This week, people worldwide can enjoy a Kenyan safari from the comfort of their own homes.
In a world-first, internet users and wildlife enthusiasts can watch live footage of lions interacting at night and rehabilitated turtles returning to the Indian Ocean in Watamu via Twitter’s Periscope app, thanks to a partnership with Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism and HerdTracker, which captured the Great Migration of wildebeests last year. These live broadcasts make up Kenya’s new #KenyaLive tourism campaign, and are accessible across the globe through January 18.
The team responsible for filming is using state-of-the art technology, including an underwater camera strapped to a turtle’s back. At night, HerdTracker co-founders Carel Verhoef and Andre Van Kets have used an Ammonite Starlet camera with infrared lights to capture lions after-hours. They’ve captured some of the most exciting and rare animal behaviors with 50 live broadcasts over 11 days.
Viewers can watch the big cats hunt, feed, and even mate.
Van Kets notes that while daytime interactions are easier to spot, only a select few who visit Kenya are able to experience them at night.
“The daytime interactions are possible in almost all of Kenya’s parks, reserves and conservancies, provided you have a good guide and healthy dose of patience. With nighttime interactions, it’s essential that you travel to the conservancies where night driving is allowed,” he says.
However, even some of the crew – who are experienced in capturing some of Kenya’s rarer wildlife moments – have had a few surprises while shooting this time around.
Stuart Price, crew photographer, says: “In all 10 years since I’ve been photographing lions in Africa, yesterday afternoon was the first time I’ve ever pointed up to get the picture. This happened after a playful sub-adult male lion jumped into a tree less than five meters from our vehicle,” he says.
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