Rain tapers off and we have warm mornings around 22 degrees Celsius and hot mid days 33 degrees Celsius. Clear skies return and with no light pollution around the stars at night are spectacular with many of the big constellations on show.
Out on the grasslands the savannah grasses are tall and lush, waiting for the imminent arrival of the Wildebeest migration. Some years the wildebeest begin to enter the Mara River early crossing at Sand River towards the end of the month. This is the wildebeest rutting season and males are seen jumping, cavorting and bumping heads as the males compete for short term territory and females.
Huge herds of elephants up to 200 individuals are in the Marsh area feeding and bathing, there are young calves amongst the herds. Sensing the imminent arrival of the wildebeest the elephant begin to move into the acacia woodlands bordering the reserve, this is the area where we do our walking safaris and it is always a treat to see so many elephant here. Large groups of giraffe from 15 – 25 pass by the camps on the periphery of the forests often with young calves within the family groups and the resident herd of buffalo graze around the marsh areas.
Lion spend their time between the boundary of the reserve and the Marsh following the available food, feeding mostly of warthog, waterbuck and topi. The Marsh Pride remains close to Governors Camp. Cheetah hunt on the high plains, keeping a low profile from all the hyena around.
Leopard sightings remain very good, one June we had the privilege of watching a leopard lying in up in a Hammercop nest all day, much to the anger and frustration of the Hammercops who could not get near their nest all day!
Most of the plains game remain on the short grass plains where the grass is green and they can easily see predators approaching, these include topi with their 7 month old calves, warthog who are all over the plains and especially close to camp. Warthog are seen being chased back down their holes by hungry lion. Warthog are the main prey for lions at this time of year. Large herd of resident buffalo grazes on the plains and we also have good sightings of eland herds, eland also calve at this time of year. Large clans of hyena up to 40 members are seen competing with lion for prey.
We have lots of mongoose sightings including White-Tailed, Egyptian Mongoose (normally nocturnal it is a great treat to see them) and Slender tailed mongoose. And the resident Aardvarks are busy digging up termite mounds in search of a meal.
Lots of the larger birds have chicks including Saddle Billed Storks who nest in the trees beside the swamp, by now the chicks are almost fully fledged and wobble around on flimsy legs and Crowned Cranes who also nest near the Marsh. We have nice sightings of Marsh Owl and Verreaux Eagle Owl in the early evening hunting on the fringes of the Musiara Woodlands.