Member's Tips on do's and dont's of spotting

Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:00 pm

At Africa Wild we have a number of people that consistently come up with the goods during their visits to game reserves.
Everybody is welcome to share your tricks and tips to make the game & bird spotting of other people a success.

Re: Member's Tips on do's and dont's of spotting

Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:41 pm

Keep it simple.

You cannot look in all directions so focus only in your line of vision. Do not look for specific animals rather look out for movement. Animals tend to be inquisitive and will raise their heads or flick an ear or tail which is what you look out for.

Watch the behaviour of antelopes. They can smell a predator many metres away, if the predator is upwind, and will sound the alarm and will freeze and stare in that direction.

Drive slowly, 30km/hour. Focus on the middle distance. If it is near the road, chances are you will see it.

Stop for everything. Many times when stopping for the little things, we have had a leopard or lion turn up. Patience pays off, park of at a waterhole and wait.
Keep a journal of your sightings. We tend to find animals in the same general area. Early mornings are best for cats but as long as you are on the road you could see some action. We have seen leopard and caracal at midday.

If you see something slow down, switch off the car (not for ellies O** ) and let the animal feel comfortable and relax. If you see a few cars stopped, approach slowly. If you not interested in the sighting, be patient and considerate.

Have a good driver ;-) who stops for all the stumps and termite mounds – some of them will come alive O\/

Lastly know where the snacks are so you do not have to take your eyes away from the spotting \O

Re: Member's Tips on do's and dont's of spotting

Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:58 pm

Great advice Sharifa ^Q^ ^Q^ ^Q^ ^Q^

I also heard that one should scan the bush from left to right as one’s brain is trained to be more perceptive that way because of reading from left to right. :-?

Honestly, I can’t tell the difference =O: =O:

Re: Member's Tips on do's and dont's of spotting

Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:04 pm

I find a relaxed approach very helpful: When I'm desperate to see a certain species
and try to 'hunt' it down I'm almost guaranteed not to find it. But I get the best sightings
when I leave the camp with a 'Anything will do'-attitude. So, I firmly believe that
I don't find the critters, but they find me if I'm supposed to see them. -O

Re: Member's Tips on do's and dont's of spotting

Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:06 pm

Ok guys, here is my brew which you should try next time before entering the Park \O

-One lekker cup of coffee with a generous dash of Amarula
-Maybe a second cup to bring with just for in case
-100g of droewors or biltong to snack on when you drive
-1 packet of menthol cigarettes and do remember an ashtray as we frown upon stompies in the Park 0=
-absolute no music in the car
Stir them all together and I tell you there will be special sightings during your trip X#X

Also when driving around, be chilled, take your time and enjoy the bush. The animals will come to you O**

Re: Member's Tips on do's and dont's of spotting

Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:15 pm

Heksie wrote: Also when driving around, be chilled, take your time and enjoy the bush. The animals will come to you O**


\O \O \O

Re: Member's Tips on do's and dont's of spotting

Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:23 pm

Mel wrote:
Heksie wrote: Also when driving around, be chilled, take your time and enjoy the bush. The animals will come to you O**


\O \O \O


That doesn’t work for us as our car is always full of excitement, temper tantrums, arguing, pelicans, and hanging teeth in just one drive. =O: =O: \O

Re: Member's Tips on do's and dont's of spotting

Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:25 pm

One of the biggest tips you can get in the bush is the Squirrel. Get to know their distress call and you will find a lot of sightings that you would have missed. \O

Windows open, radio off and all eyes and ears outside!!! X#X

Re: Member's Tips on do's and dont's of spotting

Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:37 pm

Many a time I have read of sightings where the people KNOW EXACTLY where the dens are?

Is this information a 'little bit' classified - or may I ask where do I go to find a mommy animal with her cubs.. ;-)
Is it seasonal, do they find new dens each year?

Re: Member's Tips on do's and dont's of spotting

Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:41 pm

I normally look at an angle of roughly 45 degrees from front into the bush.

Also, the time of year is sometimes important...check water in the veld/streams in winter so as to see if staying at a nearby waterhole would be worthwhile. In summer, waterholes are generally deserted, but then recently-burned areas make a good spot to stop, almost as with a waterhole, as new shoots attract animals, and visibility is good!

Priorities also change for some...now I just want peace and quiet, and avoid busy roads, for example! But a lion or leopard still completes my trip, make no mistake! -O

Ideal den sites are very popular, especially re. hyenas, Amoli! Not classified at all!

Wild dog den in winter, at a new spot mostly! \O