Monday, 29 September 2008

Updates from the bush.

There is an awful lot going on at the moment. WildEarth.TV is now being distributed by Momedia, and hopefully they will secure us the all important distribution onto TV platforms in Europe. If everything goes according to plan, our European viewers will be watching us on their TV sets as well as on the Internet ... soon. Please don't panic, this growth in our concept and brand will not result in you not being able to watch us on the Internet. To be clear; you WILL still be able to watch WildEarth on the Internet LIVE and FREE.
I so badly want to tell you what is coming up on Sunday the 12th October, but it is just a little early. I promise to give you the low down on another world first this week, but I can tell you that you are not going to be able to tear your eyes from the screen all day ... and into the night. WE are going global, in a big way!!
You have no doubt noticed that the game drives have developed a 1950s film feel ... they are in black and white!! No, this is not an attempt by WE to go retro. Our main video switch failed, over the weekend, and this has forced the crew to operate on a very basic, even neanderthalic, switching system. For a reason that WE may never understand this changeover has resulted in the game drive being in black and white. Some things evade logic. 
Anyway, Pete Braat is flying into Johannesburg in an hour, he will collect a new switch, a new antenna for the WEwalk (this should massively improve quality) and a bunch of other bits and bobs. Pete will then head for Djuma and hopefully make it through Gowrie Gate tonight before 11h00. Pieter and Herman go on a well deserved two week break tomorrow. Both of them are heading to Cape Town and WE hope they have an awesome break. No promises, but you just might see Pieter do a LIVE unscheduled show from Cape Town while WE test our brand new exciting system. 
The WEangels continue to change the world. They have now raised $1995.00 ... and counting. Emily has managed to secure seats for another 13 kids. This has really been one of the most exciting projects I have ever been involved with, and it warms my heart to know that there are such angels out there amongst our viewers. A BIG heartfelt than you from Emily, the WE crew and me to all those that have helped so far. Our new WEangels are:
Phil Benn
Sheryl Patton
Laura Voight
Thomas Roberson
Joyce from South Carolina
Christine Lawson
Pat from Nebraska
(NOTE: If you do not wish to have your full name mentioned, or you don't want to be mentioned at all, just send us a note at info@wildearth.tv and WE will do so.)

Saturday, 27 September 2008

More WEangels ... and a look behind the scenes.

Well all of us at WildEarth continue to be totally bowled over by the generosity of our viewers. All of you are WEangels and very much a part of our family. The project to take the kids of Dixie to the movies has now received $1600.00 in donations. Thank you to our new angels for their donations: Simon Dilts, Lisa Selby, Carla Landy, Peter Defabio, Michelle Sundeen, Christine Connor, Curtis Yee, Lily Flanagan, Janine Noble, Patricia Kelly, Sharon Mcdorman, M. Miro and B. J. Chopra.
It now looks certain that WE will be taking more than just 25 kids and 5 adults. Emily is working to find more buses that can take more kids. We are even thinking about approaching the school in Utha (next closest village to Djuma, and the home of Simpiwe and Liesbeth). Obviously we have exceeded our original goal and WE could stop now, but it's not in our nature, and we are going to see just how many kids we can take to the movies. WE promise that every cent will help put a smile on a kids face. So don't give up now, tell all your friends on Facebook to join the cause, email everybody you know about this Blog, lets see how many kids we can get to the movies!!!On a different note, Herman has produced another glimpse behind the scenes at WildEarth. This time he shows how WE recovered from the nasty off air moment during a game drive last week when the main fiber optic cable failed. Well done Herman, your filmmaking skills are coming along well. WE all know how much work goes into making these shorts, particularly when you have all your normal responsibilities in such a small crew, it is appreciated.

Friday, 26 September 2008

WEangels came in the night.

