Unwrapping Cheetah Plains
If you walked into the DRC (Djuma Research Camp – where the WE crew and guides rest their heads), you would wonder if you had time travelled and stepped into Christmas festivity preparations. There is a buzz in the air of excitement, anticipation and self-restraint. WE all just want to rip off the wrapping and start playing with our new toy!
However it is not Christmas. Rather it is something far more exciting and our toy is Cheetah Plains. The crew as well as the viewers who traverse with us daily are eager to jump onto the back of a vehicle and start this new exploration.
Cheetah Plains Lodge is located southeast of Djuma and is in the north west section of the Sabi Sands Reserve and neighbour to the Kruger National Park and Mala Mala.
There are no fences separating the different reserves. So the animals can move freely.
Cheetah Plains is approximately 550 hectares [1,375 acres], which we will be adding to our traverse.This means that we will have more freedom to move with and track the animals. Including some “new” leopards that frequent Cheetah Plains.Like Inkanyene and her cubs, Thandi and Xivambalana.
Because of the open gabbro plains we have a higher chance of seeing cheetahs.
Three-in-a-Row pan attracts many animals due to it being the only available water for quite some distance. The Birmingham Boys are often found in this area – known for their three and a half week hunting spree of buffalo at Three-in-a-Row pan.
Cheetah Plains has geological differences to Djuma. The guides are most excited about the gabbro soil that cause the open plains and we are all sure that Brent will be explaining this in some detail.
The process of gaining access to and filming on Cheetah Plains has been logistically intricate. The tech team have been in full swing preparing for the big day – they are most definitely Santa’s little helpers.
They have successfully installed a 21m high mast that hosts our antenna. The video feed from the vehicle is broadcast and picked up by the mast which is then transmitted to Final Control and finally sent through to you, the viewer. Now that it has been tried and tested it is time for the guides to play! They are exceptionally excited to start traversing on Cheetah Plains and for new adventures to unfold.
It has been a long process, with a lot of patience required, which has paid off and WE will ‘break ground’ by traversing on Saturday 9th April 2016 at 3:30pm CAT / 9:30am EST / … Christmas really has come early.