January 2021
Wildlife

Eyes in the sky

in Wildlife
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Eyes in the sky

George David Tolchard
By George David Tolchard
Head Guide

Eyes in the sky are without doubt hugely beneficial to the conservation story here at Singita Grumeti. Over the last few months there has been fantastic collaboration between the guiding and conservation teams which has resulted in a very positive mutualism moving forward. Having the opportunity to fly a light aircraft over the reserve is an incredibly productive exercise and a lot of information can be gathered in a relatively short period of time.

Photo by Grant Telfer

Guides will often fly with Wayne Cornhill and the conservation team to observe wildlife movements, to check on the welfare of various rhino individuals and to cast eyes upon the land, looking for any unauthorised activities. Within 2.5 hours you are able to survey the entire reserve of 350 000 acres and skirt even the reserves most forgotten corners. The amount of information gathered and reported back to the various departments is sensational!

Conditions currently on the Grumeti are challenging with the very long grasses and finding the wildlife with vehicles can be somewhat difficult. One of our central core lion prides had disappeared in the tall grasses for three weeks without anyone being able to get a visual of them. This would ordinarily be very unusual however, entirely possible, given the conditions. Just a few days ago we were very happy to locate the twenty members of the pride in the region we expected them to be in and we were able to call it in on the radio to the guides on the ground. How incredibly happy we all were for the guiding team to relocate the animals with their prospective guests once again.

A great relief to have eyes on these animals once again and to know that they are indeed fit and well. A very productive team effort! We consider all of our guides in the team to be budding conservationists and to assist in conservation efforts whenever possible. To see the teams bouncing off one another for the better of the conservation of this natural habitat is very satisfying.

Photo by Grant Telfer
Wayne Cornhill piloting the Husky. Gathering important information on Singita Grumeti lion prides.
Wayne, George and Grant with the aircraft at the new conservation hanger.

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