The prolonged drought we are experiencing is putting an enormous amount of stress on the animals and the bush. In addition to this the current heatwave, with temperatures exceeding 45 C (113 F), puts everyone who goes out into the sun for longer than a few minutes in danger of suffering heat exhaustion or stroke.
In order protect people, animals and the bush the lodges in the area and WildEarth have put a number of measures in place. Some of these will affect the drives and waterhole feeds:
- On very hot days the Sunset drives might have to go out later or be cancelled to not put our guides and camera men at risk of heat stroke. Sunrise drives should be largely unaffected but in truly extreme cases could be ended earlier too. As we endeavour to minimise these interruptions and try to go out as often and long as possible, decisions on this will often only be taken last minute and cannot be announced well ahead of time.
- As the drought has made the bush more sensitive to off-road driving we will adhere strictly to the ‘Big 5’ rule in this regard which restricts this to Big 5 sightings plus some noted exceptions like wild dog and cheetah. We will still aim to bring you the ‘smaller fare’ but will do so through the use of the bush walk. (Of course as long as the heat allows the camera man to safely go out – carrying the back pack.)
- The high level of buffalo and hippo presence in the little pan in front of the new Djuma cam has caused cracks in the concrete base. This means it has to be repaired to avoid wasting water. Until it is repaired no water will be pumped into it. After the repairs, water will be pumped to it less frequently, initially on alternate days, so it might still run dry on occasion. We are investigating whether it is possible to create a second camera set-up at Galago pan to allow us to ‘follow the water’.
As we work through this extremely difficult time for bush, animals and people, we ask for your support and understanding where it does impact our waterhole feeds and safaris.