While the WildEarth crew slept, angels came in the night, and donated money to our cause!! WE now have $955.00 towards the trip to the movies because of the following WEangels: Stacy Manfredi, Peter Braat, Cathy M Glenney-Munro, Beverly Bailey, Michael Moss, Carol Roll, Barbara Ellington, Patricia Mulligan, Andrew Hudson, Sharon Mcdorman, Mike Merritt, Mary Schooley, Kathleen Lambert, Vicki Kiskamp and Jean-Pierre LEVY.

WE need about $1300.00 to take about 25 kids and 5 adults to the movies. But what with the amazing response of the WEangels, we are going to try and take more kids. Emily is working on finding more buses and growing this little project because of your AMAZING generosity. You are all stars and should be very very proud of yourselves. WE are going to make a lot of kids very very happy. 
Thank you. You are WEangels ... it's in your nature.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Help us send the kids of Dixie to the movies.

You all know how Rexon loves to help the kids of his village, well he has decided to take them all to the movies. And he needs our help.
You see many of these kids have never even been out of the area immediately around the village. 
They have never seen a double storey building, a paved road and certainly never a movie in a real cinema. On the 25th October we are planning to take 25 kids and 5 adults (to supervise) on the three hour journey to Nelspruit, where we are all going to watch a movie, have popcorn, sodas and then afterwards have a hamburger lunch. This may not seem like a big deal to you or I, but to these kids it will be an experience to remember. It will stand out in their memories as one of the most exciting days. 
So how can you help? Well, if you can afford it please donate via www.paypal.com and send it to dixie@wildearth.tv We estimate that we will need about R10,000.00 (about US$1300.00) to rent a couple of buses, pay for the fuel, movies, popcorn, sodas, lunch, etc. If we get more than this WE will take more and more kids. Also, please join our cause on Facebook and join our project on Amazee . Then invite as many of your friends to get involved, as possible.
When WE all go to the movies, we promise to take lots of pictures and video and even maybe broadcast LIVE if we can organize it, so that you can be a part of the fun. Come on help make this a reality for these kids ... it's in your nature!!!
So far WE have raised US$370.00 which is amazing!! A huge big thank you to Dania Gerhardt, Sharon Holland (Aquila), Kathy Theobald, Letrica McDonald, Amanda Tobin, BF Custom Carpentry, Stephen and Valorie Berry, Lana Leeger and Lynda Buck.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

WE weekly videos

Welcome back to the weekly video spot which I love. For me it is a joy to watch all the creative and totally inspirational videos made by you guys each week. I can always tell which sighting or event was the most favorite in the week as there are so many videos on that subject. For example, this week it was the cheetah sighting and the new WEwalk show. I think WE saw the cheetah in two of our drives this week which is extremely unusual here at Djuma. They are incredibly beautiful cats and certainly one of my favorites. WEwalk started off with a bang last week with some rather friendly elephants but has carried on all week and seems to be settling in as a very popular show. Pieter of course is fantastic. And I think he was made for doing bush walks. In today's show he walked with some dwarf mongeese (or is it mongooses?) LIVE. What an amazing experience. Anyway, before I let you watch the videos that I have chosen this week I just want to mention a cool new tool which is advertised on the front page of our site http://www.wildearth.tv/. It is called Animoto. It is a wonderful and quick way to create your own picture and music videos. Graham made one of our honeymoon and it was awesome. It's a great tool for creating memories. Go have a look and try it out for free, I loved it. Enjoy.
Emily



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Safari with leopard by edpbs
This a wonderful video which is really light hearted and fun. It certainly is a safari and what I love is that edpbs has added different music when different animals come along. It really gives me a sense of being on the vehicle and seeing different sightings. I especially love the western music when the buffalo's come on. You chose some lovely footage as well,especially the stuff of Safari the leopard. Her one blind eye always astounds me. I can't believe an eye can do that, its actually quite beautiful even though tragic. Anyway, thanks for this edbps, as usual beautifully edited and produced.



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The Shy One by David Keen
Its amazing to have seen Tingana grow up. I remember when her and her sister,Saseka, were first born. Today they are pretty much fully grown leopards and both so beautiful, like their mother, Karula. This is a beautiful video and so relaxing to watch. Watching her stroll through the bush on an evening walk to incredible therapeutic music is exactly what I want after a stressful day. Thanks David.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

WEspartans!!

