American Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones’ bid in the early 2000’s to save a heavily poached area west of Tanzania’s famed Serengeti National Park has really paid off… We here at Ultimate Africa have visited numerous times and watched each year as the number of animals has steadily grown.
An area once devoid of wildlife now not only hosts the wildebeest migration when it passes through May / June each year it has AWESOME year round game. With only 4 camps / lodges and 1 private villa the Singita Grumeti Reserve provides the perfect alternative to Kenya’s overcrowded Masai Mara Reserve during that areas busiest time of year…
Check out the August 2017 wildlife report from the Singita Grumeti Reserve:
We didn’t see much rainfall in August, although we had several thunderstorms during the month that provided some much needed relief to the animals. The biggest storm we had recorded 70mm of rainfall, which fell in and around Sasakwa Hill.
Our resident animals: Topi, Zebra, Eland and buffalo have enjoyed having the concession to themselves, filling up the Sasakwa and Sabora plains throughout the month. The elephants have also been a constant during the month with some herds as large as 100 individuals being seen.
Lions: If lions are what you want to see during your safari, then Singita Grumeti is the place for you. This month we had a total of 172 sightings.
Across our concession we have 5 prides that we see on a daily basis: The Butamtam pride, Mkuyu pride, Nyasarori pride, Colobus pride and the West pride. On any given day you can see up to 60 different individuals.
The Butamtam pride holds the majority of our sightings, as the core of their territory is on the Sasakwa plains. It is currently our largest pride, consisting of 4 males, 10 females and 22 cubs all ranging in age from 2 months – 20 months!
Currently four of the mothers, who birthed the nine youngest cubs, are spending a great deal of time along Chooi drainage as it is a great place for these lionesses to hide their young cubs while they go off looking for a meal. The older cubs and their mothers are moving between the rhino sanctuary and Fort Ikoma Road.
Once again the Nyasarori pride has largely been seen along the Raho drainage as it is holding small pockets of water that attracts a ready supply of animals, which they have learnt to ambush along the drainage.
The pride consists of 24 individuals: 5 males, 6 females and 13 cubs. We are expecting this number to grow as a mating pair were recently seen on honeymoon south of Singita Sabora Tented Camp.
The West pride is doing very well along the Raho drainage, south of Singita Explore Tented Camps with 2 new cubs seen for the first time this month. Their totals are now 2 males, 6 females and 14 cubs. Guests staying at Balanities Camp were treated to the 2 dominant males walking right past the camp while patrolling their territory.
Cheetah: Another great month for cheetah sightings, with a total of 59 this month.
A female with 2 sub-adult cubs was seen for the first time this month, west of Singita Explore Tented Camps on the Gambaranyere plains. Explore guests have loved watching her training her cubs in the art of hunting. On one occasion guests were lucky enough to see her catch a Thompsons Gazalle, not kill it and then allow the cubs to try and kill it themselves… After about 10 minutes, they managed to catch the gazelle and the young male cub ended the hunt, so a great learning curve for the cubs before they start life on their own.
The mother of one and her cub are still thriving out on the plains and have been providing many of our guests with their first ever successful hunts witnessed.
As with the mother of two, this female is allowing her cubs to successfully finish off many of her hunts. These pictures taken by Field Guide, Mishi Mtili show on of the cubs finishing off a young impala. All valuable life lessons for the cub if she is to make it on her own.
Guest were treated to a truly incredible sighting this month… mating cheetah!!! I have been guiding for 15 years and have never had the chance to see this, so when I heard a mating pair had been spotted, I rushed out to witness this for the first time. For many of the guides on the property this was also a first, as it is seldom sighted because they usually mate at night.
A male cheetah has been seen regularly throughout the month on Sasakwa plains and seems to be a pro hunter, as guests have witnessed 10 of his kills this month!
Leopards: Our leopard sightings have been dominated by the Mkombre female and her cub, with them being seen on a daily basis. They have been moving between Mkombre drianage and Arab camp hill and with the grass being so short at the moment, the quality of the sightings have been unbelievable.
Tulia and her two cubs have been seen on a few occasions this month and have moved further west, spending their time in and around Singita Explore Tented Camps north of the Raho drainage.
This area has got some great thickets which provide cover for her cubs while she is off hunting. On a few occasions guests staying at Maroela Explore Camp have seen her moving the cubs to a new den site.
The Koroya hill female was heavily pregnant when we last saw her, so we can expect some new leopard cubs on the property in the coming weeks. She will keep them well hidden for the first month of their lives and once they have grown a bit, we’ll hopefully be able to view them.
Wild dogs: The dogs have been quite scarce this month, with only two recorded sightings. The reason being is that they are no longer denning so the pack is continuously on the move, spending majority of their time in the National park.
Elephants: A great month for elephant sightings, with some large herds of over 100 individuals. They are spending a great deal of their time between the airstrip and Sasakwa Lodge, causing havoc with the trees in this area, particularly one of their favourites, the acacia’s.