Southern African Ambience is a collection of rich and immersive savanna ambiences, recorded by George Vlad and Daan Hendriks in the north of South Africa, just on the border with Botswana. These were captured over a 2-week period in November 2016 while attending the Sonic Mmabolela workshop, organized by renowned sound artists Francisco Lopez and Barbara Ellison.
Everything was recorded at Mmabolela Estate, a remote, 16000-acre game reserve in Limpopo province. Equipment was left out unattended for several hours at a time, so that wildlife would settle back after being initially disturbed by our presence. We were fortunate to record really rich dawn and dusk choruses, crystal clear morning/afternoon ambiences and remarkable nightscapes. The density of sounds was quite stunning as we were there at the start of summer, which heralds the mating period for many species.
Recording locations include water holes surrounded by trees and patches of vegetation, dry savanna populated by thorny shrubs, dry river beds with excellent acoustics and riverine locations populated by geese and Ibises. The library covers all times of the day/night cycle and features an extensive number of species. There are mammals such as baboons and jackals, insects such as crickets and cicadas, and in particular a great amount of bird species. A few examples of the birds included are Laughing Dove, Ring-Necked Dove, Grey Go-away-bird, several types of Spurfowl, Woodland Kingfisher, Coucals, Tropical Boubou, Nightjars, Egyptian Goose, Hadeda Ibis, Crested Barbet, Hornbills, Shrikes, many types of Cuckoos and a lot of others.
African Grey Hornbill • African Hoopoe • African Paradise-flycatcher • African Scops Owl • Arrow-marked Babbler • Black Crake • Black Cuckoo • Black-backed Puffback • Blacksmith Lapwing • Brubru • Burchell’s CoucalCommon Ostrich • Crested Barbet • Crested Francolin • Crimson-breasted Shrike • Dideric Cuckoo • Egyptian Goose • Emerald Spotted Wood-Dove • Fiery-necked Nightjar • Green Wood-Hoopoe • Grey Go-away-bird • Grey-backed Camaroptera • Hadeda Ibis • Hamerkop • Helmeted Guineafowl • Laughing Dove • Lilac-breasted Roller • Meves’s Starling • Natal Spurfowl • Orange-breasted Bushshrike • Pearl-spotted Owlet • Red-chested Cuckoo • Red-eyed Dove • Ring-necked Dove • Rufous-cheeked Nightjar • Southern Boubou • Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill • Spotted Thick-knee • Tropical Boubou • Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl • White-browed Robin-chat • White-browed Sparrow-Weaver • Woodland Kingfisher • Yellow-bellied Greenbul
We used two Sennheiser Double Mid-Side (MKH30-2xMKH8040) rigs housed in Cinela windshield systems, coupled with Sound Devices 633 and Zoom F8 recorders, and a custom-made SASS-enclosure housing two Sennheiser MKH8020s.