As you can read in the most recent Djuma blog, they have made the very generous offer to try and keep the daily Safaris going for at least a while longer. You can imagine our surprise and excitement when Jurie called us about this last week and asked us to explore with him if this could be done in a way that Djuma could afford. Since then we’ve gone through many different scenarios and have indeed managed to come up with a way that will work for Djuma.
At this point you might wonder why, if this can work for Djuma, it couldn’t for Safari Television and that’s a fair question to ask. There are a couple of important differences that explain this. As Djuma owns the ‘resources’, i.e. the land, access to the land, accommodation, a workshop, etc, it can operate at a much lower cost than any ‘third party’ operation could. Furthermore, Djuma can afford to run at a (limited) loss as the Safari drives is not their main business, but part of their marketing efforts.
With this lifeline that Djuma has provided it is up to us (WildEarth and its viewers) to, together with Djuma find ways to make this work and generate at least enough revenue to bring Djuma’s cost within its allocated budget. This will probably mean some more advertising on the Safari broadcasts, but that alone will not be sufficient. We will also need to increase viewer numbers and this is where you, our viewers, can play a big role as well by spreading the word!
The drives will go of air for a little period of time while the close-down of Safari Television is completed and changes needed to allow Djuma to operate the drives are being implemented. The aim is to relaunch some time in the second half of August. This will also allow the new three-people crew (which will include Marc and Tara!) to start on the same leave schedule. (To allow running with only three people there only be drives for 6 weeks out of every 8 week period.) Djuma will share more detailed information over the coming days and weeks, so to keep up-to-date be sure to check their website, blogs and Facebook page.
To close off I’d like to thank Djuma, and Jurie and Pippa Moolman personally, for giving us a chance at keeping the drives going and continue to share with you what has become a second home to so many.