Saturday, 29 November 2008

WEangels are heroes!

Our generous and kind hearted WEangels have already made a huge dent in the money needed to give the people and children of Dixie a wonderful Christmas. While you guys have been reaching into your pockets the WE team have been organizing and planning the best possible event for this village. As you all probably know by now Dixie is a poor rural village in Africa which borders on the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. These people never have enough money to have a good celebration at Xmas and the kids certainly never get presents. This year things are going to be different. WildEarth with the help of our WEangels will give them a Christmasmas to remember. WE will get two cows, two sheep and seventy chickens to eat at the event. There will be spit braais to cook them on, and a whole lot of maize meal for everyone to eat their meat with. A committee of people in the community will get together to make salads and chilli sauce to go with the meat and maize meal. A large tent will be rented so that the food can be served away from the flies and cool drink will be in great supply so that no one gets de-hydrated. Rexon has informed us that in his culture people like to dance the day away at events like this. Therefore it is very important for us here at WildEarth to source a DJ and some music. I think that this will be one of the most important things to get the party going.
Christmas day means presents for children. Rexon (or should I say 'Father Christmas') will be handing out presents for each and every child in the village. At the moment he is getting the name, age and gender of each child from the school and once he has done this he will email it through to me. Graham and I will then buy specific presents for each age group depending on whether they are male or female. Each present will be wrapped and have the child's name marked on it. WE will be broadcasting all the events of the day LIVE so that you, our viewers can be with us every step of the way. I expect that their will be many smiley children's faces thoughout the day but especially at the present handing out time.
Finally it is time to thank all of our wonderful WEangels. (I will be colatting a list of all of you that don't mind having your names published) Thank you so much for all of your unbelievable generosity. You should be proud of yourselves, you have contributed to what should be the best Christmas these people have ever had.
So far the WEangels have raised $3800.00. WE are busy costing everything, but ask that you continue to donate, not a cent will go to waste. WE have invited the staff, and their families, of Djuma (that don't already live at Dixie), and Rexon has warned us that it would not be in the spirit of Christmas to turn away those from other villages. This means that WE could face far more than the 400 adults and the 80 children for Christmas lunch that we have planned. So if the donations continue to role in, and WE are able to get all the presents done, we will order up a lot more food, to be held in reserve and cater for bigger numbers if they arrive. If they don't arrive the food will be distributed fairly and evenly to the people of Dixie for after Christmas.
Thank you WEangels ... to share is in your nature. :)
Emily Wallington

Monday, 24 November 2008

Siphiwe takes us into her home.


Thank you for your hospitality Siphiwe.
WE all appreciate the effort you put in to your job in the Final Control and the Tweeting. WE also all know that you keep the guys in line and look after us ... it is in your nature.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

The Kuhumas are back in town!!


I think one of the great thrills of being alive, is the surprise and excitement of something unexpected.
Just how beautiful it actually is when the rains come and how much life actually comes with the water of summer's rains. Even better if some of that life is in the form of big, yellow (and muddy) cats. WE have hoped for more lion action sometime soon, and believed it will happen, but what a bonus that it came along in this wonderful fashion. The Kuhuma pride, close to anyone's heart that knows some of their tales, and now known to even more of US!!
Remember back to when those cubs were still tiny, when the Kuhuma males were still both alive. The firts time the Mapogo males killed some cubs, when WE saw those males on that giraffe kill, the little cub carcass dead in the grass. . .WE were there LIVE, WE shared it. Later when more cubs were killed and even an adult lioness! WE were there. Then they went off the radar, and WE thought and wondered, for months WE never saw them, just heard radio reports and hoped we would see them again. . .and then that day, this day, came along. WE are there now, as I type these words, WE are with them again! LIVE !!!
I have to run, more surprises to go explore and the future is like a game drive ... you never know what could be around the next corner, but what WE do know is that it will be LIVE, that it will be wild, exciting and that WE will share it ... it is in our nature. Hold onto that seat, it is a good one and the lions are around ... enjoy the
rain, the greenery and the lions, the Kuhumas are back in town!!
Pieter Pretorius.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Rex is going to take us tracking ...

If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the story a fresh track, in soft soil, can whisper to those who are open to the voice of the bush.
Seeing a fresh track for the first time, the information, the possibilities and the promise that lies open in the sand. It can be as invigorating as suddenly seeing the animal itself. 
Tracks, to the trained eye and interpretive mind, can tell a story as clear as if WE were there, sharing the moment. You can see what happened, deduce what was likely to happen next, and where it was likely to lead. Bushmen often even asume the caracter of the animal they track. They might imitate behavior and movements of their quarry, re-live the footsteps, the moments. 
So, to speak of tracking is tricky, it is a mindset, a way of being open to perceptions not commonly felt, and truly being part of the same enviroment as that what you seek. To explain it in words, would be ... is impossible. It is best experienced, to experience the thrill of searching and using the smallest clues to find ... a paw print, some crushed grass, what the quarrie was likely up to, signs both visual and not, the smells on the breeze, the twitter of excited birds ... close by, the low growl ...!... or the sudden burst of wild movement from the thick, lush African brush ... you have to be there, to feel it, to share. 
I have known Rexon many years now, he has been tracking since childhood ... he is on it! Excuse the slang, but find a fresh track and he is! I have always enjoyed tracking too, since, like Rex, my father opened that secret window to my young mind. One thing about tracking, novice or expert, one will and can always learn more.
WE will always look for fresh signs, WE do, it is in our nature.
Tomorrow, opportunity allowing, come track along. Rexon will lead the way, and I will be there with him ... and
so can you.
WEwalk (09h00 CAT every week day), it has been in our nature even before WE could talk. 
Pieter Pretorius.

