East Africa Bush Tails

Singita Grumeti

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Sasakwa & Faru Faru Lodges
Serengeti House
Sabora Tented Camp & Explore Mobile Tented Camp

 
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January at Singita Grumeti was a month marked by change: The holiday festivities quieted down, the rains stopped, the sun came out and the short grass grew to extremely long lengths within a matter of days. But, the one thing that continued to be consistent was excellent game viewing. 
Singita Grumeti is cheetah country!
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28 Cheetah sightings in September, 25 in October, 35 in November and 44 in December.

Our cheetah sightings have been climbing recently and January was the best so far – 60 different cheetah sightings, and most of them consisting of more than one animal!

The usual suspects on the property have become more and more comfortable with the vehicles and are less afraid to be seen. Then there are multiple newcomers who continue to sporadically showup. They include two additional brothers and a few single females. All of the newcomers are still quite skittish.

We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for our cheetah population at Singita Grumeti. Currently we are averaging two sightings a day and many guests have been lucky enough to witness a gazelle being hunted. We hope all of these world speed record holders are here to stay!

Over the past seven months we’ve had regular sightings of the female cheetah and her single cub, in the sequence of photographs that follow. Making it to adulthood is difficult in the bush, especially for cats, so it has been awesome to watch this cub continue to grow and survive.

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28 Cheetah sightings in September, 25 in October, 35 in November and 44 in December.

Our cheetah sightings have been climbing recently and January was the best so far – 60 different cheetah sightings, and most of them consisting of more than one animal!

The usual suspects on the property have become more and more comfortable with the vehicles and are less afraid to be seen. Then there are multiple newcomers who continue to sporadically showup. They include two additional brothers and a few single females. All of the newcomers are still quite skittish.

We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for our cheetah population at Singita Grumeti. Currently we are averaging two sightings a day and many guests have been lucky enough to witness a gazelle being hunted. We hope all of these world speed record holders are here to stay!

Over the past seven months we’ve had regular sightings of the female cheetah and her single cub, in the sequence of photographs that follow. Making it to adulthood is difficult in the bush, especially for cats, so it has been awesome to watch this cub continue to grow and survive.

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It wasn’t until I was looking at my pictures of them later that I noticed something slightly peculiar about one of these three. Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) are a subspecies of giraffe that live in eastern Africa. One thing that distinguishes them is that their markings are very rigid and cracked whereas southern African giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) have markings that are more rounded and the cracks less defined.

If you look at the above picture, the youngster in the middle has very soft and rounded markings – very interesting and atypical!

Less than 100 metres north from there we came across this little one who was only a few days old, sleeping at its mother’s feet. She was an old looking female who was very calm, probably because this baby has come after many others, and she had grown confident with experience.

The tiny giraffe was very sleepy. Every now and then he would lift his long neck and look up, but it was never very long until his eyes would start to close and he would turn his head back around and snooze a little longer.

We couldn’t get enough of his droopy ears and the black tufts of hair covering his horns, and were more than happy to sit with him for about 30 minutes until he finally decided it was time to wake up, stand up, and get a move-on.

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Even more elephants!
In December we mentioned huge numbers of elephants roaming around Sabora, and the beginning of January continued to impress. After hearing reports of a massive herd, guides Lizzie, Alf, Alan and I went to check it out.
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There were over 400 elephants. Combined, Alf, Alan, and I have over 40 years of guiding experience under our belts and we all agreed this was probably the best sighting of elephant we have ever seen.

We first spotted the huge herd on open plains and they were very skittish, stampeding in the other direction the second they saw us approaching. Cautiously we made our way towards them. They moved into a more covered area with trees and bushes and their attitude completely changed, from skittish to extremely calm and relaxed. We even had an elderly cow come right up to the vehicle, no more than three feet away, to investigate us.

Elephants are very social animals, and every now and then many different herds will come together like this to socialize. They will stay together for a period of time and eventually go their separate ways.

The case of the missing lions
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The Butamtam Pride went ‘off the radar’ for January, and we did not see them the entire month. We believe this was due to a lack of plains game in their territory, combined with their continuing to avoid the five big Nyasirorimales.

We hope to see them again come February- AWOL lions are always rather disconcerting!

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