Far away, deep within the African savanna you can find a light burning into the wee hours of the morning. It is a WildEarth Spartan working unrelentingly to get us back on air. He is driven not by money or glory, but by the knowledge that there are thousands around the world that are relying on him to bring WildEarth back to them.
That man is Peter Braat. After very little sleep he woke up along with the crew and they moved the Final Control to Jurie and Pippa's office. They overcame problem after problem until they succeeded. WE all knew that nothing would stop them getting back on air and they did it in time for this morning's LIVE bush walk. This afternoon a drive will go out. It is late as at the moment, because of a damaged cable on the mast, courtesy of our baboon friends. Their timing is impeccable. But when our drive goes out, hopefully it will feel like any of the other thousands of drives WE have gone on.
As I write this to you there are two more WE spartans that are descending into the Lowveld through the Drakensberg mountains. They are now 3 and a half hours from Djuma. When they arrive there will be no resting. They will immediately begin splicing the severed fiber cable. Then when they are done, the crew will have only a few minutes rest after the drive, before they must move the whole Final Control back, reinstall and test. Only then will the job be done, and will WE be back in ship shape.
It is a little early for congratulations, WE are only half way through, but I would like to thank the world's best LIVE wildlife crew for their courage and tenacity so far. You are Spartans ... it is in your nature. You will win, there is no alternative.

Monday, 15 September 2008

It only takes one little cable!!

 
During the afternoon drive today WE noticed some unusual analog interference on the video. So the team in Final Control began to search out what was causing this interference. In the process they moved a cabinet and this caused the splices on the main fiber optic cable to snap. It took us a good while to find the fault, because the fibers are only a few microns wide. However, when Herman, the director tonight, realised that he had lost both waterhole cameras, the game drive picture and sound, the Internet and the connection to the video server, he knew something 'very uncool' was going on ...
Immediately I got on to our friends from Ruantel and after some fast juggling and shifting things around they have put an emergency splicing team together. Lead by the intrepid Steve Marais, that will leave Johannesburg at noon tomorrow, after they have assembled all the gear they will need. You see splicing fiber optic cables in the middle of the bush is even harder than it sounds. The team will only arrive in Djuma after sundown, and they will work into the night to resolve this problem. WE can always count on Ruantel when the chips are down.
However, WE have a plan to get back on air in the morning. The team sat around the fire, some of us were hundreds of miles away, but we have come up with a short term work around. At dawn the crew will move the core elements of the Final Control to the router in Jurie and Pippa's house, which is right under the mast. Tonight these parts will be packed and labeled and as the sun comes up the move will be orchestrated by our new technical genius, Pete Braat. If all goes according to plan, WE will be back LIVE by 09h00 CAT in time for the WEwalk. 
Because we will not have all our final control functionality, and because the crew are now working stupid hours to get back on top of this dragon, we call LIVE wildlife broadcasting, there will be no WEchat tomorrow. There will be, if all goes well, be a drive tomorrow afternoon, and after the drive, and after the spicing is done, WE will shut down for an hour or two while we haul the equipment back to the proper final control and be back where we started.
So in short, WE will be back on air at 09h00 in the morning for the WEwalk, there will be drive in the afternoon but not the morning, and in 24 hours WE will be 100% back at you. 
Sorry for all of this, but what can I tell you ... it's in the nature of what WE do, but at least WE are the best at it, because ... it's in our nature.

