As regular readers of my blog will know I'm fortunate to be able to spend a fair bit of time in the wilds of Southern Africa with my camera traps. Over the last few years I've visited many fabulous sites, rich in biodiversity, but seldom get to spend long at any one of them.
So I've been looking for a site that is reasonably close to home where I can leave out a few cameras for many seasons - and possibly even a few years. I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking for - in fact, I have no idea what I'm looking for. I just like the idea of surveying a location that's wild and remote enough that my cameras are unlikely to be spotted by anyone. I'm keen to produce a video rather than a snapshot - if you will excuse the metaphor.
One such place is the Cederberg mountains where I've recently spent a few days. My local readers will know the Cederberg as a wonderful place for hiking and exploring. It is criss-crossed by hiking trails and the odd 'jeep track' but there remain many remote valleys that almost never get visited. But the vegetation has a low carrying capacity and the term 'abundant' would not be used to describe its wildlife. So its certainly not 'big 5' territory but I'm always more interested in the smaller animals: call them the secret seventeen.
The owners and managers of a wonderful place called Mount Ceder ( www.mountceder.co.za ) have agreed to let me leave my cameras on their vast property. I've done a bit of scouting around and I think I've found, with their guidance, a few great spots for cameras. So they're installed and, hopefully, clicking away (to the extent that camera-traps ever click away) as you read this.
During my few days there I didn't get too many images but there were a few that I liked:
So I'm hopeful that this new site will produce something interesting. And I'm looking forward to getting back there on a regular basis to check the cameras and swap out the cards.