Bush Report – March 23, 2012
By ADS Driver-Guide Anglebert Mrema
Animal Pattern and the Great Migrations:
The head of the migration herd was at the Kusini – Makao plain and the plain between miti mitatu and kusini including hidden valley. There were also lines of gnus moving from matiti plains to kusini plain.
Central Serengeti Sametu and Moru Kopjes:
The Central Serengeti was quiet with very tall grasses in the area. We had honeymooning lions at Sametu kopjes on our first game viewing and a long line of gnus move from Zebra kopjes heading to the direction of Simba and Moru kopjes. We did see two leopard at seronera valley and five lions up on the tree at the same area. We had two brothers cheetah at Moru kopjes and our visit to the maasai painting was so great because there was a big herd of gnus on the other side of the area.
Southern Serengeti / Gol Kopjes, Ndutu forest and kusini plain:
Gol kopjes was very dry and dusty and there were a few lost gnus hanging in the area heading to the lemuta area. We did see three lionesses with five cubs of about six month old near barafu kopjes. The lions were not in good shape and its probably due to the fact that the migration herd has not stayed in the area for a long time because of the lack of rain at the south east part of Serengeti.
Ndutu forest and kusini plain were great. We did see a total of five successful hunting at the area. We were having our lunch under a tree near Lake Ndutu while watching a long line of gnus crossing the lake and honeymooning lions ten meters from our jeep, and we didn’t know that there was another lioness deep in the grasses just a meter behind the vehicle. This lion used the image of the jeep to get to the bush in front and move on to the shore of the lake pursuing that line of gnus and made a chase with no success. The gnus moved to the forest and settled there for sometime and the lion decided to make another move and successfully killed one gnu.
The second hunting was a Mama cheetah with four cubs who chased and killed a baby gazelle just twenty meters from the car. It was very interesting to watch the cubs trying to help mama to drag the kill to the shade and play with the kill before the mama cheetah opened it.
We moved on with the game viewing and found the three brother cheetahs near the area pursuing a small herd of gnus and successfully chased and killed one. Also, we had another cheetah chase and kill a gazelle on a different day. One of the late afternoon on our way back to the lodge, we came across a line of gnus and as they were crossing Lake Masek valley, we realized that there was a lion following them. We decided to wait and watch and this lion moved to one of the big male gnus and the gnu decided to fight back.
We watched them chasing each other for over one hour with the gnu using the bush and horns to defend himself from the lion and the lion did its best trying to get it. We decided to go to the camp because it was too dark and the next morning we found the gnu killed.
One of the most exciting moments of the trip was to be in the middle of the migration at Kusini – Makao plain as well as a visit to the small crater at the Kusini forest. The area was great and we thought that all the guns and zebras of Serengeti were in this area. We drove back to the area the next day and found the whole small crater covered with gnus.
It was raining in a large part of the Ngorongoro conservation area and the caldera was green, lush and very beautiful. We had great game viewing and there were animals present in each corner of the caldera that we explored. We did see over ten rhinos in each day, which is a good sign that this endangered species is increasing due to conservation.
In the early morning, we had a great sight of over sixty female and baby elephant’s together escoted by a few males and they were moving from the North West part of the crater to the lerai forest. These females elephants were probably in transit due to the fact that their presence is very unusual in the Caldera as there are only male elephants here. There were also many lions and we had them right on the side of the road in many occasions.