Time to take a virtual safari

May 20th 2020  |   Botswana, Kenya, Wildlife Safaris, South Africa, Zimbabwe  |  by   Alice Gully
Time to take a virtual safari

We’re missing our African travels as are, we imagine, many of our clients too. So, with help from our partners on the ground, we’ve gathered together a selection of videos to bring the wild of the African savannah to you.

As well as providing enjoyment for us in our homes, these videos have a serious point too. The regular presence of the guides in the bush is helping to deter poachers, allows monitoring programmes to continue and will also quietly keep the wildlife used to seeing vehicles so they are not too skittish when we do return. We’ve asked each safari lodge to give their thoughts with the video at the end of each paragraph.

Tyler Davis, regional director at Angama Mara
It’s not just a focus on habituation of wildlife, but rather the system as a whole. In a way, we need to keep everything “habituated,” from wildlife to infrastructure to park staff to community stakeholders. Protected areas that benefit from tourism have many moving parts, and keeping those parts moving is crucial to continued success of these protected areas, including monitoring wildlife, maintaining roads, engaging rangers, utilizing facilities, etc. If any of those things lag behind or are forgotten, the balance of what makes a wilderness area supported by tourism successful may falter or start to see a gradual decline as, piece by piece, it comes undone. Simply sending out guides on a regular basis, with cameras instead of guests, for the time being will help to keep this from happening.

https://www.facebook.com/AngamaMara/videos/234974844259761/

Neil White, Savanna Lodge
With the young animals, such as the leopard cubs we currently have, it is essential that they get exposed to the vehicles. We need to maintain a presence in the bush, and to assist the anti-poaching teams with ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground to make it so much harder for the poachers to roam around freely.

Kingsby Senoamali, More Hotels, Madikwe Safari Lodge
The safari industry supports many local people through employment and creates a sustainable source of livelihood to those working at the game lodges and reserve. Together with wildlife, these are resources that need to be protected to ensure that our guests can continue to enjoy the spectacular, quality and authentic experiences. Although the guides would much rather be sharing the bush with their guests they’re still out and about keeping an eye on the reserve and wildlife. Madikwe Safari Lodge assistant head guide William Knight and field guide Niall Jones have filmed a series of two day virtual safari adventures.

Madikwe Safari Lodge – Virtual Safari 22,23 April 2020

Assistant Head Guide William Knight and Field Guide Niall Jones take us on a spectacular two-day Virtual Safari adventure! You won't want to miss this one, it's something special.

Posted by Madikwe Safari Lodge on Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Simon Kenyon, lead guide, Offbeat Riding Safaris
I’ve been heading out on daily wildlife drives from my home in Laikipia exploring what is one of Kenya’s most beautiful regions.

Safaris with Simon #5Join me on my morning game drive. I hope to bring the beauty of Laikipia’s wildlife and scenery to you at home.

Posted by Simon Kenyon on Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Garrett Fitzpatrick, Londolozi
As well as offering a bit of entertainment and laughter during these strange and difficult times, these virtual game drives are also an important platform from which we can highlight the crucial role tourism plays in our conservation efforts. We hope that for young viewers, our stories will spark a curiosity for the natural world, and a desire to learn about and protect our wild spaces.

VIRTUAL SAFARIS: AN AMAZING MORNING WITH A MALE LEOPARD

Kev and James find the Senegal Bush male, then other James and Pete move into stay with him for a little bit longer and as he makes an unexpected discoery.Watch till the end.. trust us…

Posted by Londolozi Game Reserve on Thursday, 30 April 2020

Mark Friend and Alex Kadziyanike, field guides, Singita Pamushana
Giving our viewers a daily, live glimpse of our wilderness areas reminds one of the simplicity of nature. It’s soul-restoring.

Singita Pamushana Virtual Game Drive

Field Guides Mark Friend and Alex Kadziyanike encountered a pride of lion and their fresh kill on this early morning game drive in the Malilangwe Reserve at Singita Pamushana in Zimbabwe.

Posted by Singita on Friday, 1 May 2020

Dr Neil Midlane, Group Sustainability Manager, Wilderness Safaris
Under normal circumstances, simply having a Wilderness Safaris camp in a wildlife area acts as a deterrent to poachers. In particular, the game drive vehicles that explore the remote regions of our concessions for upwards of eight hours a day significantly increase the risk for poachers of being detected. Unfortunately, due the current situation, this deterrent has dissipated somewhat, however we are working closely with the local authorities to carry out the necessary patrols in the absence of our normal day-to-day activities. Our skeleton concession staff are also maintaining a presence in the concessions and continuing with a certain amount of day to day management and monitoring activity.

The Big Cats of Magashi

A tribute to the Big Cats of Magashi… We are always amazed at just how prolific the sightings of leopard and lion are in this savannah and wetland region of eastern Rwanda. #IDreamOfAfrica#ThePowerOfSmallThings#WeAreWilderness

Posted by Wilderness Safaris on Thursday, 30 April 2020

Chad Cocking, guide at Tanda Tula
The virtual safaris that we are doing at Tanda Tula go beyond merely just keeping in touch with the bush and giving us reason to smile during these trying times. By being out there on a daily basis we are also able to keep an active presence in an otherwise deserted reserve which greatly assists in keeping poachers at bay. It is also important for us as guides and citizen scientists to keep tabs on the resident animals, their movements, behaviours and habits so that when we do return to full service, there isn’t a void of information regarding what they have been up to.

What next?

If any of these wonderful videos have inspired you to dream about future safaris, please do get in touch – we would be delighted to chat, no matter how early in the decision making process you might be. Email is probably the best way to contact us right now and we’ll respond as quickly as we can – usually on the same day.  We very much look forward to talking to you

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