So you can’t hop on a plane right now and head for the bush, but innovative rangers and staff at a number of game reserves have made a plan to bring the bush to you. From live footage of daily game drives to behind the scenes of a day in the life of a ranger, we bring you the best virtual tours and digital channels to get your safari fix.
WildEarth brings you daily morning and evening game drives from the Sabi Sand Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park. Expert rangers take you on a live safari with all the thrills of the real thing – hunting for spoor, following disturbances in the brush and expert commentary all the way through.
The Sunrise Safari starts at 06:00 SA time. International start times are as follows: 00:00 PM ET, 21:00 PM PT, 04:00 in the UK [GMT], 05:00 in Central Europe and 15:00 Sydney time.
The Sunset Safari starts at 15:30 SA time. International start times are as follows: 09:30 AM ET, 06:30 AM PT, 14:30 in the UK [BST], 15:30 in Central Europe, and 00:30 Sydney time.
When WildEarth isn’t live, you can view the feed from the Djuma Waterhole camera in the heart of Djuma Private Game Reserve in the Sabi Sand Wildtuin.
Unlike WildEarth’s organised game drives, Africam has a selection of cameras recording around the clock in some of Africa’s most remote locations, such as Rosie’s Pan in the Balule Game Reserve and Kwa Maritane in Pilanesberg. The footage is live and unscripted, so you could watch for several hours and see nothing or you could get lucky and witness a pride of lions taking down their prey. These streams are great to put on in the background while doing other activities, especially with kids. When something happens on camera, you have the perfect opportunity to enjoy the power of nature and educate your children at the same time.
Shamwari Lockdown Series
Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape gives you a unique behind the scenes look at what it’s like to work at and run a top safari lodge. Head Ranger, Andrew Kearney, takes you on game drives with his GoPro, frequently stopping to examine smaller creatures and their habitats up close. The GM of Hospitality, Theo Cromhout, shows you all the things that guests don’t usually get to see, like abandoned or injured animals who are rescued and rehabilitated in the Shamwari Wildlife Centre before being released.
MalaMala Rangers In Isolation
Malala is a private nature reserve in Hluhluwe on the Elephant Coast of KwaZulu-Natal and is known for being one of the oldest luxury photographic safari destinations in the world. Rangers and a skeleton selection of staff chose to quarantine at the reserve instead of going home to their families in order to keep things running. The result is their Rangers In Isolation series, featuring an intimate look into the life of a ranger and what they do when they’re not guiding guests on game drives. Expect unusual animal encounters (lion vs pangolin!!), an informative look at how the creatures of the animal kingdom coexist and insider tips on the equipment you’ll need for the ultimate photo safari.