobra. Fortunately this was seen well away from camp and it was just going about its business and not bothering anyone. Large gatherings of hyenas also seemed to be a common sight over the last two-month period. On one occasion a group of 24 hyenas were seen feeding on a freshly killed topi on Kampi Kampi plains.
We are unsure of what August holds in store, but undoubtedly there will be some wildebeest involved and, have no fear, because we will report on it at the end of next month.