Good morning everyone - I believe the weather is going to be glorius as from today so expect a lot of activity around the waterhole!
I have been asked to explain the banning of off-road driving in certain reserves so here goes -
The private game reserves work very differently to Kruger - they have in the private reserves a grid system of roads (all dirt) with areas in between that are called blocks! It is the tracker and ranger who through their expertise follow the spoor on a road and can immediately tell in which direction the animal is walking and whether it has gone into a block. After driving around a block they then make a further deduction that it has not exited so for example if it were an elephant they would then drive off road into that block to look for it. Alternatively the ranger may take his rifle and together with his tracker they will go on foot following spoor to see where an animal has gone. My son did this one day and suddenly noticed blood stains at his feet - simultaneously he heard the growel and looked straight into a lioness's eyes - she had just made a kill. They backed off very slowly and were able to return to the vehicle to tell their guests that they had found a lion on a kill. Then they would drive off- road right through the bush to get the guests a good view of the action.
Once heavy rain falls the ground becomes soft and therefore a decision is made to stop off road driving and all game viewing has to be done from the dirt roads. This is for several reasons - the most important being the damage to the ground which is soft and giving and secondly the danger of becoming bogged down and having to call for help and having a tractor cause even more danger.
Just throws a little more light as there seemed to be such confusion as to what banning of off-road driving meant. All reserves have different criteria as to when this is done and then all rangers informed by radio.