I have been asked by several viewers to explain more about our current reduced service i.e. AM drives only.
As per my earlier blog on this matter it is all down to available resources. We can only do so much with the team we have and our work load in terms of repairs following the storm, installing the w/h camera (digging trenches, laying cables etc), and other minor works, leave us temporarily short handed.
I have also been asked if we can alternate drives from AM to PM, but we are committed to producing an AM drive and need to maintain that service.
I very much appreciate that this disruption is causing frustration to our extended family of viewers, for which I can only apologise. However, after the recent storm I am determined that we do not rush back until we have fully addressed the production related issues we need to attend to and have a fully resourced team to support drives 100%. My decision was made from the point of view that we should only return to two drives when we are able to sustain that production rate.
I am sure you will appreciate that there are many factors involved and that we want to get back to running two drives a day asap.
Lyn also suggested that I reiterate some of the operational issues that we need to consider when operating in the Sabi Sands. Of-course this is a tourist area and lodge guest experience is very important. We work in close cooperation with Djuma and as such work within agreed parameters for drive times and when carrying out any work. Our drive times are scheduled to be in keeping with the lodge game drive time. I know we may start a little earlier dependant on season and indeed vary our start times to be in tune with the seasonal changes in dawn and dusk, but in general we our out on drive at the same time as the Djuma game drive vehciles. This has the added benefit of more eyes on the ground as it were, in that the Djuma vehciles are able to spot sightings and call them in to us. The weather also dictates animal sightings, as you all know, animals tend to be active in the hours after dawn and before dusk and rest during the middle of the day.
We also need to consider the lodge guest experience when for example wishing to dig a cable trench to the water hole camera, which would be in clear view of the main deck. This means that we need to coordinate our work to minimise any effect on lodge guests, which be necessity slows down any major works that we need to do.
I know that many of you are aware of these issues but for those who are new to our drives, I thought it worth explaining the reality of working within the Sabi Sands.
Folks, will bring you two drives per day as soon as we can, in the meantime please enjoy the daily AM drive.
Written by Will Fox