As many of you know the webcam at the Djuma waterhole is one of the oldest wildlife webcams in the world! It was installed by Africam back in 1998 and has pretty much broadcasted unbroken for 19 years.
The camera has been controlled by our volunteer zoomies for some years now. In addition to a source of many hours of viewing enjoyment by safarians around the world it has also been a popular way to listen to the bush. WE really find it useful when viewers let us know what has come down to drink in the night and this has often led to our team finding lions, leopards, etc. faster because we know where to start tracking.
However, in spite of a few upgrades along the way the camera and audio is now not of the quality that WE and Djuma are capable of or want to broadcast. For this reason Djuma and WildEarth have decided to do a complete reinstallation and upgrade on this camera. We will be improving both video and audio quality. We hope that this will all be done by the end of July …
WE have also had to take the difficult decision to not renew our traversing agreements on both Cheetah Plains and Arathusa. Not because there is anything wrong with this traversing [on the contrary] or because we don’t want/need more traversing, but rather because the current traversing rental model that WE has been following is just too expensive to scale.
Now that WE have added the Mara to our shows it has become quite obvious that we need much much more traversing in the Sabi Sands in order to deliver on its huge potential. But if we were to attempt such a traversing expansion with the current costing model it would be economically completely unviable.
The only way to traverse a much much larger area of the Sabi Sands and unlock its full potential is to have a much lower impact on each property. This would mean that WE would need to move from area to area for a few days at a time rather than drive every day on each property. It is our hope that this lower impact over a larger area will make the “marketing value” of safariLIVE sufficient for the Sabi Sands and the various properties in it to allow our wider traversing. Of course it would also mean that you, our viewers, would get to meet many more of the animal characters that you have only read about as well as former regulars that have moved out of our current traversing range.
Its our plan to start reaching out to all the various properties in the Sabi Sands in the next few months after WE have everything working properly in the Mara. So please bear with us as we temporarily reduce our traversing in the Sabi Sands so that we can eventually show you much much more of this magnificent area that WE call home.
This temporary reduction in traversing will also allow us to upgrade the Gowrie repeater [on Djuma] and install a new repeater in Chitwa Chitwa which will improve our signal coverage on Chitwa Chitwa as well as on parts of Djuma, most notably the Twin Dams area and the Mlilwati river bed.