How to visit Robben Island, take a hike, or go on safari, all without leaving home
- South Africans have been strongly advised against inter-provincial travel and urged to stay put in their homes.
- That doesn't have to stop you from going on safari, exploring museums, or visiting Robben Island – virtually.
- Here are six streaming channels that’ll keep you outdoors when you’re locked in.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
For many South Africans, tighter regulations under the adjusted Level 3 Lockdown will mean a lot more couch time. But during 2020 there were some incredible innovations in the form of virtual experiences that can take you on safari, help you explore museums, and go to Robben Island without ever having to leave home.
Here are 6 streaming channels that’ll keep you outdoors when you’re locked in.
Go on a virtual safari and bring the Big 5 into your living room.
South African company WildEarth has been broadcasting live game drives for several years. It has three game drive vehicles that go out on safari twice a day. Streamers can send through questions to the guides so they can answer out in the field in real time.
It's become so popular that it has opened shows to the BBC, Tencent, and China’s CGTN, while locally it struck deals with both SABC 3 and DStv.
Sit back and watch the action come to you through smart webcams in the Kruger and beyond.
Another great way to watch wildlife is through webcams operated by home-grown livestream wildlife channel Africam. It uses artificial intelligence to track and identify animals over multiple webcams so there is always something on screen.
Hit up their free Boma Chat page to sit down and listen to the sounds of nature on a live HD streamed channel. The platform gets more interactive for registered members and premium subscribers. They have the option of choosing which channels to watch, and you can take your own snapshots, or even tune into a daily Ranger show.
SANParks also has several webcams set up near waterholes where you can watch game drift in, but they are stationary and sometimes offline.
Fly over the Drakensberg in Virtual Reality (VR).
Fancy a fly-over a volcano – or a swing over the a Drakensberg mountain range? Try the immersive VR tours created by multi-award-winning Russian-based content creators Airpano.
This company has made a name for itself travelling to over 400 counties making high quality 360-degree aerial and underwater content. Every Wednesday they publish a new video on their website and social media accounts, and they are mind-blowing.
For the global traveller they also capture cities, shopping malls and museums. You could literally spend hours scrolling through their content.
Visit Robben Island without having to get onto a boat with Google Arts and Culture.
For those looking for a little more culture and self-education, we recommend Google Arts & Culture. The web giant teamed up with over 2,500 museums and galleries around the world to bring virtual tours and online exhibits. Featured on the platform are our very own Johannesburg Art Gallery and Robben Island museum, to name a few.
There’s even a story on how Rooibos is farmed.
Google also lists the Louvre in Paris, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Acropolis in Athens, and the Vatican in Rome, free.
Hike South Africa’s wildest hiking trails with Google Street view.
Back in 2017, a team of 200 nature-loving South Africans completed an ambitious trek. Carrying Google Street View backpacks that weighted 22 kilograms, they walked along 170 of South Africa’s most famous hiking trails. Thanks to their hard work, and partner Drive South Africa that coordinated the use of Google Street gear, we can view these trails on our desktops.
For extra viewing pleasure, they compiled all this content onto the microsite South Africa in 360. Here you can explore a host of immersive VR-adventures which are well worth a look into.
Skip screen time altogether and explore Lesotho with Idras Elba on the app Calm.
We all know that stress levels run high during a pandemic. Which is why Calm, an app for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation, with over 50 million downloads worldwide is having a massive impact.
With it you can fall asleep to calming stories of Lesotho told by celebrity Idras Elba or listen to steams of ocean sounds, thunderstorms and much more.
Calm, is now worth over R2 billion, according to CNBC and was named the 2017 iPhone app of the year by Apple. The app is currently running a special for R359.99, down from the usual R599.99.
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