Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ranger Race coming soon!

Kudu Bull on Quarantine
What a wonderful day today has turned out to be! Blue skies with just a hint of fluffy white cloud and the miserable rainy weather of the last 2 days has disappeared. However with the blue skies comes the cold but we would rather have sun any day regardless of the temperature.

Sunday morning was rain delayed and we were unable to go out. The drizzle finally stopped around lunch time and the sun started peeking out from behind some very menacing looking clouds but we managed to get out on the afternoon drive. This was obviously only after the power went off 5 mins before we were due to head out but came back on about 15H30 and we were able to have a few hours of drive into the evening. Whilst we were waiting for the rain to stop in the morning a shape that looked very much like a leopard stopped off at Gowrie Dam for a drink right near where the Hippos where wallowing. This was short lived though as the hippo charge out of the water and chased off the shape into the bushes never to be seen again.

Sub Adult lioness stretching out
On our afternoon drive Jared and I managed to encounter a small herd of Elephant with a young bull that had the funniest trumpet I have ever heard. I think he had a nasal passage problem as when he trumpeted it sounded very much like a piece of plastic tubing being blown into that would have a hole in it. If you can imagine that sound. A hyena came onto the scene of the elephant sighting and caused an upset that had him being chased off by the small ellie bull and after, the matriarch of the herd became very uneasy so we decided to leave them in peace. At this stage we were at the end of drive and came into a sighting of Whitecloth the female leopard not far from our house. What a fantastic sighting to see a different leopard and the first different leopard I have seen apart from Karula and the boys. Loved that!

Tara ended off the evening with the Highlights show with Patrick as her guest where they spoke about some of the sighting highlights for the week! Great new Show!!

Monday morning Tara and Patrick found Induna near our house just about where Whitecloth had been the night before lounging around before the suns warmth had hit. They also saw a great herd of elephant and the blue skies had come back after a couple of cloudy wet days. The PM/Night drive with Patrick and Jared turned out to be a cracker of a drive with a sighting of Karula and Whitecloth’s cub at Twin Dams: very unusual behaviour and Karula was not that happy about the unfamiliar cub so close. Around a couple of other bends they bumped into Mixo and Induna and spend the rest of the drive with them making their way to Gowrie Dam. 4 Leopard in 1 drive. Fantastic! They swopped over to the night camera and watched as the boys took on some Hippo as they were coming out of the dam. Some near escapes for the rosetted cats!

Rangers Race: The much anticipated Rangers Race will be starting on Thursday afternoon with the PM drives till Sunday Afternoon. Every PM drive will be hosted by a different presenter to allow everyone to get out there on the PM drive to participate. Marc will be presenting on Thursday, Patrick on Friday, Jared on Saturday and Tara on Sunday. The rules will be the same as the previous Ranger Race and are as follows:

1. The highest number of positively identified living mammal species wins.
2. Each ranger gets one afternoon safari of 3 hours.
3. A mammal only counts if it is positively identified by a viewer who mails the species (not latin name) identification to finalcontrol@safari.tv (e.g. Grey Duiker not just Duiker.)
4. If the ranger or cameraman verbally identifies the mammal before a viewer then that sighting (not mammal) is disqualified from the race.
5. All mammals must be alive at the time of viewing.
6. The director may 'cut in' mammals from other cams like the Gowrie waterhole and these mammals will count if correctly identified by a viewer.
7. The Director must keep a tally and has final say as to whether it is counted.
8. Viewers have twelve hours after the race has finished to come back with answers if they were not positively identified on the drive.
9. More than one of the same mammal cannot be counted.

It is going to be one to remember so please join us on Thursday!

Till next time. Kath.

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