WE-BiTS 15th September 2008

This look behind the scenes at WildEarth is all about Kerri Mello's visit to Vuyatela. Kerri traveled all the way from Boston Massachusetts into deepest darkest Africa, and on her adventure she popped in for a brief stay at Djuma. Not only did she get to meet Karula and some of our other furry friends face to face, but she visited the WildEarth camp and hung out with crew. She even took control of the Final Control for a short while to broadcast to the world. In the end she got a hug and kiss from Pieter, something I know that will make a lot of you jealous ... don't worry ... it's in your nature. (lol)

It is always a pleasure to meet our viewers face to face. If you are planning a trip to Africa, or if you want to get away for an experience that you will never forget, go to www.djuma.com and make a booking. If you talk to the Djuma reservations ladies very nicely, mention WildEarth and how much you love the animals at this special place, they may just give you a special deal. But one thing they will do is show you Africa the way it was meant to be seen ... with heart and soul.
Come visit ... it's in your nature.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Whats up at WE

What a week it has been. Three new shows, one new crew member, Emily's and my last trip down before the baby, a heat wave, a little rain, a cheetah, what else?
Without a doubt the most 'exciting' event has to have been the first WEwalk with a close encounter of an elephantine kind!! I was directing when this happened I and will admit to the fact that my heart was in my throat. I am very grateful to Pieter for his bravery, presence of mind and obvious knowledge of these amazingly smart animals. Thank you Pieter for keeping your head, when all of us were loosing ours.
The image quality on the walk has already begun to improve, but WE are working on several things here in Johannesburg that should bring the quality up to the same level as the game drive, which will help to make the WEwalk more and more enjoyable. Obviously we are well aware that the timing of this show, like most of our new shows, is not ideal for our North American (and for that matter our South American) viewers. There are several reasons why WildEarth has added these shows in our day time. Firstly because shows like the WEwalk are not practical at night, secondly our crew work very hard and to shift some of these shows in to the night places and unfair strain on folk who are already working very very hard. Thirdly because WE have begun a push for European viewers in the run up to our launch as a full blown 24 hour per day TV channel in Europe later this year. There are plans afoot to man the cameras 24 hours per day and start adding more Infra Red shows. In fact I can already let you know that WE are in the development stages of a show called WEIRD (WildEarth Infra Red Djuma) that will be brought to you by our newest crew member, Simon. I can't tell you exactly when this will start, but I pormise WE won't be sitting around ... it's not in our nature.
OK, there have been some small changes on the www.wildearth.tv site. Firstly, you will have noticed the lizard eye pre roll video. This space will be used for Internet video advertising in the not too distant future, and the eye logo will be cut down to just under 5 seconds. The eye will also change regularly, just like the eye logo on top of this Blog. In fact it is not just the eye of an animal that is WildEarth's logo, but the changing of the animal's eyes that speaks more about who WE are. Also, you will have noticed the heartbeat. Well, over the next few years you will see us slowly make this the sound of WE. On our logos, before the drive ... you will even be able to hear Pieter's heartbeat LIVE from time to time on the WEwalk. The sound of the heartbeat is the sound of life, and therefore of LIVE. It also evokes a sense of timing and the passing of time, which is very core to who WE are.
Another set of changes are within the Flash video player. There is now a date and time stamp in the lower left hand corner of the player and this will help our global audience make sense of our ever expanding schedule. Also, please right click on your mouse over the LIVE video stream, and you will see several new settings. Firstly you can now monitor the buffering in your player and this will give you a much better idea of how efficiently you are getting the LIVE video down to your computer. But you can also now change your buffer settings and this allows you to tailor the configuration of your player for your bandwidth circumstances. Please let us know at webmaster@wildearth.tv whether or not these help you to overcome any of your dreaded 'buffering' problems.
Well, spring has finally sprung. The days are getting longer and hotter, and the time has come to change the drive times. So from tomorrow morning (Monday the 15th September 2008) WE will go out on safari a half hour earlier in the morning and a half hour later in the afternoon. This means that the morning drive will happen from 06h00 to 08h30 CAT (Central African Time) and the afternoon drive from 16h30 to 19h30 CAT.
There will be a Fire Side Chat this evening at 19h00 where you will all get to meet WE's very own new American camera man, Simon, and chat about a very busy week at Djuma.
On Monday and Friday Pete will host two more shows of his highly informative and very populair WElearn show. After Friday Pete will be on leave for two weeks, traveling through the Kruger and down to Cape Town, so WE will also take a break from his show, but when he gets back he will go in to a full 6 week season of three WElearns per week. So, WElearn will go out at 15h00 on Monday the 15th September 2008 and 15h00 on Friday the 20th September 2008, marking the end of season 1.
Rexon is on leave so Texan will be presenting all the morning drives this week so that Pieter can be ready to do a solid week of 5 WEwalk shows departing at 09h00 CAT every week day morning. This will be the first week of this exciting new show, try to catch them if you can.
Immediately after each WEwalk Simpiwe will cut us straight into the WEchat show where you can log into the chat room at the WildEarth social network and discuss the walk, whats down at Gowrie waterhole or anything else that comes to mind.
Thank you to the WildEarth crew for all their very hard work on these challenging new shows. Thank you to Karen, Bev, Valorie and Colleen for all the tireless work you do behind the scenes building our social network into a place WE can all be proud of. Thank you to the Moolmans and all of their Djuma team for making WE what it is. Thank you to Emily for being the best wife in the world and fighting for whats best for WE even when she is super uncomfortable, not long now ...
Last but not least a BIG thank you from all of us to all of you. Without your constant support and words of encouragement this would just be a business, but you make it into a mission and a passion, and that is the greatest gift you can give us. Thank you.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

