capable of building a user friendly model with decent FPV capabilities, and range

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sorry, to add, needs Autopilot, re programmable in flight, and capable of carrying a 2nd pan and tilt camera with video feed to base station. aircraft needs to have a reasonable range (operating in kenya) and flight time, and be as user friendly as poss.

any help appreciated.


Hi Martin

I'm building a drone for Nature Conservation Botswana at the moment, what I read brings up many questions. ;)

What exactly do you plan to do? This information gives a better idea of what you need.




Cape Town

hi jay, prob same as you, anti poaching and animal location tool, traditional helis are way too expensive.

 check this  out its still available in beta version. Ι will post info soon

To loud.. they just jump in any shadow or pull a ghillie suit... and yes, costy too ;)

Do you talk collars for location?


re poachers, thermal imaging should take care of gillie suits, and if altitude is sufficient, they wouldn't necessarily  know where it was in location to them.  Realize this is a big expense, a tau goes for 10k but a rhino is worth a lot more. Electric motor cruising at 100-200ft should make for a reasonably quiet craft no? 

Not a big believer in collars as it detracts from the viewing pleasure, however, if needs must, anything is better than being poached! 

Yep, drones will help you, no question. The problem is the "easy to handle". You or the person running it for you would need some understanding of the tech you have in your hands.

The drone should be easy repairable, handle heat (55 degrees celsius and things act diffrent) and dust, GPS trackable (if it comes down, you want to find it, even in the bush this can be a longer task), grab it at the wing and throw it around you once. The wing comes off, the bird just trashed your drone. No joke, one issue we have are the bigger birds in the bush, they get pissed off with anything that flys into their territory.




Martin, if you're still looking checkout for custom SUAS builds.

I only build my own drones for myself, but i would like to know the numbers that you need for your work.

How much is reasonable flight time ?

How much range in km should it do etc ?

Check out my blog on SurVoyeur..

The Nampilot

my Gemini design would fit the bill. i sell plans for the prototype for 15 us dls via paypal. reply of send me an e-mail a if you would like plans.  3.5 meter span, 3hr flight time with payload. 

Hallo Martin,

How's Bots doing. The last time I was in Maun there was only n dirt road going through the centre of town and Marcos the greek had a couple of stores next to it.

Any way, I am putting a similar project together for a group in Mozambique, You know the rhino's in Kruger is taking a pounding. Last year we were more than 2/day being poached. After the rhino's the jumbo's will come under ax again, we can see it happening in the northern parts of Moz. 

70% of the horns pass through Moz. and then over the pond to asia.

What I'm hoping to achieve is a platform that can last four hours and more (6) if a group is spotted. (eye in the sky whilst the ground forces move in).

The payload will be around 5 kg. excluding fuel/batteries. I have not decided on what it will be gas or batteries, I am still trying to sort all the electronics, cameras, range and comms etc out.

Ok Ntati 

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