As everyone is aware, February was the Month of love, and our guests were treated to lovely sightings and also some romance inspired dinners – Here at Jaci’s we don’t only celebrate the love between couples, but celebrate and share the love between friends and family – Thank you to all that celebrated the day with us.
What happens when you take the N out of Month – MOTH
It all started with some beautiful photogenic caterpillars to an absolute invasion of these critters, but interesting none the less, so we all got to learn something new.
Achea Catella: Although I have not been able to find much information on these Moths and Caterpillars, I have been able to find reports that we in fact weren’t the only place that this has ever happened to. Thankfully it is not a yearly occurrence, but only happens every few years or so.
Here are my findings as I was forced to observe them pretty closely: The Caterpillars of the Achea Catella fall under the Noctuidae family which are remarkable as they contain a number of species whos caterpillars are able to feed on certain poisonous plants without harm. These caterpillars all hatched out of growth bulbs which were on the Tambotis branches, they literary burst open. The caterpillars moved from tree to tree and completely shredded all the Tambotis of all their leaves and left them completely bare. Because of the toxins of a Tamboti, no birds or anything else were eating these caterpillars. The caterpillars fed for about a week until they formed cocoons. Although it was a relief when that happened, I however knew that I would be having moths to deal with next ( all while secretly hoping that maybe they would turn into butterflies instead) alas, Moths we now have in abundance, but I would rather have them any day rather than having the caterpillars all over everything. Although I was worried about the tambotis that were completely stripped, they have completely recovered and are boasting with lovely fresh green leaves.
Updates from the last Blog:
Safari Lodge Boma: The boma has now been completed and looking good. We are able to seat all of our guests comfortably for dinner under the stars. We have put it too good use already and here’s too many more boma dinners.
Tree Lodge Boule Court: We are almost done here, its all been measured out and the poles been put in place, all we need to do now is add a few loads of sand and a few aloes for décor and volia…………
River Path Gym: All our equipment is ready and now all we need to do is get it in place – each apparatus needs to be mounted onto a concrete slab, so we have our work cut out for us – but with something so exciting and new, it makes any amount of work seem like fun – especially as Jacis does team work so well together, we will be up and running with this in no time.
A Rumble in the Jungle – Jungle Lane
Yes, its that time again – Jungle Lane time.
If you are wondering what Jungle Lane is: Here are the ins and outs.
Madikwe Game Reserve has one of the highest standards when it comes to guides on foot conducting Walking Safaris. Not only are the guides required to have the relevant Trails guide qualifications( which entails written theory, many hours on foot and a number of approaches of dangerous game), and ARH ( advanced rifle handling) just to ensure that they are in fact able to handle and make calculated decisions while giving you, the guest, the best and safest experience while conducting a Walking Safari.
In Madikwe it is compulsory for all guides to have a current 30 20 10 meter and grouping exercise, which needs to be done on a monthly basis. This gives guides the chance to ensure that all their equipment is 100% and that he or she is still confident in handling a rifle and feels confident with it.
With the 30 20 10, basically the guides are required to shoot the targets at those distances within a certain amount of time and to make sure that their grouping on the target is consistent.
For a walking guide there is a further assessment known as Madikwe Bush Land (Jungle Lane). This is an exercise held every 6 months and any qualified walking guide in Madikwe needs to pass this test before he/she would be allowed to conduct a walking safari within Madikwe.
The exercise is set up on the basis of a walking trail. The guides are required to do all the briefings that they would normally need to do with guests going on a walking safari, and then they enter the assessment area which consists of roughly a 45 min walk with exercises (obstacles) along it. Usually there are roughly 5 scenarios on the walk with between 1 and 5 targets per scenario. To make this more realistic, the targets are either pop up or moving targets. The aim with this is to ensure that your guide is able to remain focused for long periods of time and that they would also be able to handle the element of surprise and react quickly and accordingly. As if this wasn’t already challenging enough, they also throw in 4 non dangerous game targets on the trail just to make sure that you are in fact aware of your surroundings and remaining observant all the time.
Even though walking guides/or any guide are trained to never get themselves into situations like this, it’s never a bad thing to expect the unexpected and to be prepared for it, the good thing about all this is that it is there to make sure the guide is ready for that one day when things might not go according to plan, and to always remember that shooting is always the last option in any situation. Here to wishing all our guides participating in March Jungle Lane all the best of Luck!!
We have some exciting things that will start happening in March, so keep your eyes on our social media pages as well our blogs!
The Jaci’s Team