Monday, 23 July 2007

How the drive works.

Some of you may be wondering why WE don't visit everything that WE hear on the radio ... or even what is being said on the radio. So WE thought a little bit of behind the scenes info would help.
Generally there are 5 game drive vehicles out on each safari from the three Djuma lodges twice per day, plus the WildEarth vehicle. They all communicate on a single radio channel, which WE monitor as well as the final control channel. The Djuma vehicles drive (traverse) over 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres) of the Sabi Sands, but WE traverse over about 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres). The reason for this is that WE simply cannot get our video and audio back to our final control from all of Djuma's land.
It is the responsibility of each guide, including our presenters, to call in sightings (particularly of the Big 5) whenever they find them. The Djuma vehicles then have the right to go to any sighting and should they wish to come to a sighting that our vehicle found or are at, WE must move on to make way for the lodge guests. This is all about bush etiquette. WE also do not film any of the guests as WE would need their permission and WE do not have the time or need to ask for it.
Sometimes you will hear a sighting called in on the radio, like: "ingwe" (leopard), "ngala" (lion), "ndlovu" (elephant), "nyati" (buffalo), "skankaan" (cheetah), and yet our vehicle will not go there. Usually this is because the sighting is in an area that WE cannot reach with our transmission equipment.
On another note, Nick and Helen just caught up with Karula and one of her cubs having a drink down in a drainage line ... where is the other cub?


tc said...

thanx for all the info, it helps alot. its understandable why the drivers cant be everywhere all at once. as far as filming the guests i know if i was one i wouldnt want to be filmed what if i was picking my nose or doing doing something else that was emabrrassing and was caught on tape, i don't think i would want that. lol btw, i dont pick my nose that was used as an example. lol
now if we could see karula with both cubs that would be great.


Anonymous said...

In regards to the poll you're taking---when you say "perfect stream" do you mean the quality of the feed or guaranteed connectivity, or both?

And would the payment be to a company in the U.S. or South Africa?

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for that information.. I know several people were "debating" the reasons. No matter where you go and what we get to see... it is all more then most of us can see from our homes. To top it off.. we are all watching for free.. so we really do not have any good reasons to complain. THANK YOU FOR all the sightings we do get to see.
I hope Karula had her other cub hidden away. Please let us know if the other turns up.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing all that up.Knew there had to be good reasons. Now..back to Karula..I'm losing sleep !Thanks - Janni in Vancouve CANADA

wile1 said...

Thanks for the explainations. I thought that was one of the reasons for not going to all sightings. I am glad that WE and nick and helen saw Karula and the cub. As for the other cub, I don't know but I'd hazard a guess she was moving them. Either the other one had been moved or she would go back to get it after moving this one. I do hope thats the case :) Thanks again for the drives. I reallly enjoy them, when I can manage to get on. lol

Anonymous said...

LOL - Just saw your comment Nick & Helen! Thanks for clearing THAT up too (I think I was the only one suspicious)I'm glad you are coming to Vancouver! It's like winter right now..but the sun is coming back next week. I'm curious what work you will be doing..lectures? I'd love to know..since we don't even know your last names..Would be great if you could PM some info on the other blog so we can support you here in Vanc. All the best and may ALL Your Dreams come TRUE! Janni - in West Vancouver

tc said...

yo janni have a read here
i can tell you've gone over all the oler posts very carefully. lol

see you on the boma ;D

WildBeauty said...

Farewell Helen and Nick, I hear your moving onto new adventures in your life! You both will be greatly missed.


audrey said...


Anonymous said...

this is from bushnut:

If you e-mail me - I will make sure we keep you updated on Helen and Nic's adventures here in Vancouver. Can't wait to get them here - home at last!!

regards to all

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to post the update and the info. Some folks may not be aware of "drive etiquette", for lack of a better word, but it explains a lot about why things happen the way they do when viewing...

Keep up the good work,WE and keep pressing for the extra slots!

~~~WildCall (only 1/2-way through HP7..I'm a slow reader!)

tc said...

why isnt wild beauties board on the list of sites on the blogs home page? i looked at it and it looks like a nice place, i may join if its ok with the owner. :)


Boo in AZ said...

Nick and Helen, you have brought us endless hours of great game viewing and entertainment. I am so happy when I see that Nick is behind the wheel, and will be so sad when you are gone. Helen, I will miss your giggles and your great ability to spot game. WildEarth will never be the same without you. I wish you well as you start your new lives in Canada, but selfishly wish you were staying right where you are. Much happiness to you.

Mytmoss said...

There has been discussion today about those people who may be on fixed incomes who cannot afford to even pay $5 yet they enjoy the drives a lot.

May I suggest that if there is a charge in the future, that the some slots are held out for those that cannot afford the $5. It would make them very happy and cost little to make it happen. I certainly do not know how to implement this nor how you determine who can or cannot afford the $5, however its just a suggestion.