Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Leopard trees

As many of you will know, Leopards will take their kill into a tree to protect it from Hyena and Lions.
So it's always a good idea to check good 'leopard trees" when on safari.
Hidden in the foliage there can be more than you think.
Join us on safari

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Jackal braves the kill

 A Jackal paying keen attention to vultures on a kill. Waiting for an opportunity.
And when he saw a gap he jumped right in.
Then ran for his life to a safe distance and check behind.
Join us on safari in 2016

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

New safaris for 2016

We have created some exciting new safari packages for 2016. You can choose between our award winning 7, 10 or 14 day escorted safaris, where as well as enjoying some of the best wildlife safari experiences available, you'll meet and be involved with our leopard research team.
Our new 3 reserve safari starts and ends in Johannesburg and includes three big five game reserves in the Greater Kruger Park, all accommodation, food and transfers for just £1,495.
Join us un Africa in 2016

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Join our leopard team in 2016

If you are looking for an authentic conservation project in South Africa, where you can enjoy some fantastic African bush experiences and contribute to vital research, then join our Ingwe Leopard Research Team.
We’re conducting vital leopard research, which you can be part of and help us to conserve the species.
Authenticity is the key to our operations. Our underlying ethos is one of providing a genuine and 'real' experience. Our programs are for anyone over eighteen years who has a passion for nature and a wish to be involved with an authentic African wildlife research project.
So what is involved? As an Ingwe volunteer you will be involved with all aspects of our conservation and research programs. You’ll gain an in-depth knowledge about our work, while contributing towards our essential leopard research.
Your role will be to assist our head researcher and will include visiting the game reserves where we are monitoring the leopard populations via camera trapping as well as helping to catalogue camera trap data and identify individual leopards as well as other species.

There are four locations available in South Africa where  you can be part of the team.
INGWE research base Hoedspruit, Limpopo.
Here you will stay in pleasant style in our lodge/research base, close to the Kruger National Park.
From there you will visit some of the game reserves where we are conducting leopard research.
Depending on distance from Hoedspruit this may involve staying on those reserves for a few nights, or for those closer to home, we will conduct day visits. During a two week stay you can expect to visit 2-4 other reserves, dependant on the need at that time.
Reserve visits will involve travelling in off road vehicles around those reserves, servicing camera traps, downloading images from those cameras, monitoring leopard movement via tracks and collecting scatt samples.
When not accompanying our full time researchers on reserve visits, you will be able to be involved with assimilating and cataloging the images you have collected and identifying individual leopards and other species.

During every two week stay you will also join us on a day trip to the Kruger National Park, to enjoy some big five game viewing.
And of-course there will be time for some R&R to enjoy our lodge and perhaps an occasional evening out visiting to the nearby town of Hoedspruit.
With prior approval, university students can also utilise our research facilities and database to integrate your own research programs if appropriate while you are with the Ingwe team. Over the last years we have generated a large amount of data on a wide variety of species that while not directly of use specifically for our leopard research, we hope will be of use for other research programs.

Thaba Tholo wilderness reserve research camp
The Thaba Tholo research camp is set within the magnificent 6,000 Hectare Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve near Lydenburg, Mpumalanga. It is here that we have been conducting research into leopard behaviours for more than five years.
Our research camp has been designed to blend sympathetically with the environment and operates on a carbon neutral basis.
There is accommodation for up to fifteen students and researchers in permanent tents, set within our conservation village with central kitchen and communal rooms.

Lead by our research team you will be involved in all aspects of our research on the Thaba Tholo Reserve.
This research camp lends itself to University groups, who wish to use our facilities to conduct research on the reserve, or assist with our ongoing research. With that in mind this package is only open to groups of 6-15 persons.

During any stay with the INGWE team, our intent is to ensure that our volunteers develop a comprehensive understanding of all of the key elements that make up a successful conservation project.

Training will encompass the following:
•        Induction and bush safety
•        Enhancing bush senses
•        Understanding large carnivore behaviours
•        Obtaining and recording data
•        Wildlife tracking
•        Camera trapping

Once training is completed, volunteers will be given tasks and complete these tasks with a minimum of supervision.
These tasks will include:
•        Setting, servicing and retrieving Camera Traps
•        Identifying and recording spoor location
•        Identifying and analysing carnivore scats
•        Data input and analysis

CLICK HERE to find out more

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Your own camera in Africa - the ideal gift for Christmas

Our Camera Trappers program gives you the opportunity to be connected with wildlife in the African bush from wherever you live in the world. Not only will you be connected with Africa but you will also be supporting vital wildlife research aimed at conserving leopard numbers and other species.
So how does it work? As a Camera Trapper, each month you will receive pictures from your camera placed in the African bush, together with our monthly digest.
Our leopard research team already utilise an extensive network of camera traps placed on game reserves, but we need more cameras. By increasing the number of cameras we can increase our research areas and collect more data to be able to  provide sufficient information to model leopard behaviour and numbers.
By joining On Track Camera Trappers program you will be actively supporting INGWE Leopard Research, as well as enjoying some amazing wildlife pictures sent to you each month.
Camera traps are digital cameras that are set out along game trails in remote locations within our various research sites. These camera traps are triggered by movement and operate 24 x 7, secretly recording the movement of animals without need for human presence or disruption of nature.
You can join the On Track team of camera trappers and you will have your own camera in Africa.

We use the camera trap images to identify individual leopards from their unique coat patterns.
Each leopards coat pattern (spots and rosettes) is just like a finger print i.e. unique to each individual.  We have created identification kits (a series of photographs of each known leopard taken from various angles and sides) and it is by comparing the camera trap images to these ID kits, that we can determine if it is a known leopard and where and when it was located. In this way we can build up a picture of leopard movement, density and behaviour that is previously unknown.
This information can then be shared with governing bodies to assist them in credible and accurate decision making for the welfare of the species.

Camera Trapper £120
This 12 month membership option buys your own camera in Africa, for our team to use and includes batteries and SD cards. You can select the reserve where you wish us to place your camera from any of the reserves where we conduct research.
You will receive pictures from your camera each month, together with our monthly digest of some of the best photographs taken elsewhere as part of our research. As a camera trapper your will enjoy the following benefits:
  • You name your camera and select the reserve you wish it to be used on.
  • Each month you will receive a selection of the best photographs taken by your camera, together with our monthly digest of some of the best photographs taken from our pool of camera traps set around our research areas.
  • 10% discount off an African Safari with On Track Safaris (terms and conditions apply), or 10% off a two night stay at selected game lodges within our research zones.

 CLICK HERE for more details.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Come and meet us in Manchester or London

If you are thinking about visiting the Times Destination show in London in Feb 2016 or in Manchester show in January 2016, then please come over to say hello.
Will and Carol Fox will be at both shows. Whether you are old friends of On Track safaris, or considering taking a safari in 2016, or if you would like to find out more about their work in wildlife conservation, they would love to see you.
And if you would like free tickets to either show then just send Carol and email and we'll post complementary tickets to you.

We look forward to seeing you.