If you’ve ever fancied going on a safari in Africa but discovered that funding it would mean robbing a bank, then here’s the good news: Google has just rolled out Street View imagery for Kenya’s Samburu National Reserve.
The virtual safari is the result of Google’s work with the Save the Elephants charity, which has a research camp in the park.
Exploring the panoramic imagery captured along a track running through the 65-square-mile park we can see some of the park’s 600+ elephants, zebras, leopards, lions, and even a group of Samburu warriors wandering by.
Besides opening the national park to stay-at-home safari enthusiasts, it’s hoped Google’s imagery will also serve to highlight Save the Elephants’ work and inspire people to get involved.
David Daballen, head of Save the Elephants’ field operations, touched on his work in a post introducing the new content: “For the last 15 years….I’ve spent my days among the elephants, working alongside my fellow Samburu people to study and protect them. Research shows that 100,000 elephants across Africa were killed for their ivory between 2010 and 2012, but thanks to our work in the Samburu National Reserve their numbers are now slowly increasing.”
He added, “Today, a visit to Samburu is a chance not only to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, but also discover a uniquely beautiful landscape where people’s lives are interwoven with the landscape’s wildlife.”
Google launched Street View eight years ago with a camera perched atop a car. Taking its work beyond the world’s roads, the team also uses trikes, trolleys, boats, backpacks, snowmobiles, camels, and, for the first time earlier this year, a zipline, to capture its imagery.
The Street View material from Kenya joins a growing database of fascinating content offering sofa loafers easy access to locations as diverse as the top of Mount Fuji, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Liwa Desert.
So what are you waiting for? Crank up the room temperature, grab your khaki shorts and floppy hat (you can probably do without the binoculars) and go lose yourself in Kenya’s glorious Samburu National Reserve.