Friday, July 30, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Hello everyone and hope you are all enjoying your weekend.
We are all busy here at camp still getting the 3D rig up and running. Will has been here over the weekend to assist Alex in working on the vehicle and things are coming along.
On the leave front Herman is still away and Jared and I will be going on leave on Tuesday for 2 weeks. That leaves Tara, Marc, Patrick who will back tomorrow, Alex and Sebastien in camp so it will be all hands on deck. Siphiwe is due for her weeks leave next week aswell.
Just before I sat down to write this I had spent about a half hour outside running after birds trying to take their pictures. We had a wonderful bird party outside with Chinspot Batis's, Puff back shrikes, Grey headed bush Shrikes, White Bellied Sunbirds, Yellow throated Apalis and Green Back Camaroptera as well. I love seeing all sorts of birds like this together - it refreshes my knowledge on who is what and also gives me a chance to run and around and take photos which is always a joy for me.
On the game drive front, Friday morning began with Jared and myself going out looking for anything we could find. As the morning was incredibly cold we did not see much but toward the end of the drive we came upon 4 hyena walking up the road which was great! And we also saw lots and lots of Zebra throughout the drive.
In the afternoon Tara and Jared went out and saw some general game. And to end of the day Marc spent some time in Final Control with the viewers for a half hour doing his ReMarcable creatures and talking about insects he had seen on leave.
On Saturday Jared and I went out again in another very cold morning spell and found some lion tracks that we tried to follow up on. We looked high and low but to no avail, the cats were hiding from us. We moved onto the burnt area on Cheetah cutline and found a dazzle of Zebra. We watched a small Zebra foul run and play around charging and kicking up and down the road - very fun and sweet to watch such a small animal with such a spring to it's step.
The afternoon team headed out and had more luck with the weather having warmed up. Marc and Tara saw some elephant and spend a bit of time watching the 2 bulls they had come across. Meanwhile toward the end of the drive, I spotted a leopard at Gowrie dam and they were able to make their way there but the batteries on the Jigga gave out and we were unable to broadcast but everyone did manage to spot Induna on the wall for a couple of minutes.
All in all, the sightings seem to be picking up a little bit which is good and this will be my last Blog for the next 2 weeks. As usual I will be handing over to Tara who will keep you all entertained whilst I am away.
See you all in 2 weeks.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Well the Soccer World Cup is over and what a month it has been! I can't believe it has come and gone and all the excitement is over. Well done to the champions: Spain! I hope the good emotions that came with the world cup stays on though - the country really was in amazing spirits.
Around camp Alex is back today from his leave and Herman goes on leave as of tomorrow. That is it for the week with regards to staff coming and going on / from leave!
Around camp everyone is keeping busy and today we had to repair the accelerator cable on Jigga as it snapped this morning again - but Jared has fixed it for the afternoon drive and all should be well.
Saturday morning started off with a great sighting of Buffalo and some white Rhino. Giraffe have been ever present around the Quarantine area and we have been seeing the 2 mothers with their 2 calves quite a bit lately which has been very amusing.
Saturday afternoon with Tara and myself saw all the pachyderms! A great sighting with a crash of white Rhino and then some Elephant with Hippo at Gowrie dam followed by in the late afternoon a dimly lit sighting of some old Buffalo bulls.
Pictures of the newly done up Babaloo looking very handsome!!
Sunday's drives began with Jared and myself only managing to go out for about 20 minutes due to battery problems and having to retire early. But Jared sat in final control and spoke to the viewers for the rest of the drive and got some fantastic questions in and lots of interaction from everyone.
The afternoon drive went out with Tara and Herman and they managed to find some great general game: Giraffe again, a few warthog, a dazzle of zebra and some antelope. And a small herd of Buffalo as well.
And to end of the evening Marc sat round the fire and went through the week's highlights. Adding some of the other presenter's highlights and what they enjoyed about the week as well.
We had a wonderful sunny almost Summer day yesterday which was such a nice change to some of the cold days we have been experiencing - but due to the windy weather yesterday also, a cold front has blown in today and things are a little on the chilly side once again. But it is more than half way through Winter and not long to go before the wonderful Spring season comes around.
Enjoy your day and till next time folks.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Hello there everyone and Happy Weekend!
Tomorrow is the Soccer World Cup Final and everyone here in camp is getting very excited to watch the game! Some of the Sabi Sands lodges are getting a world cup final party together for everyone to watch the game which should be lots of fun!
Peter will be also be leaving us tomorrow to fly back to Cape Town and Alex will be returning from his leave hopefully well rested. And Herman will be leaving on Tuesday for his 3 week leave which he is looking very forward to.
At camp, Jared has been working on the Bubaloo car to get it up and running well. He has put all the covers back on it and it now looks like a proper car with windows and a back door and has even had a bit of a spruce up with a paint job inside and out. I will take a photo of it and put it in my next Blog for you all to see what a different good looking car it has become
Game drive wise, Thursday morning started with a great sighting of some White Rhino and some really nice general game with Tara and Herman.
The afternoon drive with Marc and Jared saw a couple of old Buffalo bulls around the Chela Pan area and also some White Rhino sleeping.
Friday morning with myself and Jared out on drive saw a great herd of Elephant on Cheetah Cutline area. The young bull that was following the herd at a small distance had some very odd behaviour and we weren't quite sure if he was just a little curious or whether he wanted to mock charge us. After awhile he settled down and allowed us to get some nice shots of him eating and scratching himself on a Marula tree. We also saw Jared's favourite antelopes (well in his top 5 he says) which were Nyala, Kudu and Waterbuck - all really nice sightings of each.
