Serengeti – more than we expected!!

Two rhinos

Great stories and sightings from Bush2Beach – “Simon Kimaro“ who just returned from a 7 days wildlife safari on the Northern parks that took him right through the Serengeti to visit Lake Victoria, spending a few nights at Speke bay where the clients enjoyed local fishing practises, birding, along with experiencing a little culture of the local fishing villages that line the lake foreshore.

Leopard in a treeThe action for wildlife was well spread out through the whole Safari and once again the leopard (Panthera pardus pardus) are back again in and around Mawee Meusi. They have been keeping safari seekers happily entertained for over a week of sightings whilst they have been mating on this set of well-known rocky outcrops, known as Kopjes…more little fury cubs to enter out into the wilds sometime around mid/late September after being kept hidden for around 2 months. Mum takes care of the litter that can reach up to three cubs, venturing away from the den after about 4 months when the cubs get the chance to begin the art of hunting. As I know already we have many safaris throughout August into September so it would be great to learn how these cubs are faring up? if that make through the early stages after birth. As with many young born to the wilds the fatality of young even amongst the predators is high and perhaps if the female gives birth to 3 cubs maybe one will survive to secure his/her own territory as a fully grown adult.

Now the next news was almost unbelievable but as we know Simon extremely well he is not one to exaggerate and the sighting of 9 lionesses ( Panthera leo) in a tree has to be a record ?? He calmly mentioned “it’s due to the rains and long grass” and apart from the 9 fully grown adults there were 2 cubs of 2 years young close by still showing clearly their spotted undercoat. Need to get out of this office more often to catch some of that action that’s for sure. I have been fortunate over the years to also come across lion in trees but I am talking like one individual with a fat belly sleeping her wildebeest kebab off!! Don’t get me wrong, happy to have witnessed this sighting for sure.

Head shot buffaloOn Simons return through the western corridor close by to the perfectly situated Mbalageti lodge he passed by good numbers of buffalo (Syncerus caffer) reaching up to 200 + which is a fair few horned beast weighing in on average around 700 – 900 kg with a scary shoulder height from 1 to 1.7 metres ( 3’.3 to 5’6 ) tall. Think for all readers you understand why we ask you to stay in the vehicle at all times, you do not want to meet one of these guys whilst ducking behind a low bush for a short call!!

To round off this short wildlife update as the season rolls on. The Ngorongoro also revealed 2 female black rhino Diceros bicornis with young. These calf are now reaching around 4 years old where normally they would have ventured to other roaming grounds. Female calf’s do at times form their own groups until they become sexually active from around 5 – 7 years old with males being a little slower in this department coming good at around 7–8 years old.

The Ngorongoro Crater is undoubtedly the best location you will stand a chance of viewing these magnificent creatures and it is perhaps due to the ideal habitat with the caldera providing ample safe grazing that the individuals and off spring do not roam too far away. The life expectancy in natural conditions is from 35–50 years old!! however poaching is once again on the increase in Tanzania and although the black rhino of Ngorongoro are highly protected as they are somewhat easier to track and keep a close eye on them. News was recently released that 3 of the South African black rhino that were relocated last year into Serengeti have already fallen to poachers. It’s a sad ongoing battle that one would hope to think in this day and age people would understand that the future of black rhino is in all our hands and the ban and movement of rhino horns and ivory should firmly remain in place further being enforced to safe guard the future of these targeted species. For those heading into the crater in the coming days/weeks the 2 females and their young have been seen for some days out near ‘Vumbi La Kongoni’ – which is the local driver guides nickname meaning in Ki-Swahili – heartbeats’ dust.

Enjoy the game drives and experiences as they unfold with each new day.

More news coming in shortly as to the annual migrations movements, other great safari sightings and travel updates from the bush and beach.

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