WE videos

Well this week saw the launch of three new shows for WildEarth and all seem to have worked out well so far. The first was on Monday and called WElearn with our resident 'Bird Man' Pete Braat. It was incredibly informative and a wonderfully educational addition to WildEarth. On Tuesday we launched WEchat and although many of our avid viewers were asleep, there were some awake. Hopefully this will increase. This show is designed to allow our viewers to speak to members of the crew in real time directly after the drive and walk. Today saw the beginning of the WEwalk and what a beginning it was. Pieter had a close interaction with a female elephant who definitely wanted to let him know that she was there. It was an incredibly exciting walk and just shows how different it is to being in the vehicle. The technical side did not excite me as much because the picture and sound was not so good but WE are working on that and I am sure that each day will improve.


Thanks again to all our viewers in this exciting week for posting so many videos on the site. I have chosen four videos which complement each other nicely. I hope you enjoy.
Emily



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Night Drives by edpbs
Well this is a celebration of infra-red and it deserves it. Sometimes I forget how many beautiful animals come out at night and the wonderful sightings that you get when filming in infra-red. Firstly it doesn't disturb the animals as much as white light an as a result you get behaviour at night that you wouldn't otherwise get. Black and white is also great. I have always loved pictures in black and white, it gives them a certain edge. It was well edited to great music and an inspirational idea, we don't often get videos made purely from night drives. well done edpbs and thanks.



Beauty of Africa by Blaze
I love this series Blaze and can see how much hard work you have put into it. The colours are vivid and the music is wonderful and it truly does depict 'the beauty of Africa'. Thanks Blaze, you have really outdone yourself this time.



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They be Children Now by David Keen
Great David and as always beautiful music. It was so wonderful to see lions again especially as they seem to be doing so well. Its always great to see cubs and this video brings it all back for me. It was well edited and the subject matter was great. Thanks



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Little Elephants by edpbs
This is the second one this week by edpbs and you deserve it. You have really excelled yourself with some fantastic videos. Firstly this one really appeals to me because it is babies and they have so much personality. Their behaviour works so well to music, it almost looks like they can hear the music and are moving in time. It was a fun, light hearted video with great music and editing. Thanks

