The Grumeti concession area includes two iconic Tanzanian game reserves: Grumeti and Ikorongo. Grumeti is where the majority of visitors tend to spend the lion’s share of their time. It is astonishingly beautiful with wide-open plains and abundant wildlife herds. By contrast, equally breathtaking Ikorongo is the road less travelled. Due to the many years of hard work that the Grumeti Fund’s anti-poaching team has put into protecting this area, it is thriving once more. With more than ten rivers snaking through this untrodden wilderness, the intrepid few who venture into this wildlife-rich paradise are guaranteed a rewarding experience, whether on foot or in a vehicle.
In the last year, the construction of a high-level bridge at a critical river crossing over the Manchira, along with hundreds of thousands of dollars of road repairs, has made Ikorongo far more accessible. This accessibility will benefit the Fund’s anti-poaching and conservation work, as well as allow more Singita guests to experience this stunning landscape of koppies, rivers and wide-open plains. During an afternoon in Ikorongo, it is not unusual to see hundreds of elephant, lions, leopard, or cheetah. But what is remarkable about viewing these animals, particularly the carnivores, is that in Ikorongo it feels truly wild, and you have the sense that you may well be the first person to have come face-to-face with these enigmatic creatures.
Yohana Augustin is the Section Manager responsible for conservation management in Ikorongo. He and his team, alongside the anti-poaching scouts, are responsible for the protection and ecological management of the area. Yohana and the rest of the conservation management team are constantly kept busy with the need to check hundreds of camera traps (as part of a wider research project across all of Grumeti), ongoing road maintenance, identifying problem elephants that regularly leave the reserve (for the upcoming elephant darting and GPS collaring project), monitoring key species such as roan, kudu and patas monkey (all rare species that occur in Ikorongo and which we are aiming to learn more about), looking for snared wildlife (that may need veterinary treatment), fighting wild fires and eradicating alien plants.
With a number of exciting new collaborative projects underway, such as the Snapshot Grumeti camera trap grid and upcoming elephant collaring project, 2018 promises to be another big year for the Grumeti Fund, as we continually strive to learn more about the seldom-explored landscapes and incredible wildlife diversity of the wild Ikorongo Game Reserve.
Support the Snapshot Grumeti camera trap program by donating $150 for replacement cameras damaged by wildlife – to donate, click here