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 Post subject: Re: Spotlight to recommend??
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:10 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Please remember that the spotlights used on SANparks drives are limited in light strength to avoid too much stress on the animals and in number for the same reason.
Guests may not use their own lights on these drives because of the problem of brightness and number of lights (imagine a drive where everyone has their own light!).

If you are going to use your own light around camp make sure it is not too bright, or has a red filter.
If you cannot bear to look into it then do not shine it on an animal as their eyes are even more sensitive.

The very bright lights are used by hunters to stun the animals.

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 Post subject: Re: Spotlight to recommend??
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:02 am 
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I agree with ecojunkie's post that makes sense.

I have heard that certain species are affected if you shine the light the in their eyes as their eyes take long to re-adjust to the night vision. Stressing them out, and making them susceptible to becoming prey!

So if you gonna shine lights use them responsibly, and dont shine into their eyes.
Maybe someone with knowledge can clear this up for us.

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 Post subject: Re: Spotlight to recommend??
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:10 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Most animals have more light-collecting cells in the retina than we do - that is why they can walk about in the dark when we cannot. They also have a layer of crystals behind the retina which reflects light back into the eye allowing them to make even more use of the low light available at night - that is why we get such a good eye-shine using spotlights. This makes them hugely sensitive to our bright lights.

Always keep your light away from the face of the animal if you want to watch it.

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 Post subject: Re: Spotlight to recommend??
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:57 am 
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Thanks for the extra information ecojunkie.
I am always worried about people with very bright spotlights and the negative impact it can have on the animals.
In Etosha NP on night game drives the vehicle only uses low beam at all times.
When we spotted an animal the driver would often turn the lights off completely and the spotlight was only used by the driver and with a red filter at all times. (They only use the small game vehicles not trucks)
I felt this was a much more sensitive way to be out and about at night in a park.

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 Post subject: Re: Spotlight to recommend??
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:20 pm 
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I fully agree with ecojunkie and to set the record straight I was only allowed to use my spotlight after I offered it when it was discovered that the bulbs on 2 of the 3 spotlights had blown and no spares were available.
Well taking fotos on that drive was out of the question for me and I just enjoyed the experience of finding animals for foreigners to see and in so doing had given them value for their money.
I have in the past also gone on drives where the people who were asked to handle the lights had no idea what they were doing and kept on shining in the road next to the truck or in the sky.
We did not see much and I felt that I have wasted my money going on that trip as we had to rely on the driver to also spot animals while keeping his eyes on the road.

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 Post subject: Re: Spotlight to recommend??
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Here is an opinion on the effects of bright spotlights on animals , though I cannot vouch for the authenticity .

"As darkness falls, the retina in most animals' eyes begins to convert vitamin A to a chemical called Rhodopsin, which aids in night vision. Similar to our own eyes, the animals eyes adjust to the dark, although to a much greater extent than our own eyes (we don't have rhodopsin conversion). their pupils grow in order to allow more light in as well. a few seconds of unfiltered bright light literally causes that rhodopsin to break down to its original Vitamin A state, causing almost complete blindness in the animal. It will take approximately another 30 minutes before that rhodopsin can be built up again, meaning that, whether its a predator or prey, its at a complete, unfair disadvantage."

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 Post subject: Re: Spotlight to recommend??
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:08 am 
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Location: johanneburg
noel wrote:
Just a note here!
Why does Sanparks allow the sale of these spotlights in their shops inside the Park when they can potentially do so much damage?
I ask because I now have 3 spotlights, 2 of which are pistol grip ones.
When I stayed in Balule, I bought a third in the Park as I had forgotten to bring one of the other two with me, and there was no way I would be in Balule without a torch/spotlight.
And I have been on a night drive with my own spotlight and there was no talk of it not being allowed and I was able to use it unhindered.
Perhaps it had something to do with the truck being pretty full.
There did not seem to be much difference between mine spotlight and that of the trucks.
In any event, here as with so much else, being RESPONSIBLE with it is what is required.
It is always great to to find some night wildlife with it, such as bats, birds and on one occasion in Skuks, could watch a herd of elephants graze just below the walkway.
Great to see some very young ones too on that occasion.
Shining it incessantly on something is not acceptable.
And shining over other peoples space is simply rude.
I usually will go away from campers/residents in camps when out looking for night wildlife.
Batteries in some of these torches are rechargeable 6V and I have replaced mine once (in one torch) in four years.
Pretty good going I thought.
Chirinda is correct, usually all that is needed is replacement rechargeable batteries.
Even the bulbs can be replaced.
The one I bought inside the Park even came with a spare bulb, which I still have after 3 years of usage.