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

WEwalk

WE are proud to announce that tomorrow at 09h30 CAT (Central African Time) will be the first WEwalk show. This will be the first time in history that a bush walk has been broadcast LIVE.
Pieter will take us on this historic walk through the bush on Djuma Game Reserve. He has extensive experience walking with potentially dangerous animals, and the key to avoiding an unfortunate incident with these animals is understanding their behavior. He will be teaching us how to read the signs, how to approach big game, and how be a part of nature rather than just an observer. Neither he nor the cameraman will be carrying a rifle, and their only protection will be their knowledge and presence of mind. WEwalk is not about seeing how close WE can get to dangerous animals, but rather a way to see Djuma in a new way. WEwalk is about learning how to track and how to stop and smell the flowers.
To begin with Pieter will present WEwalk every week day at 09h30 CAT for an hour. WE realise that this is not the best time for our North American fans, but I am sure you appreciate that walking in a big 5 reserve at night is just not a wise idea.
This is going to be a whole new experience. A new way of seeing wildlife. A new level of LIVE wildlife television. Be a part of this historic event ... it's in your nature.

Simon Dilts

Simon has come over all the way from the USA and boy does he have passion. This self confessed conservation addict loves nothing more than staying up all night and waiting for a sea turtle to hatch. Having lived all over the States and Canada, he started off learning about ecology in the boy scouts and has since worked for the fish and wildlife service, collected data on sand hill cranes and spent years working with sea turtles. At the age of 13 he became obsessed with watching animals on the TV and made a decision that he was going to be a wildlife film maker. He bought a camera and did as many photography courses as he could. His big break came in 2000 when a well known show in America bought some of his footage on turtles. He continued his quest and last year came to SA to do the trusty wildlife film academy course. He passed with flying colours and today his dream has finally been fulfilled. This man is a true committer and loves the bush with all his heart. Welcome Simon, some how I think you’ll be with us for a while.

Monday, 8 September 2008

WEchat launches tomorrow!!

 
WE are proud to announce the second new show of the week ... WEchat. 
It's exactly what it sounds like, an opportunity to chat with our presenters LIVE. Starting tomorrow  at 10h30 CAT (Central African Time) and every week day thereafter you will be able to log on to the specially created new chat room in the WE social network and chat with one of our presenters for an hour. There is no real format to this show, you can just chat away. Ask questions about the animals, the safaris, the camp, the crew, etc. On Tuesday and Wednesday Pieter will present WEchat, and then from Thursday morning Texan will take over while Pieter does the WEwalk show and Rex is on leave.
WE obviously realise that the time of day for this show is just not great for our North American audience, but it is really good for our European audience and WE hope that the Europeans will record it for those that are sleeping so they can watch it in the video section of the social network when they wake up. Global team work ... it's in our nature.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

WE-BiTS ... Pieter's (not Pete's) pond!!


In this WildEarth Behind The Scenes (WE-BiTS) Herman takes us down to Pieter's Pond.
WE have had problems with the drainage of our grey water for some time, and several months ago Pieter decided to sort it out once and for all. He began the construction of a system of soak aways. In the end he damed this little wet land system to create a small pond just before the clean water went into the Mulawati. It was Rex that named this pond after Pieter both because of all the work he put into it, as well as the fact that Pieter, and now other WEcrew, like to go down there for a bit of piece and quite.

Friday, 5 September 2008

WElearn

Pete has only been at WE a few weeks and he is already starting his own show ... WElearn. 
In this show Pete will tell us all about the little things that intrigue him at Djuma. A lot of the time he will teach us about the bird life, after all he is an avid twitcher (bird watcher), but he may also squeeze in a bit of info about the snakes, insects and other often over looked little 'fellas'.
As with everything else WE do, the key to this show succeeding is you! So please get involved by asking questions, making suggestions, giving Pete feedback and so on. The best place to get involved is by visiting the new page and forums in the WildEarth Social Network and let us hear from you.
The topic of the first episode, to be aired Monday, September 8th at 1400 CAT, will be “What’s that Bird?” and will give an introduction into identifying a bird using some commonly seen ones as examples, and learning some interesting things about them in the process. The birds featured in this program will be Cape Turtle Dove (aka Ring-necked Dove), Bataleur, Grey Go-Away-Bird (aka Grey Lourie) and Lilac-breasted Roller. And it will end with a little challenge to the viewers...