Look what WE have found in the last 24hours!!


WE have certainly seen leopards in the last twenty-four hours! Saseka and her kill getting stolen by the mpisi (hyena)!! And then, once she got down from the marule tree, our long elusive (and fast becoming my favourite male) leopard with the heart on his forehead Yambilu-Jordaan (Yambilu means "heart" in Shangaan). WE got to see it all LIVE !! 
Yambilu and Saseka also got to have a look at each other ... ;) They are both such beautiful (Saseka), dark and handsome (Yambilu) cats ... 
That was yesterday!

This morning, WE were with Saseka, and she is not only beautiful, but certainly mature now as well. Scent marking her new status all over the place (even the big Jackalberry at Twindams), being generally beautiful, mesmerizing and deadly!!. OUR second live kill ... poor squirrell, but a quick snack for one of our favourites - Saseka! 
All I can say is it is a pleasure and a privilege to be out here with you. The rains have come, Karula has most possibly brought more elusive, beautiful mampinpans (babies) into our wild world and every corner, every bend on the road and every track WE follow, holds promise and surprise. Lets go look around ... it's in our nature. 
Pieter Pretorius

The second LIVE leopard kill!!


Congratulations to Rexon (presenting) and Pieter (camera) for persisting with Saseka (Karula's daughter) as she hunts and eventually catches a tree squirrel. What a phenomenal leap through the air to catch the unsuspecting squirrel high in a tree.

The video clip above is 10 minutes long, and the leap occurs at about 9 minutes, but watch the clip from the beginning as you really appreciate the leopard's hunting technique, as well as the expertise of Rex and Pieter as they work as a well oiled team to take you right into this beautiful cat's life ... LIVE!
The clip below is the aftermath, as Saseka eats her prize. I write this as she (Saseka) is now hunting a duiker, so i will leave you to go back and see what happens ...


NOTE: Please excuse the relativley poor video stream performance, but the signal from the vehicle back to the final control was a little weak at this site, due to the increased water load in the trees. The water absorbs our microwave signal and this results ina degraded signal. But sometimes the content just outweighs the difficulties. :)

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

the big rains are coming ...

Firstly I just want to let you all know that WE are expecting huge rain over the next few days. The weather predictions are quite absurd ... 100% prediction of high rainfall!! I don't think i have ever seen a 100% prediction for weather. :) While WE think we are prepared for this rain, there may well be power cuts and other problems ... so if you do loose us, don't despair, you know us, WE'll be back ... it's so in our nature.
The whole crew, and all of Djuma are excited about the prospect of Gowrie, and the other dams, filling up. Not to mention the new life, and well, just water ever where. Hopefully the waiting is now over. You can watch the weather in real time at WeatherSA they even have a Google Earth layer!
A huge thank you to all the WEangels that have already donated over $1000.00. WE still have a couple thousand to go, but i am sure that WE will get there. Today, I was interviewed about WildEarth on a local talk radio and i have asked them to help promote our project to give the village of Dixie a Christmas to remember. I wonder if you would try and get us radio interviews with your local radio stations so that I can promote this project all over the world. You never know maybe WE can turn this into a really big lunch. I am happy to phone the radio stations from here in South Africa, any time of day or night, no matter where they are in the world. If you need to contact me in order to set this up please use dixie@wildearth.tv which is also the email address to quote when donating to this very worthy cause via PayPal.
So far the following people have donated to the cause and become WEangels: (there are some who have asked to remain annonymous)
Kirsty Lynas, Simon Dilts, Kathy Theobald, Kerry and Walter Kosky, Valorie Berry, Aquila, Michael Moss, KCMary, Marty and Dan Benke, Beverly Bailey, Patricia Mulligan, Snow LEApard, Patti German, David Keen, Nora Olguin, Mary Schooley, Dorothy Mulligan, Joyce Fuller, Marie Taoukdjian, Sueso, Sharon Mcdorman, Christine Connor, Sandra Walton and Fabienne van Wunnik.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Calling all WEangels.

