Remote Safari: Social Media Gives the Phrase a New Meaning
Normally, going on a “remote safari” would mean visiting a park or reserve “off the beaten path.”
But in our current state of affairs, any kind of safari is simply not possible – except one.
In response to the dearth of tourists at their camps and lodges, many guides, rangers and resident photographers have begun posting videos of themselves guiding “remote safaris” on social media. Some are even live-streaming, replicating the suspense of not knowing what lies around the next bend in the road we’ve experienced while on a real game drive or walk!
Here are some of AAC’s favorite “remote safaris.”
MalaMala Game Reserve
For many of our past clients, visiting MalaMala Game Reserve was the highlight of their safari. What better way to relive its thrilling game drives than to watch its YouTube playlist Rangers in Isolation.
Here’s a recent video of theirs:
But it’s not only wildlife sightings they record. Rangers’ primary responsibility is the maintenance of the park or reserve they work at. Some of it is rather mundane, like clearing foliage from roads or making sure water pumps at waterholes are functioning normally.
But it highlights the important, behind-the-scenes work that makes the MalaMala experience, and the safari experience in general, so special.
Here’s a link to their YouTube channel if you’re interested in seeing more:
Bushlife Safaris & Bushlife Support Unit
Two things that are worthwhile to stay up to date with our good friends in Mana Pools.
First is the Bushlife Safaris Facebook page. Along with their own videos they post, they were also recently hosted the Blue Sky Society for 2 days of their 21-Day driving trip from South Africa to Zambia. Here the first of their two videos:
Though there are no guests, that does not mean that there aren’t any poachers. If anything, poachers in Africa have becbome more emboldened from the current pandemic.
Typically, poachers are most active during the rainy season, which coincides with the lowest tourist presence. However, as the rains near their end in places like Mana Pools, tourists and the revenue they contribute to conservation and anti-poaching efforts have yet to arrive.
Which is why we highly suggest you follow the Bushlife Support Unit’s (BSU) Facebook page. They will have a tough battle ahead of them, and any show of emotional and/or financial support would be immensely beneficial. Here’s a recent post from their page, reminding us the sacrifice that the sacrifices the BSU and the Mana Pools park rangers must make:
This little corner of Botswana has been an AAC favorite for years. It’s a great “remote safari” destination – in the original sense of the phrase!
AAC Managing Director Alison Nolting was excited to attend the opening of Mashatu Euphorbia, the game reserve’s first 5-star lodge. Sadly, Alison was one of many who had to cancel their safaris this year.
But the good news is that Mashatu’s Instagram page has great videos, like the adorable leopard video above, to pass the time until your next safari! Be sure to check out their “Instagram Stories” as well.
Singita arguably offers the best “Remote Safari” experience of this bunch. Their Facebook page is a treasure trove of not only 360° photos and videos, but live-streams.
For example, Ross Cauper is the resident photographer for Singita’s lodges in the Sabi Sands: Boulders, Ebony and Castleton and takes you on a live game drive. During his last live stream, he encountered a leopard, courtesy of some vocal elephants!
These videos also allow you to ‘comment’ your questions or observations to Ross – or as in the case of April 21st, to Singita’s Sabi Sands K9 Rangers.
For those of you have the patience, may we suggest Great Plains’ live feed. Located at Ol Donyo Lodge‘s waterhole, this is a great way to spot birds, predators, antelopes, and of course, the famous “big tuskers” of Chyulu Hills. Or you can just take in their immaculate view of Mt Kilimanjaro!
If you spot anything interesting, be sure to tag Great Plains in social media. Your sighting may very well appear on their Facebook or Instagram pages!