As we close our doors to protect our lives, the world continues to turn, thriving at its own pace, unaltered by the conflicts that restrict its avid guests into their own retreats. In South Africa, the kings of vast safaris continue their prowl across their domain, unmindful of their human counterpart’s dilemma. Get a glimpse of these mighty beasts live from the comforts of your couch with andBeyond.
This travel company with tailor-made tours in Africa brings the mighty continent to your home with its ‘Bringing Africa Home’ program. As the wild calls, take your fill of the safari with andBeyond’s WildWatch. Made in collaboration with wildlife broadcasting experts atWildEarth, viewers get free access to live streaming three-hour-long drives within the private game reserves of Ngala and Djuma -an unscripted and unpredictable real-time programme. With three to four live feeds from the control room, the camera pans into a seamless live game drive, giving the viewers the best vistas. These live safaris are available for viewing twice a day on YouTube; first, the sunrise-dependent trip from 6 am to 9 am Central Africa Time (CAT), and the sunset-dependent trip from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm CAT. www.andbeyond.com
During WildWatch streams, viewers can send questions and interact with the guides via Twitter using the hashtag #wildearth, and on YouTube by accessing the chatbox. Kids have their own WildChild channels, where safari trips are scheduled in the first 45 minutes of the afternoon tour.
Apart from these visual trips, andBeyond’s curated series also features the region’s multi-sensory experiences. For example, African comfort food becomes the star of Taste Africa, where downloadable recipes bring African Antipasto and Masai Mara dips to one’s table. The sound of Africa sings through a glorious playlist of grassroots artists, from Paul Simon’s Graceland to Disney’s well-loved Lion King. Readers can immerse themselves through a curated library of recommended reads that feature an African setting, from the ‘Cry of the Kalahari’ to Trevor Noah’s ‘Born a Crime’. Virtual experiences like these keep the continent at the top of one’s bucket list, reminding one of the many reasons why Africa remains to be one of the most intense realms in the world.
When travelling across the globe restarts, yearning to discover the Earth’s untouched marvels is essential. There will always be that curiosity, the desire to experience what’s happening on the other side of the world. In the middle of the pandemic, our restriction versus the freedom in the wild become striking contrasts. Surprisingly, it is nature’s profound saying that prevails – ‘life goes on’ whether one is indoors, or outdoors. ◼
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© This article was first published online in Apr 2020 – World Travel Magazine.