Mountains, waves and watering holes: The best South African live streams to watch during lockdown
- South Africans in lockdown can get a real-time view on the natural world thanks to various webcams across the country.
- There are live streams from various waterholes in national parks.
- You can also get excellent views on waves, and mountains.
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Travel and tourism in South Africa have ground to a halt under the country’s national lockdown.
With most South Africans now stuck at home in an attempt to slow the spread of Covid-19, most glimpses of the outside world are arriving in the form of photographs, news reports, virtual tours, or haunting drone footage of deserted streets.
Dozens of webcams are also still whirring away across the country to give you a real-time view of the world.
Some offer fascinating, carefully curated live streams of activities like game drives. Others are less curated, but include live footage, or ongoing still photographs, beamed from a static location - of beaches, cities, waterholes, and mountains.
Here are some of the best streams currently available in South Africa:
As Winter approaches and snow starts to fall, the ideally located Snow Report South Africa webcams could be just what you are looking for. They have webcams in the Drakensberg, Eastern Cape, Lesotho, the Karoo and near Cape Town.
Our top pick is their 'snowcam' at the Sani Mountain Lodge, located at on the border between South Africa and Lesotho southern Drakensberg.
The Kruger National Park may be closed for business, but there are several webcams strategically located throughout the reserve that are still operating. There’s a livestream of the waterhole outside Satara rest camp, as well as one just outside Orpen rest camp. Both operate sporadically, and suffer from occasional downtime, but their locations are popular with a variety of wildlife.
Nossob Rest Camp, in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, has a static camera located over a tranquil watering hole - which is also often perfectly positioned for a bushveld sunrise.
Africam, one of the pioneers of wildlife webcams in South Africa, has several cameras strategically located in several private game reserves. Many of these are in stunning locations, and have sound and added functionality to pan, tilt, and zoom in on interesting sightings, which gives them more of a virtual wildlife safari feel.
Travel company And Beyond has teamed up with WildEarth to offer perhaps the most dramatic - and escapist - online game viewing excursion. They’re streaming two three-hour game drives daily from private game reserves Ngala and Djuma - keep an eye on their game drive schedule to join the next drive.
Beaches and ocean
The 12 Apostles Hotel and Spain Cape Town has a static webcam strategically located to showcase their famous views of the Atlantic Ocean coastline, and Lion’s Head - it updates every five minutes with a new photograph.
Surf website Wavescape has several ocean-side webcams located at beaches across the Cape Peninsula, including at Muizenberg, Big Bay, Kommetjie, and Noordhoek. Their principal function is to showcase wave conditions at top surf spots, and so the webcams may serve more as torture for homebound surfers under the current circumstances.
Camps Bay’s the Bay Hotel also maintains a webcam that, if nothing else, serves as a way to marvel at the eerily deserted Victoria Road and Camps Bay beach.
The famous Knysna Heads also has a webcam of their own that updates with a new photograph every 60 seconds.
Mountains and scenery
Snow Report maintains several webcams throughout South Africa, with the principal aim of showcasing the arrival of new snow. But they offer scenic vantage points worth checking in on from Matroosberg, Cederberg, Swartberg, and several locations in the Drakensberg, including Cathedral Peak, and the top of Sani Pass.
There’s also a mountain webcam in Montagu, hosted by Climb Za.
Capetonians missing Table Mountain can check in on it from a Milnerton webcam that updates every 10 minutes. There’s also a live webcam that streams across the now-deserted Rietvlei Nature Reserve, towards Table Mountain.
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