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Did you see Waterhole: Africa's Animal Oasis on BBC2 this January 2023?

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February 2023:  Animal Survival International
Worsening catastrophic drought claiming the lives of elephants, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra....  Find out how to help here 

Did you see the repeat of Waterhole:  Africa’s Animal Oasis, a three part series coming from the BBC Studios Natural History Unit?

I did a blog on this programme the first time it came out and it was quite amazing viewing. 

Here's the original blog, hopefully you will find it helpful.

The fabulous Natural History Unit is working with Mwiba Wildlife Reserve in Tanzania.  As water becomes scarcer, the reserve decided to create a water-hole.   And they've done it with the BBC's Natural History Unit 

They  created the world’s first waterhole with build-in specialist camera rig.  The cameras are half sub-merged and weatherproof.  There are 20 cameras which are monitored 24/7 using infra-red, and there's a drone in the air too.

Waterholes are essential to Africa’s ecosystem.   Hundreds of species meet at waterholes and compete for water.  Chris Packham and biologist Ella Al-Shamahi disocver the dynamics of the waterhole for the first time. 

As they say, give wildlife water and they will come whether it's in the wild or your garden... By day 10, 40 species of animal had come to have a drink...

The programme is filmed across three periods:

  • The middle of the dry season
  • The hottest time of the year
  • The height of the rains

Unwind by the Waterhole

Building The Waterhole  
(Behind The Scenes)

Remember:  "if you build it, they will come."

Subscribe to the BBC Earth's You Tube Channel here

The team want to find out how the animals use it.   How long would it take the animals to find the water hole?  (45 minutes, it didn't take long.) Will they share?  How many species will use it?  Will they keep coming back?  Will it be safe for them to visit?  They discover how truly important water is, especially given the climate changes taking place.

The programme’s website has lots of interesting clips, including how the programme was made; and what it’s like to live alongside the wildlife of Africa, and why they built it in the first place.  Take the Waterhole personality test to find out which animal you are!  (I'm a buffalo.)

I think this programme should be fascinating and give us a very good insight into the way African wildlife survive.

Visit the programme’s website here

There's a list of African conservation charities here and elephant charities here 

Here's the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute

Help provide water for wildlife

Tigers4Ever on Global Giving have a fundraiser to give water to Bandhavgarh's tigers - find out more  and donate here.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust  work to provide permanent and temporary water sources to relieve suffering in Kenya, mostly in the Tsavo and Lamu Conservation Areas.

Friends of Hwange is on a mission to develop and maintain water resources in Hwange National Park for the benefit of its wildlife, in collaboration with the Authorities responsible for the Park.   Find out more here

The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has a fundraiser looking to take water to koalas and other wildlife.  It is still raising funds as it more than hit its target, and the plan now is to breed koalas for release into the wild. 

The Brooke and SPANA both have virtual gifts on their shop with the purpose of providing water troughs, permanent and moveable, to hard working animals such as horses, donkeys and mules in a number of countries.

In the UK, the Wildlife Trusts have information about providing water for wildlife, whether at home or elsewhere.

The WWF have information on  establishing a network of artificial watering holes for Saiga Antelop in Russia.  Find out more


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