Some of you may be wondering why WE don’t visit everything that WE hear on the radio … or even what is being said on the radio. So WE thought a little bit of behind the scenes info would help.
Generally there are 5 game drive vehicles out on each safari from the three Djuma lodges twice per day, plus the WildEarth vehicle. They all communicate on a single radio channel, which WE monitor as well as the final control channel. The Djuma vehicles drive (traverse) over 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres) of the Sabi Sands, but WE traverse over about 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres). The reason for this is that WE simply cannot get our video and audio back to our final control from all of Djuma’s land.
It is the responsibility of each guide, including our presenters, to call in sightings (particularly of the Big 5) whenever they find them. The Djuma vehicles then have the right to go to any sighting and should they wish to come to a sighting that our vehicle found or are at, WE must move on to make way for the lodge guests. This is all about bush etiquette. WE also do not film any of the guests as WE would need their permission and WE do not have the time or need to ask for it.
Sometimes you will hear a sighting called in on the radio, like: “ingwe” (leopard), “ngala” (lion), “ndlovu” (elephant), “nyati” (buffalo), “skankaan” (cheetah), and yet our vehicle will not go there. Usually this is because the sighting is in an area that WE cannot reach with our transmission equipment.
On another note, Nick and Helen just caught up with Karula and one of her cubs having a drink down in a drainage line … where is the other cub?