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Go on a Virtual African Safari


Article by Hayley Hyer

Photography by Stock Images

We all have a dream vacation that we've been thinking about for years. Maybe yours is an African safari! While travel plans are halted, it's a good time to pause and think about how to make your dream more accessible. Until you can do everything exactly the way you've always imagined, you can still enjoy small stages of your trip.

Stage one? Virtual safaris! Check out this website to learn more about going on an African safari from the safety and comfort of your own home. You can either send in questions via social media, or you can book a one-on-one session with a private tour guide.

Stream WILDwatch Live at Home for Free

This information was published on &BEYOND.

In a quest to relieve the tedium of isolation, we’ve collaborated with wildlife broadcasting experts, WildEarth, to stream (in real time) twice-daily, three-hour long game drives from &BEYOND Ngala Private Game Reserve, &BEYOND Phinda Private Game ReserveDjuma Private Game ReserveTswalu and Pridelands Conservancy.

You can view the safaris between:

  • 06:30am – 09:30am CAT (sunrise dependent)
  • 15:00pm – 18:00pm CAT (sunset dependent)

Be sure to interact with our guides by asking questions on YouTube or using #wildearth on Twitter.

How to Ask Questions on WILDwatch Live

Adult questions:

Morning and afternoon drives

WILDchild (children’s) questions:

• Afternoon kiddies drive (first 45min of afternoon safaris): Email

NOTE: We’ve been loving the incredible response to our WILDwatch Live safaris. Because of the increasing popularity of the drives, we are receiving a high volume of questions, and the guides are doing their utmost best to answer as many questions as they can. We ask that you please be patient with us and apologise if we somehow miss your query. Thank you again for your phenomenal support!

How it Works

Viewers will be able to join up to two live safaris a day, each of which will last approximately three hours. These will be streamed in real-time from renowned South African game reserves, &BEYOND Ngala Private Game Reserve, &BEYOND Phinda Private Game Reserve, Djuma Private Game Reserve, Tswalu and Pridelands Conservancy. Authentic and non-scripted, the game drives will follow the sights and sounds of the African wilderness as they unfold. Hosted by expert &BEYOND and WildEarth field guides, the drives will be streamed over a variety of social media platforms each day.

Working via a director in a control room, the camera will move between three or four live feeds to bring viewers the best wildlife action as it unfolds, creating a seamless multi-feed virtual game drive. Viewers will be able to interact with their safari hosts and have their questions answered in real-time, just as if they were actually on the game drive vehicle. The first 45 minutes of each afternoon drive will be dedicated to young wildlife fans and the guides will only answer questions asked by children during this time. Parents can sign up their children by selecting a date on Children (or parents) can then email for age appropriate and personalized responses.

About WildEarth

WildEarth is a LIVE wildlife broadcaster that has built a passionate community of nature lovers across the globe. Their flagship product, safariLIVE, is a daily digital LIVE broadcast hosted by expert safari guides in prime wilderness areas including the Greater Kruger Park in South Africa and at times, the Maasai Mara in Kenya. This is an unscripted and unpredictable real-time programme and audiences can enjoy an authentic nature encounter from anywhere in the world as they track the lives and unfolding narratives of much-loved wildlife. Viewers can tune in for six hours of safari every day of the year (three hour morning and three hour afternoon drives) and they can interact with experts in real-time via social media platforms, asking questions and having them answered live.

READ MORE: WILDwatch Live: We're Bringing the Wilderness to You

Book a Private Safari Just for Kids

Proceeds from each WILDchild virtual session will go towards funding an Africa Foundation Conservation Lesson.

What to Expect

For every future planet manager or adult who dreamt of becoming a ranger when they were young, our WILDchild: Becoming a Ranger series offers a sneak peek into our guides’ toolkit.

We will take what you have learnt from our recorded episodes (aired every Saturday on our social media channels) and make those skills become a reality by taking you through a mission that you can do at home. This is also the perfect opportunity to get your questions on the episode answered.

The class is USD 20 per link (each link can be used by up to 3 children) and is limited to 20 children. The class is conducted in English.

How to Participate

  • Book your seat.
  • We will then send you an email with a personal link that will explain how to connect with your guide on the date of your booking. We’ll also ask you a few questions to help your ranger focus on your areas of interest.
  • You’ll connect with your guide through video-conferencing software called Zoom. We recommend you download Zoom onto your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet, and test it before your booking.
  • You will need to have a stable internet connection – Zoom recommends a connection speed of 2mbps up/down.
  • For the best experience, please ensure that you test your Zoom meeting (see above) as the quality of the live video recording, which will be played back during your session, may be affected by your connectivity.

What Do You Have to Bring?

  • Come prepared… be sure to re-watch the latest episode of our WILDchild: Becoming a Ranger series
  • Bring your notepad, your questions and a big safari smile

Book Your Seat

Bookings need to be made 24-hrs in advance. Regrettably, we will not be able to accept your booking request it falls after this window. Should you miss the booking time slot, we kindly ask that you select a different date. Alternatively, you can email us for a more customised experience.

Tune into Your Session

Tracks and signs: Jarryd du Preez

  • 11 July
  • 15 August

Learn about Trees: Josh van der Ploeg

  • 18 July
  • 22 August

Survival skills: Nikki Muller

  • 25 July
  • 29 August

How an animal works: Damen Pheiffer

  • 01 August
  • 05 September

Topics of interest

  • 08 August – Birds & Birding
  • 12 September – TBC

READ MORE: WILDchild: Becoming a Ranger