New Delhi: The coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc across the world with 5,590,517 cases, but it is also leading to new and innovative avenues of entertainment. The latest to join the list are live safaris broadcasted directly from the South African reserves.
According to a Washington Post story “Go on safari at home with a twice-daily live-stream from South Africa”, virtual safaris from Kruger National Park, Ngala Private Game Reserve and Djuma Private Game Reserve in South Africa are being live streamed by travel company AndBeyond, in collaboration with wildlife broadcasting expert Wild Earth.
Personalised game drives are streamed twice a day — at sunrise (Central African Time: 06:30am – 09:30am) and sunset (Central African Time: 15:00pm – 18:00pm), each lasting three hours each.
Three or four live feeds, live interaction with host
The live safari offers viewers as authentic an experience as possible with a director monitoring and switching visuals between three or four live feeds from a controlling room. The routes can also be changed mid-safari to follow a game citing.
According to the Post, “When viewers join a tour, they ride ‘virtually’ with rangers on dusty roads. They visit locations that wild animals frequent, such as watering holes where elephants, rhinos, leopards and other animals go daily to drink. Each safari guide is paired with a camera operator, who films from the back of the vehicle.”
The viewers have the option to interact with their safari host by sending them questions over email and have them answered in real-time.
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While the online tours have been streaming on the internet since 2007, they have gained massive popularity since the lockdown was initiated. Viewership has increased by five times with more than 1.1 million viewers now, most of whom are from the US.
Wild Earth and AndBeyond aren’t the only ones providing this service. Guides from Tintswalo Safari Lodge film their daily drives, while Asilia Africa offers a 360 degree view from its camps in Kenya and Tanzania.
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