I will have to agree with your first part Noel, you not allowed to shine lights into the animals eyes at night. but they sell big spot lights, not the normal dinkie flashlight needed to work and do things around your camp...its like selling a gun at the parks shops..but no you cant shoot the animals!! (hyperthetically speaking)


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 Post subject: Re: Spotlight to recommend??
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:42 pm 
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Agree with you Ndloti and Brogan, but it does beg the point, seeing that Sanparks is all about conservation and protection. Goes back to simply being responsible with something that is quite useful. That's me speaking from KNP as I type. Just using my spotlight to get to the ablution facility without stepping on a puffie. Maybe tomorrow when I am in Skuks I will give it a go at the walkway :D .


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 Post subject: Re: Spotlight to recommend??
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:07 am 
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Location: Johannesburg
I am a night tour guide at the Pretoria Zoo and use a Coleman Led spotlight(about R800 at makro) with a Lumeno potable 12v lead crystal battery(gate motor battery)
The led is very bright 555 Lumens and shines a good distance, being led uses very little power.


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 Post subject: help which torch?
Unread postPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 1:29 pm 
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We come to Kruger each year and just bring a lantern torch, fine for cooking, power cuts, and walking to kitchens in dark.
We wish to buy a torch in order to look in trees and over the fences when we hear intriguing noises, for which our lantern torch is of no use.
As we come from the UK we need the torch to be as light and compact as possible. There are so many on the web and we don't know what specifications we should look for ( brightness/ focusing/distance). We have no need of it apart from our Kruger trips so don't want to pay for top of the range. If anyone has a torch that they use for this purpose and can tell me the specifications of it, that will help me to make my choice. We've searched under "police torches" as these seem bright...
Thanks in advance.

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 Post subject: Re: Spotlight recommendations?
Unread postPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 6:20 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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I have a Zartek LED spotlight which is rechargeable.....and very importantly comes with a red filter which does not affect the animals' eyes. It will last about 4 hours on a single charge and charges from car or AC power. It is not particularly light in weight, but then not nearly as heavy as many others either.

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 Post subject: Re: Spotlight recommendations?
Unread postPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 4:00 pm 
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We have just purchased the Zartek LED Spotlight,with red detectable lens, rechargeable battery and AC & DC chargers with 200 lumens, beam distance of 200 metres and 4 hour battery life. It cost R399 @ Outdoor Warehouse :):)


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 Post subject: Best compact torch I have ever used and affordable!
Unread postPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 2:29 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hi all,

I travel to Kruger from overseas so I can't pack a bulky torch - I have been searching for the holy grail of torches: light, small, powerful and affordable! I think I have found it:

GEONAUTE ONbright 800 metal torch.

Bought one today and I'm so impressed with the brightness and range! Have any of you got one? This is going to be so useful in Kruger!

Graham

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Last edited by Elsa on Mon May 12, 2014 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Best compact torch I have ever used and affordable!
Unread postPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 6:12 am 
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Looks good Graham :thumbs_up:

I left my very expensive and good torch in Kruger when I went for the cricket :wall: :wall: :wall: :wall: :wall: MM should only ever go the affordable route.

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 Post subject: Re: Best compact torch I have ever used and affordable!
Unread postPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 9:12 am 
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Last December I bought a "cheap & cheerful" torch from P & P.
Wasn't as good as one of the named brands, but it did the job.


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