Virtual Safaris in Africa – 2020 solutions to safaris.
The COVID 19 pandemic that has taken place in 2020 has seen the world shut down. The travel industry has been hit very hard with borders and airways closing. This has made safaris to Africa come to a halt. However, virtual Safaris in Africa has taken centre stage as the only way to experience the wild while locked up at home.
The lockdown that happened in most countries saw most tourist lodges and reserves close off to visitors. However, some staff had to be retained to ensure conservation and anti-poaching activities continue.
These measures have constituted the need to keep guests and wildlife conservation supporters in the loop of how their favourite wild animals are doing. This has led to the need for live streaming of the activities happening in most wildlife reserve and conservancies.
Popular Virtual Safari in Africa 2020
There are many reserves and conservancies keeping their supporters informed about what is going on in the wild. They are doing this through a live streaming session in the bush observing some of the most famous wild animals. This is being dubbed sofa safaris as you get to enjoy a virtual safari on your screen.
Some of these reserves have become very popular and have pulled in such a great crowd. While others have had a large crowd for a long time and all they need to do now is maintain contact.
WildEarth is a private company in South Africa that has been showing virtual safaris around Africa for the past 13 years. They are based on the Djuma Private Reserves in the Sabi Sands. However, they have broadcasted in other regions like the Maasai Mara in Kenya, Chobe National Park in Botswana and the Serengeti in Tanzania.
They have worked with major television station like NatGeo, SABC3, CTGN China etc. These broadcasts have made them grow a big fan base. Their main broadcast is done on their YouTube channel which has over 269k subscribers.
Over the quarantine period where most countries were on lockdown, their youtube channel has become popular entertainment for most. They have subscribers from all over the world and do allow live questions during their virtual safaris drives.
The safaris happen twice a day i.e sunrise safari at 6:30 am to 9:30 am CAT and sunset safari from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm CAT every day. They have also collaborated with other South African private reserves to bring more variety to their audiences. They now broadcast from Tswalu Kalahari, &beyond Phinda, &beyond Ngala and Pridelands Conservancy.
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of baby elephants before releasing them back to the wild. They are based in Nairobi, Kenya and The Tsavo. They used to allow visitors every day for 1 hour and an extra hour for the fosters in the evening.
However, due to the COVID restrictions, they have to lock out visitors from their conservancy. To compensate for this, they offer their followers live hourly sessions through their social media platforms.
In the sessions, they try and offer the same experience their visitors get when they visit physically. They do introduce baby elephants by name and explain their unique characters. In addition, they do indicate how each baby elephant is faring on with rehabilitation. At times, they do take a walk with the young elephants in the forest after feeding.
Ol Pejeta Sofa Safaris
Ol Pejeta Conservancy located in Kenya is home to the last two Northern White Rhinos. The conservancy has put up high security to ensure these rhinos are safe. It is one of the most popular private conservancies with visitors coming from all parts of the world.
Through this lockdown period, they have made an effort to keep their followers in the loop of how the conservancy is managing. As a result, they opened up a Facebook page Ol Pejata Escapes where they share live safaris. In addition, they share some of the conservation activities including feeding at the endangered species boma.
In addition, they have great discounts if you book for a safari or accommodation during this month. The discounts are available on their websites and social media pages.
The above mentioned are not exhaustive but are my favourite African virtual safaris experiences. There may be more virtual safaris going on everywhere. Kindly share more experiences you have encountered in the comment section below. I would like to check them out.
In addition Wildlife Conservation Measures in Kenya