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Best WE videos

So, WE saw lions again. Its amazing to think that so many cubs were killed by those Mapogos but slowly they are repopulating the area. It was a real treat to catch up with them all and see how they are doing. Very well by the look of the Styx pride. If you missed the sightings you can catch them on the social network site as loads of people have recorded them. In addition to seeing lions again, this week saw Texan emerge as a new face on WildEarth. I think you will agree with me that he is fantastic and will definitely fit into the team well. Rexon goes on leave next Wednesday and so you will be seeing more and more of Texan in front of the camera. He has phenomenal knowledge and you want to hear some of his bush stories, its certainly fun sitting with him around the fire.
Marco has gone and right now is in the UK having a holiday before he starts his new job. WE hope you are having a great time Marco, and can't wait to hear about it when you get back. Today I have posted two wonderful videos made by one of our moderators: Valorie, and the other by David Keen. Both gave me goosebumps and made me realise how much I will miss Marco and how much of an asset he was to the WE team. Don't worry, I will make it my personal mission to get him back at some point. Enjoy.
Emily




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Good Luck Marco by Valorie
This is beautiful. It manages to get in so many different examples of Marco on camera throughout his time here. It really shows that he was full of ideas for entertainment and had a serious knowledge of the bush. The music is great and the editing is wonderful and it is all in all a lovely tribute to Marco.




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For Marco by David Keen
Thanks David for another fantastic tribute to Marco. You chose some beautiful shots and I really got a sense of Marco's character. He was as strong and stable guy who enjoyed taking people and teaching them about the bush. It was beautifully put together as always and I am sure that Marco will be proud.




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Spotted Genet by Dent
Wow, is all I can say to this. What a fab sighting. I missed it and only came across it now. That thing looks huge, I thought it was a serval to begin with. Well done to Rex for finding it and great photography from Texan. It makes you realise how important Infa Red is. That genet would never have sat so still for us with a bright white light in its face. Thanks Dent for recording it.

WE-BiTS 1st September 2008


A little late, but very good indeed. This is Herman's first WE-BiTS alone and WE are very impressed.
It is a sad story. A goodbye to Marco, the previous producer of BiTS. Herman asks Marco several questions about what it was like to work at WildEarth and what his plans are now.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Styx, Mapogo ... lions and more lions!

What a day so far, Texan and Rexon this morning with a whole lot of lions!! Mapogos, Kuhumas and Styx females. . .and some cubs! I just heard and saw from the big smiles back at camp this morning. It has been months since WE saw any, of these lions. I went back around noon to see them, I do love lions, and have missed seeing them. I went with Piet, and hoped to see and photograph some lions, most likely just lion around as they tend to do. WE were in luck, shortly after arriving on the scene, one of the two lionesses we were sitting with, noticed something behind us! It was three more lionesses, bringing in the cubs!! How lucky!
The Styx pride, hardly seen by us before, and with cubs. . .it got better, they proceeded towards the kill, towards where the Mapogos most likely were. WE followed. What next? Were the Kuhumas still around? Would a Mapogo erupt violently from the thick winter bush? There was a sudden growl, and a big male lion! I think it looked like Leonides, at least from what I could see through the sticks and brown, brittle grass.
There were no Kuhumas around, I think they want to stay well clear of what is going on around that buffalo carcass. It was great to see the Styx females, and also the throng of cubs. Piet counted nine in total. It was great to see how the cubs and females, on tip toe and with careful paws, approached the Mapogos. There were outbursts of growls and lions darting away, but I think it is safe to say: "these young cubs I saw today, have Mapogo blood in their veins, and I think they are here to stay!" WE will see more, share more, maybe gasp more . . . but most of all, WE will appreciate again, why it is called a 'PRIDE' of lions, and why they are the king of the beasts. WE find lions fascinating, it is not a choice, it is a primal response. Lions still stir something deep inside us, it is in our nature. Live the moment, it is real and WE are aLIVE.
Pieter Pretorius