Route & Distances
The route with the least pigeon traffic during our racing season will be out of a west-south-westerly direction from the loft.
We plan a thorough road training program up to the qualifying race that will be held from approx.160km away. This point is just south of Sun City in the Pilanesberg region.
The first race point from 240km will be from Ottoshoop in the Savannah Grassveld of South Africa’s Northwest province.
The race distances will then increase weekly by 40km over 10 weeks which will represent a normal young bird season in South Africa.
The final race will be from a spot in the southern portion of the world-famous Tswalu Private Game Reserve in the Northern Cape – approximately 600km from the loft at Phala Phala Wildlife.
As the route runs parallel to the South African / Botswana border, we expect little or no contact with other racing pigeons. There are very few fanciers situated in this area.
The landscape is primarily African Savannah, with only a couple of small mountains in the Pilanesberg region.
Weather conditions during winter and spring are mostly clear skies with cool temperatures early morning become mild to warm during the afternoon.
The prevailing wind over most of the route is light to moderate north-westerly i.e. on the left-wing as the pigeons fly home. Over the last 200km the wind direction is usually north-easterly which means a headwind. Expected velocities on the longer distances over 400km will be between 1100mpm and 1300mpm.
We expect that the final will be warm to hot during the last 3 hours of flying, making it a good test for the pigeons. We estimate a flying time of somewhere around 9 hours on the final race.