Saturday, 25 May 2013

The return of an old friend


Few things in life are as enjoyable as meeting up with an old friend and getting reacquainted. This is how I felt when I was at Tau recently to install a new camera. Those of you who have watched since the early days of live waterhole cams will know that the Tau Game Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa was among the first places where Graham and his team set up a camera.

As I enjoyed my breakfast on the deck where the camera is mounted, I fondly remembered those early days of the, then picture refresh, Tau cam. This was still in my 'previous life' ... long before I moved to South Africa and got actively involved with WildEarth and the installation and operation of the cameras. Then I was simply fascinated as a viewer, full of wonder and happy about being able to enjoy a glimpse of what was happening in Africa in real time.

So, it is with a lot of pleasure that WE welcome Tau back. Now with a streaming cam and zoomies to move it around. No doubt many of you will enjoy watching the new cam as well as reminiscing about the 'old days' and the many great sightings that were shared then.

We are giving the zoomies a couple of days for trial runs to get used to the controls and lay of the land and aim to start sharing it with everyone on Tuesday. At that time we'll share the cam links on Facebook and add it to ours and Tau's websites as well as Ustream.

I for one am looking forward to watching this camera and hope many of you are too. In the mean time, check out Tau's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/taugamelodge or their website at http://www.taugamelodge.co.za/.

--Peter


Thursday, 23 May 2013

Want to be zoomie?


Installing a movable camera at a water hole in Africa is only one step in bringing a great viewing experience to viewers all around the world. If there is nobody to move this camera to find and follow the animals that come to drink or walk by, then a lot will be missed.

WildEarth counts itself fortunate to have a small group of very dedicated people that help us to catch as much of the action as possible: Our zoomies! The intention is, or rather was, that each of them would take a couple of two hour 'shifts' each week at times that would suit them.

Unfortunately, and despite some heroic efforts from the group with some zoomies often taking more than a shift a day!, the current group is not large enough to keep the cam moving 24/7. As always, people's lives change; some have less time, others simply want to simply sit back and enjoy watching the streams. So once in a while we need to replenish the ranks, and this is one such time.

A further reason is the upcoming launch of an additional waterhole camera next week at an exciting location that will be familiar to many of our long-term viewers. More on that soon...

Through the grapevine/bush telegraph, some people have already shown interest in joining the zoomie ranks, but we'd like to give everyone a chance to put their names forward. So if you are reasonably handy on a computer, patient and not easily frustrated (sometimes the cam does not play along), can distinguish between an impala and a kudu, and are willing and able to do an average 3-5 shifts of zooming a week, please let us know at zoomies@wildearth.tv.

You'll find the zoomies are a great and fun bunch and will give you all the help and advice you need to get going. So come forward and help us bring Africa to the world.

--Peter

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Thornybush Game drives to start!





The crew at Thornybush Game Reserve are chomping at the bit to go LIVE and share the beauty of this magnificent piece of African bush with all of you. Not everything is fully in place and tested yet. But, as those of you who  have been with us for a long time know, WE believe there is no test like a LIVE test!

Yesterday and today we have been doing some extensive tweaking and we believe WE are ready for this next step. Between drives we will still be working on extending our signal range, improving picture quality, and streamlining operations, but there's no reason we can't do this while also broadcasting.

So, join us on Thursday, May 16th at 06:30 Central African Time (0430 UTC) as we set out to discover the many wonders Thornybush Game Reserve has to offer, starting with the area surrounding our basecamp. Driving around the area today we already had some great sightings and saw several leopard tracks, so we're hopeful we might be in for some great encounters from the get-go. Make sure you're on the jigga, so you won't miss any of it.

And, above all, tune in on time to be the first to find out who our new presenter is...

---Peter

Drive times: 06:30 - 09:30 CAT and 15:00 - 17:30 CAT

Watch it here:                            http://lite.wildearth.tv/thornybush-safari

(Ustream viewing to be added soon.)

Ask questions of the presenter: drivequestions@wildearth.tv

Give feedback on the drives:     drivefeedback@wildearth.tv