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. 



JoAnne said...

I completely agree with these moves. Our WE team's health and well being should always come first and foremost. WE have been fortunate(?) enough not to have had many drive time cancelled due to rain this non-rainy, rainy season to this point. Thank you very much for keeping us informed of your future plans and restrictions. I really hope you get the much needed rain very soon.

Kim Eckert said...

Thank you for the update. Perfectly understandable. I'll say a little prayer for El niño to play nice. The little chico is playing havoc with our weather, too!
Kim, Lapeer, MI, USA

Vicky Sanders said...

Thank you, and please know WE totally understand. Everyone's safety is the priority. WE feel badly for any creature having to endure such intense heat, lack of food and lack of water. Of course that includes the human 'creatures'. You do what you feel you need to at the time, no matter how last minute. And please do not apologize for doing what you need to do. Praying for relief and rain, Vicky in New Mexico

Xi-Momo said...

Thanks so much for all you do for man and beast. Common sense rules and I hope everyone understands why this is necessary!

Mudjie said...

Thank you Peter. I am glad to hear you are taking all those precautions due to the drought.
WE, the viewers will watch a hope relief for all of you in your corner of the world will find relief soon.. MJ in Houston Texas