First place photograph by Tim Robson

Bush Tip No.1

Lions tend to hunt at night or in the cooler hours and rest up during the day. So… keep an eye on giraffe. If they are all looking in one direction there is a good chance they are looking at something that might prey on them — lions!

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Endless Kills

See also:
Bush Notes from Ndutu

March 2006

What a dramatic year it has been so far! Christmas and the New Year passed with a just a few drops of rain. The Gnus and Zebra were in constant confusion as to where they should be migrating? Large numbers ended up at big marsh around Ndutu which had one of the last remaining water supplies in the southern Serengeti. This, of course, attached all the predators including a pride of Lion with 10 cubs of various sizes. The Marsh became a killing field with non-stop action daily. I've never had such short distances to drive to see such spectacular action. Over 100 buffalo (The first herd of Buffalo I've seen at Ndutu in 20 yrs) turned up to drink at the marsh each day and when they left their numbers were always reduced by one! It was meals on wheels for the Lions.

One morning while watching a heard of gnus drinking in the marsh 3 lionesses stalked in and each grabbed a gnu, killed it and walked back out to sit under a tree. If this wasn't unbelievable enough 10 minutes later a herd of Zebra turned up for a drink and one of the overfed lionesses decided on a bit of Zebra meat. She charged straight into the marsh and made another kill. Four lion kills in half an hour!

Being so dry meant that we had incredible game viewing because of the concentrations and variety of animals at the remaining water holes. The undergrowth was also very sparse so many of the smaller hidden animals were plainly visible. Serval's wildcats and caracals were often seen and one morning we saw 4 different stripped Hyenas.

The wildebeest calving happened as if it was a normal year and finally the Serengeti got some great rains and turned that stunningly green with water holes filled across the plains. The migration finally calmed down and spread themselves across the plain and into the Gol Mountains as if all was normal. The lions, cheetah and Hyena are now out there on the plains with them and it is business as usual.

No matter what the weather is doing every safari is incredibly exiting and totally different; bring on April, May...