In the afternoon with Patrick and Tara they saw some Buffalo and The Gowrie Gang troop of baboons on Quarantine who are always up for some fun!
And for the fireside chat to end off the day Jared spent the half hour chatting to everyone about Survival Skills in the bush. He made a Quarry bush shelter and showed how to extract water from fresh elephant dung as well as chatting about personal survival situations and also what to eat and what not to eat if ever in the situation. I think everyone enjoyed that!
And after fireside chat we all sat down around the fire and enjoyed some braai'ed chicken 'flatties' and a drink or two before all heading off to bed.
Join me on Monday for my next instalment.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Hello everyone. I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend so far! We are already into July for this year - how the time flies as I say and nearly at the end of the Soccer world cup as well - I can't believe it is nearly all over!
Back in camp things are much the same as always - be it Soccer world cup, Winter or Summer life carries on for us as it does. We are obviously very busy with the 3D rig at the moment and of course the changes that happen with safari.tv as we go along but indeed living in the bush, time seems to stand still.
The lion are back in the area which is great news for us! So hopefully they will stick around a little longer this time so we can really get to know them. However I think with them possibly moving into the Sabi Sands area that our time spent with them might be short lived as they will, I'm sure, want to move on and patrol. But who knows - maybe we will be lucky!
Marc will be arriving back from leave tomorrow and starting on Tuesday. We hope he is well relaxed and ready to go for his drive on Tuesday afternoon. Afke will be going on leave when Siphiwe comes back which is Wednesday and Tuesday respectively and it looks like Afke will be spending some time at the Ingwe Leopard Project which we hope she thoroughly enjoys.
Sightings for Friday started with a drive mainly centred around general game such as a dazzle of Zebra, a giraffe and The Gowrie Gang troop of baboons that are back in the area.
The afternoon drive with myself and Jared had the Shemount Primary School join us for the first hour. They sent in lots and lots of questions to Jared as well as being asked questions themselves from Jared to test some of their wildlife knowledge. They seemed to have a wonderful time and we got some lovely feedback as well as having some of the boys on the next day's afternoon drive join us again which was wonderful. We saw some baboon again with warthog and impala and some very funny interaction between the young baboon and warthog chasing each other around Quarantine.
I ended off the day with my Photography fireside chat about before and after photos as well as tips, tricks and methods of Photoshop. Hope everyone enjoyed that!
Saturday morning started off very chilly and misty with Tara and Jared on camera finding Mixo all huddled up sleeping on the cold winter morning. After Mixo had moved off, they heard of a lion sighting not far off and followed up on that to find the 4 male lion that are roaming around the Sabi Sands at the moment possibly trying to hunt a herd of Buffalo. Tense moments but alas they disappeared and we ended the drive.
In the afternoon Patrick followed up and found the lion again and spent some of the time with them but the drive was cut slightly short with battery depletion on the Jigga and we went to Gowrie Dam. The lion however had not killed any buffalo and were just relaxing in the fading afternoon sun.
The Jigga seems to be holding up with the steering which is good news and we are still working hard on getting the Ganda up and ready with the 3D rig. So stay posted.
Friday, July 2, 2010
(Images I took are still from the children in the Staff Village)
Welcome from another stormy and drizzly day at camp. We had rain again last night which was wonderful but I’m beginning to feel like imp on the wrong continent for the season. This much rain in winter I feel is somewhat unusual.
Wednesday morning was the fateful morning the steering arm on Jigga decided to break. Jared and Herman were out on drive and had spotted a spoonbill at Buffelshoek dam and were then on their way to follow up on some elephant that were in a drainage line when the vehicle decided to call it quits. The guys were down in the middle of a drainage line with very little signal and had to manoeuvre the vehicle out with limited steering capabilities. Herman took some footage of their drive home which Sebastian used for the video diaries the next day for us all to look at.
The jigga then sat in the workshop with Jared for the day and Jared managed to fix it before afternoon drive. Tara and myself then went out in the afternoon and started with a wonderful journey of Giraffe. As we moved off from the sighting the Jigga’s steering began to feel odd again and the arm broke once more. The rest of the afternoon was then very entertaining: Herman and Patrick came out to our rescue in the Babaloo to try and tow the jigga but ended in overheating the Babaloo. We then tried jacking the car up and moving it this way but only got a metre in about 30mins. Eventually I got in the car to try and drive it again and managed to drive it back to camp doing about a 1000 point turn eventually driving forward and reversing alot. Jared then started to fix it again and by the next afternoon’s drive the Jigga was up and running again beautifully – back in tip top shape!
Patrick still had his Fireside chat that evening with 2 lady guests that joined him. They spoke about superstitions of the Shangaan people and how the Shangaan surnames tie into the wildlife of the area and some of the superstitions. An interesting side to the Shangaan culture.
And hence the morning drive on Thursday morning did not go out but Patrick spent the morning in Final control talking to all the viewers and surveying Gowrie Dam.
The afternoon drive with Tara and Herman though went out and was 100% and they managed to see some White Rhino that had come down to Gowrie dam earlier and also saw Induna! We haven’t seen Induna in quite awhile so that was great to spend some time with him.
Will Fox also came down for a night just to spend some time of the 3D rig and see how that was coming along.
All in all, camp has been busy again, in many different aspects!
Till next time!