Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Some rain, news and feeds.

Well this morning early, Djuma had a little rain, about 2mm. Not much but a beginning. WE decided not to go out on our morning drive as we are worried about damaging our sensitive game drive broadcast equipment in the rain. The two new vehicles that WE are busy designing will be fully waterproof and designed to operate in all weather, but the existing version could get damaged in a heavy downpour.

Also, WE continue to have ongoing trouble with the batteries. Over the weekend we will be replacing a set of batteries and the charger. Hopefully that will help the situation a little. As you have probably noticed Pieter and Hayley are back from their rest in Cape Town and Jan is up in Johannesburg for his two week break ... although as I write this, Emily and Jan are watching the drive ... it really for sure is in their nature.

WE have added two new links on the right hand navigation bar at the bottom so that you can subscribe to RSS feeds. One that will keep you updated with this blog and the other that will keep you updated with the amazing videos recorded by other viewers and posted to You Tube. Enjoy ... it's in your nature.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

The cats are in town.

Lots of cats in the area ... really for sure. The big Kuhuma ("come out" in Shangaan) pride with their 9 cubs have made several appearances recently. First seen coming through the Manyaleti from Kruger in September last year, they were made up of 2 brothers and 9 lionesses and a sub adult male. They kicked our the "3 plus 1" pride and eventually chased off their young son. Today its the two brothers 9 lionesses (although usually we only see 7) and their 9 cubs.

Karula ("peaceful" in Shangaan) was spotted this afternoon hunting in western Gowrie, WE watched for a while as she stalked some impala. Via the grapevine, WE hear that she is teaching her cubs to hunt on Arathusa to the west of our traversing area.

Mafufanyane ("madness" in Shangaan) and the Jordaan male both big, and skittish, male leopards are always around, but WE think that they spend a lot more time watching us than WE spend watching them ... it's in their nature. A new young male, son of the Beacon female from Buffelshoek, has been spotted moving into the area - so really for sure there looks like there is going to be a territorial shakeup with the leopards.

Monday, 17 September 2007

... where is the rain?

The rain has still not come and everyone needs it now ... badly. Sometimes we call this the desperation months as the animals, bush and people desperately wait for the rain.

There have been a lot of elephant and buffalo around for the past while. They come to the Sabi Sands in greater numbers during the end of winter because of all the waterholes. The Kruger Park have been closing man made waterholes for the past few years.

Pieter and Hayley are on their two week break in Cape Town and will be arriving back in camp on Sunday 23rd of September and will do their first drive on Monday morning. Jan goes off on the same day. Robert will be trying his hand at directing over the next few days and Jan will go on camera after being stuck in the final control for the past week.

WE have had a few difficulties with the sound on the game drive vehicle, but Jan has been working on improving it. WE are aware of the difficulties and will always keep trying to improve it. Yesterday saw a long (5 hour) power cut and most of our systems handled it well. However one UPS (that supports our router) cut out after 3 hours and we will be upgrading that. The rain is coming and when it arrives WE will have to contend with some dramatic African lightning. Behind the scenes we are working hard to waterproof and earth all our equipment ... in order to survive the onslaught. Wish us luck.

From tomorrow we will be starting the morning drive half an hour earlier at 06h00 (CAT) instead of at 06h30 (CAT) as a result the drive will finish half an hour earlier at 09h00 (CAT).

Monday, 3 September 2007

Starter motor is in and running.

WE knew it was going to happen, we just didn't know when. Well the new starter motor (only put in some weeks ago) gave up the ghost as the end of yesterday afternoon's drive. First thing this morning we sourced a second hand replacement in Johannesburg and just managed to get it onto the flight at 10:30AM. Jan was waiting at the dirt airstrip when the flight landed and the pilot kindly handed him the motor.
Jan had everything ready to do the horrible job of forcing the starter into the highly converted old landy ... but good news ... this motor went straight in with no grinding, cursing or blinding. So maybe we will be lucky this time and it will last a little longer. In any event drives are back on, and with new batteries, a new starter and a thorough spring clean hopefully things will go smoothly on the technical front and WE can get down to focusing on finding you the wildlife.
Please don't forget to send your questions to the presenters through to finalcontrol@wildearth.tv and WE will try to answer them.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Back on the road again ...

Well, after a good few late nights and a lot of driving around the Lowveld, WE have a new set of batteries and a lot of maintenance on the game drive vehicle under the belt. Hopefully drives will be a bit smoother ... although the starter motor continues to worry.

Thanks for your patience over the last few days. The toll on equipment with what WE are trying to do is hard to overstate. One day WE will have everything that we could wish for, so that we can keep bringing you the African wilderness LIVE ... its in our nature.

In the meantime WE would like to try a little experiment. We have setup an email address in the final control and want to try and answer some of your wildlife questions. WE will not respond to every mail, but the director on duty will read them and give some of them to the presenter on the next drive to answer at his discretion. The address is: finalcontrol@wildearth.tv

WE look forward to developing an interactive aspect to our drives and this is just the first step on a long road. Please be nice in the mails ... its in your nature.