February – The Calving Season
It’s been a rather dry February this year and the migration appears to have split up into smaller herds and are currently scattered throughout the woodlands but in the past week, the rains have started again over some areas of the southern and eastern Serengeti creating swathes of green and calling the herds back out onto the plains.
Yesterday a decent size herd was located grazing at the southern base of Naabi Hill and stretching towards the Gol Kopjes. The herds we came across were almost exclusively made up of males and I am guessing that the females with their newborn calves are staying in the far south near Maswa and Matiti.
Gol Kopjes is still quite dry and dusty but didn’t disappoint for cats. ADS favourite pride, the Gol Kopje pride, is thriving and we came across a lioness babysitting six cubs from two different litters, all taking refuge from the hot midday sun under a large rock. Several cheetahs were also easily spotted yesterday in the Gol during a short game during midday.
Up in the Seronera, not a single wildebeest to be seen anywhere but plenty of zebra herds around Seronera River and impalas throughout the woodlands to the benefit of the large Seronera predators. During a morning game drive on Sunday, a leopard and her cub were spotted feeding on an impala kill and also a lioness with a fresh zebra kill just south of Maasai Kopjes.
In the far eastern plains around the Gol Mountains, it was green but fairly dusty and small herds of wildebeest with very young calves were spotted along Angata Kiti.We came across several wildebeest and zebra carcasses and I had hoped to spot the wild dog pack that frequent the area but no luck on this trip.I received a call this evening from an ADS camp crew member that the wild dog pack that I had been searching for was spotted in Piaya today by a Maasai, just north of where we had camped. Although I missed them on this safari, its great to know that they are there and thriving.
The wildebeest calving begun in earnest during the the second week of February this year though we are still seeing scattered births over wide parts of the southern and eastern Serengeti. We have had quite a few lucky clients last week out on their african safaris get some really great shots of baby wildebeest being born and even a couple gazelle births, as well, which are arguably even more precious!