We are getting trail camera’s back on the Leopard Trail – and YOU can be a part of the volunteer team.
At various times in the history of the Leopard Trail we have had game cameras in the mountains, and it is time to get camera’s back on the trail. Game camera’s help us to have a clear understanding of the wild animals walking the Leopard Trail, and let us share that information with hikers on the trail. The information is also very valuable for our partners the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency.
This project is driven by volunteers who share our passion for the area. We will be placing between 6-8 trail camera’s on the Leopard Trail at various points, with the aim to keep the camera’s operation for a full calendar year. These camera’s need to be visited every 2 months to replace batteries and download images.
First Phase: Technical planning.
This first phase involves the necessary research into trail cameras, identifying the best camera’s for our purpose and researching the best practice for setting the cameras. Our experience over the years has given us a lot of knowledge, and we update this by exploring new developments in camera technology as well as talking to other organisations that have current experience in using trail cameras.
Second Phase: Camera Installation
Over a few days, the camera’s will be installed on site and tested. The placement of the camera’s will focus on key points on the trail with natural funnels that channel animals onto the path.
Third Phase: Camera Monitoring
Every 2 months the cameras will need to be visited to change the batteries and upload the images. This will likely require 2 -4 days of walking to the various camera sites. The volunteer team will be based at Cedar Falls base camp, and visit the camera sites with 4×4 vehicles as far as possible and then walking in to the sites. The images downloaded will then be uploaded to a central data point for distribution to the Leopard Trail team and any of our conservation partners.
The project is run through a team of non-paid volunteers from the Leopard Trail hiking community. The purpose of using volunteers is to broaden the exposure our hiking community has to being a part of the Leopard Trail, and create opportunities for people with an interest and passion in the Leopard Trail environment to be part of our broader Leopard Trail team.
Volunteers will not be required to do all the trips and may only be involved in one or two of the trips based on how many volunteers are involved in the project.
The Leopard Trail will cover all the costs of the camera’s and equipmen. Accommodation will be provided to volunteers by Cedar Falls for the time that volunteers are on site working on the project.
June – July Technical Phase
September – Camera Installations
November – First Camera Monitoring
January – Second Camera Monitoring
March – Third Camera Monitoring
May – Fourth Camera Monitoring
July – Fifth Camera Monitoring
September – Sixth Camera Monitoring
Want to be a part of the project?
If you would like to be a on the volunteer team for the project, sign up here. If you have any questions, please go to our Leopard Trail Hikers Community Page and drop us a question in the post talking about this project.