MISSING ONGR? AFRICAM CAN HELP!

Rene Vromans from A4 has not been able to visit the bush for the 1st time in 25 years due to covid, lockdown and travel restrictions – he sent me this lovely email about how he keeps in touch via Africam.

‘Being far away in The Netherlands from the Olifants North Game Reserve is not always easy not to be home sick from being so far away for so long.

Frequently wild life pictures on the app from fellow shareholders are doing well but is not the same as being on the property by yourself. Especially with the COVID-19 circumstances, a camera with a life view on the mighty Olifants River (12 km upstream of the ONGR office), feels like being a little bit more at home. We look on a daily bases what is happening around this great camera. Thanks a lot, for who is paying for this. An almost 360 degree view on the river and both its banks makes it always sure that you see something moving around at day time or night time. Sometimes you have to be more patience but wait a bit longer and you will be rewarded.

For those who are not familiar with the camera, it turns around slowly, has at least a reach of 250 meters and can automatically zoom in on movement and/or noise. It is easy to make pictures of animal encounters on your cell phone and so by now we have a fine collection of nice pictures (most taken in the pitch black dark).

On the early morning and early evening the Baboons are on the ground, they sleep at night in the big trees on the right of the camera. Bushbucks and 2 Klipspringers with their young walking by. On the sandbank the Hippo’s (record of 12 at one time). Crocodiles are slowly moving through the shallow waters.

Sometimes big birds like Storks (Yellow Billed Storks and Saddle Billed Stork), Fish Eagle, Goliath Heron, Grey Heron, Vultures and of course the noisy Egyptian Geese which we also have in The Netherlands. 

Nice to see was a Giant Eagle Owl in the dark, 200 meters away from the camera, our first thought was that it was a Pels Fishing Owl in a tree on the opposite bank of the camera, but Johann Grobelaar helped us out of our dreams.

Luckily for us, was the moment we saw a Black Backed Jackal looking around to cross the river safe and yes in the end he did it (in a hurry). 

Numerous are the occasions that Olifants walk along the river. General game like Impala, Nyala’s, Warthog’s, Giraffe, Kudu and Waterbucks. Lots of small birds like White Fronted Bee-eater, Green Backed Heron, Doves, unknown birds (who can helps us to identify those birds?), small game like Vervet Monkeys, Water Legunaan and Squirrels.

Other special moments were two Lions sleeping on the other side on the open plain and a Leopard walking by. On two occasions a Spotted Hyena. A Small Spotted Genet. An Africa Wild Cat at night (identified by Frikkie Kotze). Especially at night it is sometimes hard to identify what is behind the strong shinning eyes. But after a long time searching also a Hare is nice to see jumping around in the long grass. Very rewarding was the night that we saw a nice big Porcupine which was walking around the camera for 25 minutes and later on that night another one on the other side of the Olifants River. 

Yesterday evening, we saw to our surprise, first a lioness passing by from the left which walked within two meters around a porcupine to the right side of the camera without any reaction from both!

So far we are spoiled with nice sightings this makes us even more looking forward to our next holiday on ONGR.’

See for yourself at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXYQo09Y2kc&feature=emb_title