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A True Safari is a Journey...

4/1/2020

"Safari" originated from the Arabic word "safara", meaning "journey / to travel." It then made its way into East Africa with the Swahili revision of the verb "kusafiri" being converted to the noun "safari", and it is believed that Sir Richard Francis Burton, the British explorer, introduced the word "safari" into the English language in 1860. Explorers and travelers have been undertaking these unique life-changing journeys ever since and, until the current crisis, safari has become more and more popular.

While the traditional African safari experience is currently on pause as we shelter in place, we have the exciting opportunity to experience its magic virtually – engaging our minds, hearts and imaginations through a technique called "anticipatory savoring"  - taking time to simulate and enjoy a positive experience in advance - which can allow one to derive benefits for the experience twice! We hope that you will enjoy the following virtual journeys across Africa as you imagine your own in the not-too-distant future.

  1. Travel across Kenya and Tanzania with Asilia Africa — from the Masai Mara to the Serengeti. Click on the video that interests you, making sure you're watching in the highest resolution. Then drag your mouse around the screen to get a full 360° experience.
     
  2. MalaMala goes live with "Latest Sightings." Join the 'Rangers in Isolation' series broadcast from the pristine bushveld of South Africa's original private game reserve to the comfort of your home. You can find all the episodes here. MalaMala is also using innovative technology to offer a live safari experience. Sightings will be live streamed on an ad hoc basis on the "Latest Sightings" YouTube page. To get notifications of when sightings go live, subscribe here.
     
  3. Start and end your day with an African sunrise & sunset safari on WildEarth.
     
  4. Watch animals live and unscripted in Africa's remotest locations on Africam.
     
  5. Experience the diversity of the fynbos floral kingdom at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.
     
  6. Enjoy virtual wine tastings in the captivating Cape Winelands.
     
  7. Join Time & Tide here every Wednesday where you can escape for 60 seconds to the beauty and calm of Nosy Ankao and the surrounding landscape of Madagascar.
     
  8. It's thrilling to see your children spot their first elephant, zebra or rhino in the wild. But until that day arrives there are several virtual activities to inspire and excite them.
  • Cape Town's Two Oceans Aquarium is letting the penguins run loose in the aquarium. Watch the amusing videos here!
  • Check out Google's 3D Animals in your home. Type an animal name into Google on an iPhone or Android and press 'View in 3D'. It uses your camera and in 30 seconds you have a life-sized lion in your house! Parents can photograph their children from different angles. This augmented reality feature has taken the world by storm and is bound to provide children and adults with hours of fun – and a brilliant way to learn more about the animal kingdom.


​Here's how:  

  1. Open Google on your Android or IOS device. (Android 7.0 or higher/iPhone iOS11.0 or higher)
     
  2. Search for the first animal that pops into your head.
     
  3. ​Scroll down the search results until you see an animated box saying, "Meet a life-sized [the animal you searched for] up close".
     
  4. The box will include the animated animal on the right. Look for the "view in 3D" button in the bottom left and click on it.
     
  5. A new tab will open, featuring the animal.
     
  6. Click on the "view in your space"-button.
     
  7. Your phone's camera will open up. Twist the phone around a bit until you see a rectangle with a white border. The animal should appear shortly thereafter.
     
  8. Turn up the volume to experience the sound of the animal, too!

Any of these experiences can be enjoyed with friends, perhaps during a virtual sundowner cocktail hour. Fill a brandy snifter with ice, add some grapefruit and rosemary and let it chill. Then add a good quality botanical gin topped with tonic. Raise a toast with your companion (or friend on the other side of the computer camera) and imagine that you are on safari, standing on a rocky outcrop surveying the bushveld below, watching herds of elephant amble toward a waterhole to drink, where they will join giraffe and zebra, the setting sun casting a golden tawny glow on the remarkable scene before you. You would be shaking your head and musing "Isn't nature remarkable"?

Africa looks forward to hosting you as soon as the situation allows, but meanwhile remember.... 

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

                                                                                              - Eleanor Roosevelt


4/1/2020
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Keep Calm and Carry On Conserving
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