Thursday, 28 January 2016

Time Change For Sunrise safariLIVE

Sunrise over Sabi Sand

You may have already heard the guides mention that sunrise safariLIVE will be starting a little later starting February 1st. This coincides with the later sunrise we will experience here in South Africa.

Sunrise safariLIVE on Monday, February 1, 2016 will start 30 minutes later at 5:30am, and end at 8:30am CAT, so prepare for the small adjustment to our schedule. The change means sunrise drive now starts at 10:30pm ET and 7:30pm PT. Sunset drive will remain from 4:00pm until 7:00pm CAT.

Wherever you are in the world, we hope you continue to join us for our live adventures. See you on drive!

Monday, 25 January 2016

#safariLIVE Viewer Profile: The Busy Birder

Mike Garofolo Jr. is a #safariLIVE regular who has amassed an impressive bird list simply from watching our daily live broadcasts! I briefly chatted to him about how he discovered #safariLIVE and his life-long love of the avian kingdom. 

Bianca: So, how did you discover #safariLIVE?
Mike:  I saw a TV ad about safaris in Kruger National Park. When I did some research, I came across safariLIVE. I then got my family involved in it once Big Cat Week started, and have been hooked ever since.

BL: What is it about birds that sparked your interest in them so greatly?
MG: I have always loved birds. Growing up we had birds. I would spend many hours as a kid just watching them and their personalities. As I grew up, I just became more and more amazed by different species. We have some great bird viewing here in Central Florida and have our resident red-tailed hawks that show up around the house every now and then.

BL: What has been your favourite sighting to date?
MG: My favorite sighting to date has to be one of the wild dog sightings but as for bird sightings, I would have to say the first time that we found the pearl-spotted owlet. After many months of hearing them and never being able to find them!

BL: Where does your bird list currently stand and what was your last addition?
MG: My list is currently at 221 and climbing fast! Last additions were carmine bee eater and comb duck.
BL: Just from watching #safariLIVE? That's quite an achievement!
MG: Thank you!

BL: Why, in your opinion. should others watch #safariLIVE?
MG: If you are a human being, you should watch safariLIVE. The WildEarth crew is amazing and do a wonderful job bringing us the most wonderful safari experience from thousands of miles away. No matter where you are in the world, the presenters make you feel as if you are right there with them in the vehicle by answering your questions and is the next best thing to actually taking a trip to South Africa and seeing it for yourself. You will be amazed at what we see!

If you have an interesting story to tell about your #safariLIVE experience, and would like to be featured in a future #safariLIVE Viewer Profile, contact us with your contributions, photo and video submissions at You could be interviewed next!

Friday, 8 January 2016

Dealing with the drought and heat

The prolonged drought we are experiencing is putting an enormous amount of stress on the animals and the bush. In addition to this the current heatwave, with temperatures exceeding 45 C (113 F), puts everyone who goes out into the sun for longer than a few minutes in danger of suffering heat exhaustion or stroke.

In order protect people, animals and the bush the lodges in the area and WildEarth have put a number of measures in place. Some of these will affect the drives and waterhole feeds:

  • On very hot days the Sunset drives might have to go out later or be cancelled to not put our guides and camera men at risk of heat stroke. Sunrise drives should be largely unaffected but in truly extreme cases could be ended earlier too. As we endeavour to minimise these interruptions and try to go out as often and long as possible, decisions on this will often only be taken last minute and cannot be announced well ahead of time.

  • As the drought has made the bush more sensitive to off-road driving we will adhere strictly to the 'Big 5' rule in this regard which restricts this to Big 5 sightings plus some noted exceptions like wild dog and cheetah. We will still aim to bring you the 'smaller fare' but will do so through the use of the bush walk. (Of course as long as the heat allows the camera man to safely go out - carrying the back pack.)

  • The high level of buffalo and hippo presence in the little pan in front of the new Djuma cam has caused cracks in the concrete base. This means it has to be repaired to avoid wasting water. Until it is repaired no water will be pumped into it. After the repairs, water will be pumped to it less frequently, initially on alternate days, so it might still run dry on occasion. We are investigating whether it is possible to create a second camera set-up at Galago pan to allow us to 'follow the water'.

As we work through this extremely difficult time for bush, animals and people, we ask for your support and understanding where it does impact our waterhole feeds and safaris.