Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Changes a foot!

Unfortunately WE have to cancel this afternoons drive and most probably tomorrow mornings as well. You will be glad to hear that it is because we are moving all of our transmission equipment from the old 'Tank' to a new vehicle. It is not yet one of the brand new vehicles that we are planning but it is a necessary interim step. The new vehicle is a cute Landrover Defender and WE can assure you that it goes better than the 'Tank' (not that that is hard). So it is a chapter closed for the 'Tank'. WE are sure that everyone will be devastated to see it go!! Everybody here is very excited to be moving to a vehicle with power steering, more power and a little more reliability. She is a lot younger (9 years old) and has travelled southern Africa extensively.
Also, James is going to help us put a second camera up at Gowrie waterhole. Jurie, Pippa and WE figured that we might as well turn the fact that Gowrie dam is bone dry to some good purpose. So we are going to put a second camera at the pan and move the Infra red lights there as well. This will dramatically improve the day and night viewing at what is going to turn out to be a super busy stretch of water this winter.
Alex has left on leave today, Pieter gets back this evening and Sue leaves tomorrow.


Valorie said...

How exciting, a new (to us anyways) vehicle! Poor old tank.. will (kinda) miss the clunking of it!

Hope the transfer of equipment is a smooth one. =)

Kathy in WV said...

I wondered why we weren't seeing much at night at the little pan. Glad that move is being made!

I've never seen mentioned what happened to the cam at Buffelshoek. I often enjoyed watching it during the day and have some really excellent elephant picture captures from there.

Now we will have to come up with a name for the new game drive vehicle. Maybe TankTwo??

Good luck getting the GDV equipped & will be looking forward to the next drive.

Welcome back, Pieter & have a good leave, Alex.

Also so long to Sue. Time was so short!

Anonymous said...

How exciting! Can't wait to see the results of the upgrades. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better......

Sue, we are sorry to see you go so soon. Best of luck to you in your future endevors.

Welcome back Pieter. Hope you saw your elephants and have lots of tales about your adventures in Namibia.

Thank you Graham for answering all my questions!
Judy, FLA, USA

Anonymous said...

Yea! A new to us vehicle. Thanks.
To Sue... thank you for your hard work and God bless you in whatever you undertake next.

Anonymous said...

RIP The Tank!...We've had so much fun together and we're going to miss all your rattles and clangs. You've taken us to some amazing sightings, allowed us to meet some outstanding people and shown us the beautiful African bush. You've struggled valiantly on even when you were tired and sick. You have taken all the beatings like a trooper and still done your job...bashing through trees, getting stuck in sand, braving the storms, heat and cold and still trudged on after the babs have practised their mechanical skills on you. You will be missed "DearTank" all around the world as the vehicle that allowed many of us our first glimpse of the stunning SA bush. Sleep well and enjoy your retirement.

Exciting news about the new tank and the cam and IR changes...WE...you are awesome...


carolnj said...

Hope springs eternal for me. I have been unable to view the drives for weeks now. I have recently installed Adobe Flash and now can see the streaming cameras on africam. With any luck, when you get the new vehicle up and running I will be able to once again go with you.

lynty said...

Ahhhh change :) You're right it will be sad to see the Tank retired but probably it is time.
I shall enjoy the new camera at Gowrie. It is so hard to listen to the night sounds and not be able to see them.
If I remember correctly the camera at Gowrie started off at the crib and had an angle on to the dam itself sometimes - this of course was in the good old days. There was a downed tree trunk or stump visible in those days. I remember the first critter I saw on a webcam anywhere was at the crib - a vervet monkey. I had arisen early in MY morning, turned on the computer and sat and stared at the screen for about an hour and was finally rewarded with one screen of a vervet monkey. Thirty seconds later the screen refreshed and the monkey was gone!
Completing the circle :)

TexasBlonde said...

Yahoo! I hope the Defender will last as long as the tank has. Mercy, the poor tank lasted so long they do not make replacement parts. Just how old is the tank?

Are we going to have a special ceremony to retire the tank?

I think the most memorable break down was when Pieter was with the Mapogo lions at a giraffe kill in January. This was our first really long view of them and the transmission went out. We spent hours just watching the Mapogo's eat and sleep. When it was time to go, our hearts were in our throat hoping he would be able to get out of there and make a slow trip back to camp in 1st gear.

Tanks for the memories Tank.

Anonymous said...

I just want to wish Sue a fond farewell. She has been a delight to have in the FCC, her personality and her soothing voice were much appreciated! Sue, best of luck in whatever direction life takes you - you will be missed!!


Anonymous said...

Hi to all at Wild Earth first of all I would like to say a belated happy 1st Anniversary I have been watching your game drive now for quite a few months and enjoy every minute of it although I can only view the afternoon/evening drive as living in the UK the drive in the Morning is way to early for me hehe
I would like to say a big HELLO to all involved with wildearth and am looking forward to viewing the next game drive.
Please tell Peit Im glad he is back and hope this time he gets to see his Elephants hehe
Keep up the good work I dont get out much so It gives me a great link with the beautiful animals in this world and the great scenary as well so THANK YOU
Sue from UK

Linj said...

We are having a 'virtual' funeral for Tank! Poor old girl has been the brunt of many, many jokes! But, WE (pun intended) will be eternally grateful to her for all of the sounds and sights from Africa that she's brought us!

On a different note, Sue, I am sorry to see you go but understand that life happens and we must follow the new paths that come our way! I am sure that you will remember your adventure here in Africa for the rest of your life! Good life and good luck to you from this day forward!

Uncle Monk said...

Great news, and congratulations on the "new" Tank, however, we will miss our old friend and it's character. Hope the new equipment may give a little extended range to the drive area, and a more uninterupted stream. Regardless, we will be on-board mornings and evenings. Thank you for providing such a wonderful alternative and informative entertainment.

Harold & Abby

Anonymous said...

May the tank RIP.

Anonymous said...


Time to let the tank take a nap and let the youngster run about!!


Lets have fun with the youngster 'till the NEW VEHICLE is delivered!

AND - It was great to hear Emily and Graham in final control! :)


Anonymous said...

Hope the new tank works out well. WE desreves something good to happen for a change. Tank, weather and camera problems has been a never ending story for WE. Hope all goes smooth for the new tank!


AmandaLii said...

Farewell to the good old Tank and welcome to the Defender. Along with the camera equipment, I hope you can tranfer some of Tank's "spirit"!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the new vehicle I hope she serves you as well as the tank has. Sad the tank has gone into retirement though. Looking forward to the new camera at the hole. - an aussie with a passion for all things african

Raven-Camwatchers Cafe said...

Looking forward to riding along on the new tank
Thanks so much for everything you do.
WE appreciate it.

suack said...

Hi There I sent a long comment the other day but for some reason it got ignored perhaps I did it too long oh well I will try again
Glad to hear today that the drive is starting up again soon am really looking forward to it but will miss the rattle of the old Tank also glad to hear Piet is back and hope he gets to see the Elephants this time
Thanks to you all at Wild Earth in Djuma for giving us all the chance to sit and enjoy seeing all the wonderful Animals and the Lovely Scenary it really makes my day although I never get the chance to view the Morning drives to early for us in the UK but the afternoon ones are still great THANK YOU ALL
From Sue in the UK

Margo (kiotewoman) said...

Wow! Gonna miss the good ole Tank, but how exciting to get a fancy new vehicle. Can't wait to see the new cam too. You guys are great!