Dying for a holiday? Love wildlife? We’ve found five virtual animal safaris you can enjoy from home!
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
The crazy times we are living in have warped our normal lives. Our freedoms have been greatly restricted, and there’s no greater restriction than on our freedom to travel.
That’s such a shame. Travel truly opens the mind; it introduces new cultures, foods and ideas to us, and even helps to save the environment. Yes, that’s right: many species of animals, such as gorillas, elephants and rhinos have been saved thanks to locals making more money from safaris than from poaching. The same goes for rainforests and other areas of natural beauty. Many of these places have been saved from development and exploitation, with thanks to eco tourism.
But now, with no one visiting those areas and animals, they’re under threat. Luckily, many companies within the eco-tourism sector have come up with innovative experiences that aim to retain animal conservation in particular. And the best part? You can participate online, for free!
Ready to go on a little virtual trip? Take a look at these incredible ‘holidays’ you can experience without leaving your house. Just click on the title links to participate! These virtual animal safaris are not only a great way to escape your current surroundings for a short time, but they can also be used by parents who are homeschooling their kids to teach them a bit about animal conservation.
5 Virtual Animal Safaris You Can Enjoy From Home
Sir Richard Branson has always been at the forefront of exceptional travel experiences, through his airline, trains and even spacecrafts! And of course, it would take much more than Coronavirus to stop him and his team from bringing incredible wildlife experiences to the public. They have designed some safari episodes from the Sabi Sand in South Africa that you can easily stream.
Virtual travellers will have the opportunity to have a taste of Virgin’s live game drives from the stunning Ulusaba Private Game Reserve in South Africa and Maasai Mara in Kenya.
Thanks to some of Virgin’s best rangers, online voyagers will be able to explore the African bush with some extraordinary sightings that include a female leopard and her two new cubs, the wild dogs known as painted wolves, elephant families, giraffes, buffaloes, lions and even a golden orb web spider.
Want to delve into your virtual African holiday a bit deeper? Why not attend a live wine tasting lesson from the stunning vineyards of Franschhoek, home to the Mont Rochelle Hotel and Vineyard?
The luxurious Tintswalo Safari Lodge is set deep inside the world renowned Kruger National Park and the pristine private Manyeleti Game Reserve. Even though virtual adventurers will not be able enjoy a stay in their lush lodges, this doesn’t mean they cannot get a feeling of what this enticing destination has to offer.
Their Facebook page offers a daily segment called ‘On the beat in the Manyeleti,’ where you can admire the safari highlights of this exceptional destination.
Here, you’ll meet the most majestic members of the animal kingdom of the South African region, from lions and elephants to rhinos and even porcupines! My personal favourite? Those baby elephants make me want to jump on a plane and give one a hug right now!
Conscious luxury travel company &Beyond has established itself throughout the years for its pioneering approach within the field of experiential travel. This company has always been an innovator in offering luxurious nature-based adventures throughout some of the most exotic corners of the Earth: namely Africa, Asia and South America.
They pride themselves on their groundbreaking conservation achievements, including the restocking of native species to the Phinda Private Game Reserve, and the researching and monitoring of endangered species such as rhinos and pangolins.
Now, global travellers can enjoy a small taste of a coveted &Beyond experience, thanks to their teaming up with wildlife broadcasting experts WildEarth. They will be livestreaming personalised game drives twice a day, allowing you to admire the world’s most majestic wildlife from the comfort of your home.
And the best part? You won’t be on your own. As you virtually gaze at lions, rhinos and buffaloes, you will be able to interact with your guide to ask some questions throughout the Youtube drive. Cool, right? Why not take the whole family or a few friends along for the ride?
If you have a 5-star safari in your future holiday plans, consider the Savanna Lodge. It’s nestled in the renowned Sabi Sand Reserve within the greater Kruger National Park Conservancy. It’s lush with nature, and equally lush with its luxurious take on African decor.
But until you’re able to travel, you can visit the lodge virtually. The Savanna Private Game Resort offers a daily ‘Stay at Home Safari’ segment via their Facebook page. This 10 to 20 minute video portrays each day’s safari highlights, where viewers can take in the enchanting flora and fauna of the African bushveld.
But not only that: you can get to know their amazing staff via video, from their safari guides to their maintenance workers. Everyone has a fascinating story to tell, and you’ll meet some truly amazing people!
This multimedia organisation has always dedicated itself to bringing inspiring stories that can inform and educate its viewers about wildlife. Explore provides some of the best virtual animal safaris around, via its vast library of films and photographs of nature. Their footage from across the world serves as an important record of animal behaviour.
Several partner organisations are also featured in the footage shared by Explore. When discussing the content of their videos, they bring issues such as animal rights, human rights, health and poverty to the fore, and often share live videos of wild animals via hidden cameras, in real time (depending on the season).
Their most popular video so far? It’s the one of gorillas migrating in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.