Monday, 5 May 2008

Some upgrades and news.

As many of you know, WE have a new game drive vehicle. Actually the vehicle is not new, I have had her for 9 years. She is a short wheel base Landrover Defender, that has taken me to some of Southern Africa's wildest places. She is very strong and reliable and over the years has become a faithful friend. I am sure that you will all get to know her well and come to love her as I have. She has been behind the scenes of LIVE wildlife broadcasting for almost a decade and it is now her turn in the sun.
It took James, Pieter, Daniel, Rexon and I more than three days and nights to move all the equipment from the Tank. The new Landy is quite a lot smaller so we had to really think carefully how we installed all the batteries, transmitter, modulator, encoder, inverter, mixer, monitors, etc. WE are hopeful that we have done a good job.
As a matter of interest this is the fourth version of a LIVE game drive vehicle that I have built over the last 10 years. So far nobody else has managed to build a LIVE game drive vehicle that works, and I must admit, that I am super proud of this one. No doubt there will be several problems over the next few weeks as everything settles down, but you can rest assured that no matter what problems present themselves, there is a dedicated team of broadcast 'Spartans' that will stop at nothing, that will work around the clock to bring the animals of Djuma to you LIVE ... it's in our nature.
Also, WE are busy installing a new camera and lighting at the Gowrie pan. Winter has begun at Djuma and we all doubt there will be much more rain this season, and certainly not enough to fill the dam. So the animals will concentrate around the pan into which water is pumped everyday from Vuyatela lodge. To take advantage of this concentrated activity WE are installing the camera that used to be at Buffelshoek dam on the other side of the pan from where the current camera is. This will give Simphiwe the ability to show you a different angle on the animals during our daylight hours. After the drive and until 11:30 CAT (Central African Time) the 'white' light will shine from the tree it has hung on for many many years. This white light will stay lit so that the guests at Vuyatela can see the waterhole and when they go to bed it will turn off, the Infra Red lights will automatically turn on and the camera will seamlessly switch to Infra Red mode. We expect this daily changeover to be noticed by some of the regular visitors to the pan, which should result in some good activity at around midnight. Lets watch and wait and see what happens.
Written by Graham Wallington

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic job by all on the new landy. I really do hope you get some unseasonal rain, to help fill the dam. The new location of the camera will be great. Excellent work - an aussie with a passion for all things african

Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying watching the new night-time view of the small pan...thanks and great job you are all doing.

Ex-centric
MyAfrica

Anonymous said...

Its so nice to have the night view of the pan .. Thanks for all the hard work , late nights you have all put in to getting the drives to us

Pammie
myafrica-site

Mike Dailing said...

Congratulations Wild Earth !
The new additions and innovations you are providing can only add to the current terrific appeal and excitement that us WE viewers truly appreciate.

Mike D. (and 5 kids)
Carlsbad, Calif.

Jeanne said...

I have been along on 4 drives so far. I want to thank all of you for this wonderful opportunity to see Africa up close.I am so happy I found these cameras. I especially like the enthusiasm Pieter shows for every thing from dew on a spider web to a beautiful leopard. He along with everyone else makes it a most enjoyable time. I'll learn all the names in short time. Thanks again!