While delving into the best live cams in the African wild for this blog post, I realised two things; even if there’s no action, listening to the genuine, real-time sounds of the African bush – and, in particular, its birds – is enchanting, and because it’s a live feed, you never know what is going to happen or what you’re going to see. So keep your eyes peeled!
Many of the cameras are not held in place but actually follow the animals around the waterholes. This is thanks to a volunteer corps of people around the world known as ‘zoomies’ who remotely control the cameras. They log into the camera according to a schedule in shifts, and pan, tilt and zoom in search of animals. With the volunteers at the helm, you’re guaranteed to see good close-ups of animals and birds.
Top tip: If you’re having a problem watching a live cam it could be the internet browser you’re using. Google Chrome is especially bad, so if you’re having issues try using a different browser.
1. Djuma Game Reserve
This camera watches over Gowrie dam on Djuma Game Reserve, in the Sabi Sand Concession, South Africa. In fact, this is the oldest waterhole cam in the world. It’s been broadcasting live from this spot since 1998. With some luck, you’ll see big cats coming for a drink or even on a kill close by. You can also expect to see a lot of impala, waterbuck, nyala and many other types of mammals, birds and reptiles.
2. Wild Earth
This is something a little different. Wild Earth livestreams safari drives (click here) from different spots around Africa. Rangers, driving around the reserves with cameramen in the back, stream in from their different locations and present to the camera as if you are in their vehicle with them. It’s personal and engaging and a completely different experience to a fixed live cam.
SUNRISE SAFARI (Monday to Sunday)
Central African Time (CAT): 06:00am – 09:00am
East African Time (EAT): 07:00am – 10:00am
Eastern Daylight Savings Time (EDT): 00:00am – 03:00am
SUNSET SAFARI (Monday to Sunday)
Central African Time (CAT): 15:30pm – 18:30pm
East African Time (EAT): 16:30pm – 19:30pm
Eastern Daylight Savings Time (EDT): 09:30am – 12:30pm
Africam’s webcams are always on and always watching popular water holes in protected areas of southern Africa. See elephants, giraffes, zebras, hyenas and other species in the wild from your computer at home. It features Tembe, Nkorho, Idube, Naledi and Elephant Plains in Southern Africa.
Explore.org has live nature cams from around the world. You can watch bears fishing in Alaska, tigers in India and a puffin burrow in Maine.
Their ‘African Animals’ camera in Kenya pans about 120 degrees from the fever trees just to the left of the hippo pool all the way upriver to “Basking Beach.” The view overlaps with that of the African River Wildlife Camera, but with a lower angle.
They also have live footage of gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo (see below).
5. Mpala Live
Mpala Live! (Click here for cam) takes you to Kenya’s Laikipia County, a vast area that is home to wildlife and private and community ranches, where herds of cattle, sheep, and camels graze amid wild animals. Nearly 7,000 elephants roam Laikipia, a rolling grassland dotted with shrubs and Acacia trees. In the centre of Laikipia, watched over by Mount Kenya, is a 77-square-mile (200 km2) mix of wildland and ranch land called Mpala.
Mpala Live! gives you around-the-clock look at the lives of elephants, lions, zebras, giraffes, hippos, birds, and other animals in a fascinating swath of African landscape. The Hippo Pool cameras, for instance, take you to a watering hole that attracts hippos, monkeys, zebras, giraffe, scores of bird species, and the occasional crocodile.
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