Christmas is coming and WE need your help. Not every child in Dixie will get a Christmas present this year. You see most of their parents will struggle to put food on the table let alone get a present for their kids. Lets help them out and make sure that no child is forgotten this year.
The WEangels managed to take all the youngest kids to the movies last month, lets see if WE can get enough money together so that every child in the little village of Dixie gets a present from the WildEarth Angels. Please make your donations via PayPal (www.paypal.com ) to dixie@wildearth.tv 
Rexon is making a list of all the kids (we think about 80) under the age of 14. Then we will make an age appropriate hamper of gifts for each child. WE will buy the gifts here in Johannesburg South Africa and then transport them down to Dixie in time for Christmas day. 
But thats not all WE want to do ... 
Every Christmas Rex, and the other Dixie folk with jobs, help out those who have no money. They buy them food for their families so they can also have a Christmas. This year that won't be necessary, because the WEangels are coming ... WE are going to buy 3 cattle, rent a tent, buy a lot of mielie pap, salad makings, soda and put on a Christmas lunch that will feed everyone in the village properly. And WE are going to be there LIVE. Thats right, all of us at WildEarth have decided to cancel our normal activities on Christmas day and WE will be taking the Jiga to Dixie so that you can watch as each child gets their gift hamper. You will be there for the festivities and dancing. You will be a part of the party.Lets make Christmas at Dixie special this year. Lets make it the beginning of a tradition to ensure that the residents of this far away little village in the middle of Africa knows that the world cares. Please make your donations via PayPal (www.paypal.com ) to dixie@wildearth.tv 
If you cannot afford to donate money, thats OK, but maybe you could help out in other ways. Please help promote this project. Join our Facebook cause, get your friends to join. Get your parents involved. Talk about this project with everyone you know. WE don't need much money ... maybe about $3000.00. I am sure if all of us get the word out we will get the money ... to once again change the lives of those less fortunate. 
Come on lets make a difference ... it's in our nature.
I would also like to thank all of you that wrote such special words about us on the "sometimes we forget" forum. I know that I speak for the whole crew when I say that: "this is why WE do what WE do. WE do it for you." A special thank you to Patty for starting this outpouring of love.
You are all part of our family now, and its great to know that we matter to you. As you know, the WildEarth team work very hard, with very little. It is the knowledge that you are out there, relying on us to keep broadcasting no matter what, that motivates us when things break, and when we are tired. It is your appreciation that gets us up when we fall. 
WE feel that you are there all the time and it keeps us going when there sometimes seems to be no other reason.
Thank you.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Whats up at WE ...

Well it's been a bit of a slow Blog recently, but I am very proud and happy to say that WE have an excellent excuse ... little Mia Chloe Wallington was born at 11h37 on Friday the 31st October 2008. She weighed in at 3.54 kgs (7.8 pounds) and both her and mom (Emily) are in perfect health. We are all home now, and something like a new normality is beginning. I would like to thank everybody that has congratulated us from the WE community, you all feel like family, and both Emily and I really appreciate your thoughts and well wishes.
On to what's going on down at Djuma ... well, I must start by thanking the world's best LIVE crew, for being the well oiled, efficient content machine that they are. Thank you guys, your support over the past week or two has been appreciated. :) You are the best ... it is in your nature!
There are a lot of things in the pipeline, some I can tell you, some I can hint at, and some I must keep under wraps just a little longer. Pete has managed to get the LIVE Djuma weather station working and WE will be integrating this into the site within the next day or two. WE would have done it sooner, but we are about to begin beta testing the new WildEarth website and we want it in there. I am hoping to invite all our WildEarth community members soon, just need the admin team to give it a few more pokes and prods and then it will be ready for your comments and test drive. You can expect to see: the LIVE weather station, a second stream from Djuma of the Gowrie waterhole that stays on the waterhole when the drive goes out, a full archive system that records every frame of video and allows you to go back in time, a new registration system that will allow you access to new forums and ... a platform to create your own LIVE wildlife TV channel! Yes, you heard right, WE are going to be making our years of experience, as well as our systems and technology available to those of you that would like to broadcast from your own piece of wilderness (with some WE rules) ... much more on this over the coming weeks.
I can hint at the fact that WE are working on two new locations, just like Djuma is a location for WE. These two will bring new viewing experiences to our valued viewers, and while they may include stationary (sort of waterhole) cams, they will primarily involve people taking you directly into the lives of our furry (and scaly) friends. :)
There is a lot going on behind the scenes within our business, and I must say that it really seems like the concept of LIVE wildlife TV may finally be getting it's day in the sun. After 10 years of plugging away, it is great to see the interest and understanding building everywhere. National Geographic will be broadcasting their first LIVE game drive next week, the BBC just finished their Big Cat Live show, Earth-Touch looks like it is going from strength to strength, The Underwater Channel is cooking up some very interesting content ... it looks like Mia has been born into a world ready to explore its wildlife like never before. Its about time. :)
Tomorrow Pieter will be going to Dixie to get tons of new pictures of the kids, and I will be Blogging here all about plans for a serious no holds barred Christmas at Dixie this year. If you have the time, please go and check out our friends at http://ingweaction.blogspot.com and http://ingweleopardproject.ning.com you will be able to catch up on what Alex has been up to. He is staying at our house at the moment editing a small series about his adventures in Lydenburg and will be posting them to the Ingwe Action Blog in the next day or two.
So sit back and enjoy ... WE are just waking up to our world. 


Monday, 3 November 2008

WE BiTS- 02 November 2008

Joel is truly our lifeline. He supplies us with the fuel so necessary to keeping the Jiga on the go. He is a very close friend of Rexon's and is an important man in the village of Utah.