Sunday, 10 May 2009

Changes ...

One of the beautiful things of seasons, is the changes. Not only the colours and the weather, but also the very fabric of the air around us. In our case, WE also know it is not only the bush, but also the wildlife that changes. More and more WE'll arrive at the waterholes and find various species around, the bush will loose the summer lushness and green density, making spotting easier and tracking more rewarding. Gowrie waterhole will get busier and busier.
WE have already seen this, not only the lovely shades of the autumn bush, but also the increase in game. Maybe WE have also been a little lucky here and there. . .The Styx pride have been around so often, from when WE saw them on the zebra carcass, to when WE followed them the afternoon when they hunted the little steenbuck on Quarantine and later that same night, the impala close to Vuyatela lodge! WE have all had opportunity to get to know them a little, whether it is the close social bond they all share or the organized fashion in which the nine cubs follow the females when they move around. WE even saw Yambil-Jordaan (male leopard), up in a tall Marule tree ... with the whole Styx pride underneath! They stole his impala kill of course, why else would we speak of the lion's share? Not to mention the brown hyena, earlier that same evening!

Brown Hyena seekpoint 1 
Brown Hyena seekpoint 2
According to Rexon, the previous sighting of a brown hyena in Sabie Sands was in 1992, that is seventeen years ago and it was only a glimpse! WE filmed and shared it LIVE!
We have also all gotten to know a bit more about the spotted hyenas at their den, with their inquisitive noses and curious nature. WE saw Saseka, Yambilu-Jordaan, Nkanyeni (Beacon female's previous cub, now independent) and most of all, WE saw Karula and her two cubs! Often!

Little Mixo and Induna, are fast becoming not so little, and what a pleasure to see them discovering their world, and to discover it with them. Whether they are climbing things, playing with each other's tails, running away from elephants (after Induna stalked the ellie) or just seeing the beautiful bond between siblings and mother, WE have all oohed and aahed while captivated by their magic, magic that WE will keep finding, and more importantly, sharing ... it is in our nature!
So cheers to a splendid African summer past, and cheers to the excitement of winter safaris ahead, where WE never know what the next corner will reveal or what surprise WE might find down the next dusty road.

written by Pieter Pretorius


Kaiser is no longer with WE. He is a great man with tons of knowledge and we all really liked him, but LIVE presenting is not for everyone, and was not for Kaiser. You have all seen many people come and go, and you have learnt that some people stay for a long time, while others move on quite quickly. This is a part of how our world works, and is a necessary aspect of WildEarth. Emily is actively looking for a new presenter, and WE hope to see Patrick (Charles's brother, also from Dixie) trying out again at the end of the month. He did do a try out over a year ago on the old 'Tank', but he will be 'driving' again to see if he has what it takes to work super long hours and carry the responsibility of taking the WE audience out into the African wilderness and finding what nature has to show and making sure that the knowledge that is imparted is true and special.
Also, the drive times are changing with the season. The Djuma crew will be going out at 06h00 CAT for three hours in the morning on the AMsafari, then the WEwalk every weekday morning at 09h30 CAT for a half hour (WE are planning some changes to this show, so watch this space), then the PMsafari will start at 15h00 CAT and run until 18h00 CAT when a quick crew change will take place and the night safari will run until 21h00 CAT. For the moment WE have chosen not to have a Night Safari on Saturday nights.
Please take a look at the link below for the detailed schedule ...
http://www.wildearth.tv/weschedule



The following was noticed by Aquila (WEadmin) and she agreed that I could share this info with you ...

On the AM drive, April 27th, there was a pride of lions sighted by Kaiser and Rexon. The pride was ID'd as the Nkuhumas but that ID bothered me from the beginning, as I thought they may have been a new pride (new as in for WE) called the Windmill Pride originally out of Mala Mala, but spending much time the last year or two in Kruger. They only recently returned to this area. The Windmill pride has similar aged sub adults as the Nkuhuma pride but their sub adults are a bit older than the Nkuhumas. The pride seen on the 27th consisted of 3 adult females, 3 sub adult males (2 looked a bit older than the 3rd) and two sub adult females.  That is the exact same make up of the Windmill Pride.
I now am almost certain that the pride we saw was indeed the Windmills. Djuma Ranger reports were just updated and they reported the Windmill Pride being on Weavers Nest Rd. both AM and PM on the 27th April.  Exactly the same place WE had the sighting of the lion pride the AM of the 27th April.
Some rangers have even suggested that the Nkuhumas and the Windmill are the same pride but called different names but that is not so.  The Windmills were in Mala Mala on the date the Nkuhumas were being attacked (cubs killed) in Djuma by the Mapogos in Jan 2008. 
Really cool that on WE's Birthday a new pride was seen on cam.   Such amazing sightings lately with the Styx, Windmills and Nkuhumas not to mention Karula, the cubs, Jordaan and Inkanyeni. 
Aquila

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