An African safari from the comfort of the sofa

For the wildlife enthusiast, it’s the experience of a lifetime but the African safari is a trip that does not come cheap and for most just isn’t an option. But don’t despair just yet. Though it may not be the same experience there are a few free options that allow you to watch the “Big Five” from the comfort of the sofa and no it isn’t a David Attenborough repeat. Why not try these African webcam streams for some real time alternatives.

Giraffes and Zebras at Nkorho Pan (Photo Credit: Africam.com)

Giraffes and Zebras at Nkorho Pan (Photo Credit: Africam.com)

Africam.com offers four continuous live stream cameras complete with stereo sound as well as a further two cameras which update stills every 30secs all based in South Africa. The site offer multi-cam viewing and also sends out twitter and facebook alerts so you don’t miss any action.

Hippos swimming within Laikipia County, Kenya (Photo Credit: Mpala Live!)

Hippos swimming within Laikipia County, Kenya (Photo Credit: Mpala Live!)

Mpala Live! takes you to Kenya’s Laikipia County and gives round-the-clock viewing of a range of African wildlife through several different feeds based around the Mpala Research Centre including a number of Hippo pool cameras. The site also has a helpful field guide just in case your not quite sure what your watching as well classroom resources for teachers or those who might want to learn a little more about Kenyan ecosystems.

Wild Safari Live adds the human touch as you ride along with safari guides (Photo Credit: Nat Geo WILD)

Wild Safari Live adds the human touch as you ride along with safari guides (Photo Credit: Nat Geo WILD)

Wild Safari Live is part of National Geographic and allows you to tag along with on the safari drives, complete with guide. Streaming twice a day from the Djuma Private Game Reserve and the Arathusa Safari Lodge in South Africa, safari guides Pieter Pretorius and Hayden Turner also answer questions from viewers live via Twitter using hashtag #safarilive.

Elephant at Ark Safari Park Lodge waterhole. (Photo Credit: The Ark Safari Park Lodge)

Elephant at Ark Safari Park Lodge waterhole. (Photo Credit: The Ark Safari Park Lodge)

The Ark Safari Park Lodge is located within Aberdale National north from Nairobi, Kenya and runs a live webcam which is focused on the lodges own waterhole. Attracting elephants, leopards, buffalo, and rhinos the waterhole remains floodlit at night but the added fun of this one is you can also watch the lodge guests watching the wildlife.

Of course if you get tired of the African safari you can find a wide variety of other wildlife webcams on the likes on explore.org who have compiled streams from around the world and focused on everything from Beluga Whales in the Churchill River and Hudson Bay courtesy of cameras mounted on survey boats to Honey Bee hives in Waal, Bavaria. 

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Kirstin McEwan
Current Wildlife Conservation Masters student and former Environmental Stewardship graduate with interests in wildlife conservation and science communication

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