These are unprecedented times we are living in with “shelter in place” regulations preventing many from getting outdoors and into nature. To cut through the monotony, we have put together five exceptional online wilderness experiences to keep you in touch with the natural world during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Join a LIVE Safari with some of Africa’s best field rangers. Photo: © Unsplash
Join this LIVE Safari
There is nothing quite as exciting as the thrill of a game drive while on safari, and now you can sit back with a cup of coffee and enjoy the ride from the comfort of your own home. This LIVE Safari is broadcast from two renowned South African game reserves, &BEYOND Ngala Private Game Reserve (which shares unfenced borders with the famed Kruger National Park) and Djuma Private Game Reserve (part of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve). Sit back and relax as you are transported through the African bush, taking in all the sights and sounds with a professional field guide to answer all your questions in real-time. These completely unscripted broadcasts bring you as close to the real thing as you can get and take place daily at the following times: 06:00am – 09:00am CAT (sunrise dependent) and 15:30pm – 18:30pm CAT (sunset dependent) during April.
You just never know who will pay a visit to the waterhole. Photo: © Nicole Mathesie/ Adobe Stock
Watch the Live Cam at this Waterhole
For those of you who have a lot of time on their hands (and let’s be honest who doesn’t get these days), why not spend some time at a waterhole. This live cam at the Mpala Research Centre in the highlands of central Kenya is a favourite drinking hole for elephants, hippos, giraffes, Grevy’s zebras, gazelles, crocodiles, leopards, and many other species. Mpala is a 48,000-acre (about 77 square miles) mix of cattle ranches and wildlands, making it a “living laboratory,” where scientists and researchers come from all over the world to study Africa’s iconic wildlife. There is plenty of information to read along with this feed, and you can ask questions anytime from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. East Africa Time.
Boyd Varty brings us his 40 Days and 40 Nights in the wild podcast. Photo: © Boyd Varty
Listen to this Podcast
Join professional field guide, Boyd Varty, on his 40 days and 40 nights adventure into the wilds of the South African bush. Varty will reside on a wooden deck overlooking the Sand River at the Londolozi Game Reserve, bordering the Kruger National Park in South Africa, where he will spend his days reading, meditating, and animal tracking. Each day Varty will share a recording of his day as a way to share his journey bringing insight into the dynamics of solitude and what it means to be wild. Don’t miss it!
Immerse yourself in the sounds of nature with Nature Sound Map. Photo: © Simon Bennett/ Adobe Stock
Listen to Nature’s Songs
Tap into nature’s most beautiful and inspiring sounds on this interactive world map. Recorded by professional nature recordists and matched with satellite imagery, the Nature Sound Map offers an unbelievable selection of soundscapes as well as recordings of individual species. Listen to the vivid dawn chorus in the steamy forests of lowland West Papua New Guinea or to the unusual sounds of the Lekking Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrixis) in the boreal Taiga Forests of Finland. Immerse yourself in the call of Coqui frogs in the gentle rain in Puerto Rico’s El Yunque tropical rainforest or enjoy the soundscape of the Vega Gulls congregating on the ice-covered coast of Russia’s far eastern Chukotka Peninsula.
Explore the Kenai Fjords with this virtual tour. Photo: © Sekar Balasubramanian/ Adobe Stock
Take these Virtual Tours
And finally, take a virtual tour of some of the most breathtaking National Parks in the world. Explore the Night Sky in Bryce Canyon, drop down into a glacier in the Kenai Fjords, or experience life as a bat in Carlsbad Caverns. These virtual tours follow rangers on a journey where few have been before. Discover these parks in a completely new way with interactive features, aerial footage, 360-degree videos, and more!
If that’s not enough, here are ten ways to connect with nature if you live in an urban environment.