Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Bush Walks

Guided bush walks are very popular with our safari guests. Whether we are at Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve of Thorny Bush, we will always offer bush walks to our guests as they are a great way to experience the bush.
Okay it would be fair to say that you are unlikely to see as many animals (at least close up), when on foot as compared to a vehicle. Wildlife becomes tolerant of game drive vehicles, but many animals consider folks on foot to be a threat. However during a bush walk we have the opportunity to take our time and consider the smaller creatures, flora and fauna, tracks etc etc.
Of-course good field craft is essential if you wish to get the most out of a bush walk. Our guides not only lead the way and keep guests right, but for those who have an interest in learning more about field craft then we'll take time out to show them more.
It's all common sense stuff and not only of use in Africa but also when guests are back at home, enjoying countryside walks.
There is one other good point about bush walks. We love to be on foot in the bush with our guests, its a brilliant way to show you more about nature.

Written by Will Fox
OTS Manager

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Safari luck and squeezing in filming

We’re having great fun squeezing in filming for the Trapper TV series, between safaris. With Dairen Simpson around there are always laughs, especially when he’s off camera and lets say……. whimsically barracking from the side lines (as above).

Just after these shots were taken I headed off to the airport to pick up some new safari guests. 
Gary and Julie are on their second safari with us and I was pleased to say that they brought their usual luck with them. On their first evening drive in Thaba Tholo we came across a beautiful male leopard, just 200m from Black Leopard Camp. We sat with him for around 20mins, before heading back to camp to quickly view Gary's photographs over a drink before dinner.
They have headed off to the Kruger National Park today escorted by our guide Conrad. I know that they were torn between the excitement of the next stage of their safari and hoping not to miss out on a leopard capture while they are away from Thaba Tholo.
We’ll see what happens, over the next weeks trapping. If their luck holds out then they will have the experience of a life time when they come back from the low veld. Because (as ever) our guests have a chance to ‘BE INVOLVED’.

Written by Will Fox
OTS Manager

Monday, 3 September 2012

Filmmakers entertaining OTS guests

I have a brief respite from leading our safaris this week, which gives me more time to spend with the wildlife capture team at Thaba Tholo Wilderness reserve. As part of our work in leopard research we are hoping to catch and collar three resident leopards to assist in our behavioural studies.
We are being filmed as part of a TV series, which was very fortuitous for our last safari guests, as we had a budding wildlife filmmaker with her father on safari who was very happy to be able to rub shoulders with a professional wildlife film crew. The film crew are also staying at our Safari base (Black Leopard Camp) which meant that the conversation over dinner always migrated to those behind the scenes/inside stories about the various wildlife documentaries that the crew had worked on over the years.
There are some very funny stories, detailing exactly what can happen and even go wrong when making a wildlife show.
Of-course as ever our safari guests can be as involved as they wish in our conservation work and other than being entertained by the film crew over dinner, can take part in the leopard capture program while they are with us.
I am due to lead the next safari which starts on Friday, so I hope we can catch a leopard over the weekend so that our guests can 'be involved'.

Written by Will Fox
OTS Manager