South Africa - Day Three to Five

Sunday 19th November 2017 - DAY THREE

We departed at 6:30am to relieve our overnight recording gear. A quick breakfast and repack was required before we left at 8:30am for our field trip. We headed out the front gates tour to our first location, Mabolel Rock. After a check for Nile crocodiles, I set up four hydrophones off the Rock, two in the ground and two in the water. We left these to record and headed to the legendary Hippo Pool. Access to the site was harder than previous sites. The guides had to use hedge shears to cut through the overgrown Acacia bushes. It was worthwhile though as we were greeted with two hippo families in the water. If hippos are out of the water, it is quite dangerous as they are very grumpy. However, being in the water, they were quite safe. After many photos and videos, we left another set of gear to record.

To watch the CALL TO THE HIPPO video click HERE

Monday 20th November 2017 - DAY FOUR

We again had a 3:30am start for a dawn recording session, an afternoon of talks and lectures followed by another field trip. After dinner, we went out again for a “concert”. Our dawn session was on the bridge crossing over the Limpopo River into Botswana. We were briefed that if we attempted to leave the bridge into Botswana, we would be arrested. We lay down on the Bridge appreciating the performance offered by nature.

Our afternoon session was at Eagle’s Nest. We remained there for our evening concert and left some gear for overnight recordings. 

Tuesday 21st November 2017 - DAY FIVE

After picking up our gear from the overnight recording we returned to prepare for the day. Some tracks of Baboons were quite close to my recorder. Harry’s Weir was the location for our afternoon session. After setting up my hydrophones, I was shown elephant scat from their visit 3-4 months ago. After a relaxing couple of hours sitting by the river, away from the recorders, as soon as I could return, I re-set my hydrophones for an overnight recording dug in next to some of the elephant scat. There were Hippo tracks also around and fresh ones were there the next day too! 

It had been an extremely hot day in the sun. As we have no gauge, it was estimated to be around 42 deg celsius. A group of us went into the plunge pool while we awaited another fabulous dinner cooked by Neil.