No longer do you have to book an expensive plane ticket and fly half way across the globe to take in some of the extraordinary wildlife that Sub-Saharan Africa has to offer. Now, you can take an interactive tour around the Kenyan Samburu safari park from the comfort of your home thanks to Google Maps.
The feature, which was added a few weeks ago but has just appeared as a direct link on Google’s home page, lets you use their Street View feature to explore the Samburu National Park in Kenya.
Several elephants can be seen, among other animals including a leopard and a few zebra, along the virtual safari route that takes the user on a road around the 65 square mile park.
The interactive has been backed by the Kenyan Tourist Board, the Samburu County Government and by Save the Elephants, a conservationist charity who campaign to protect elephants against the ivory trade. David Daballen, who heads up the charity’s field operations, described the rich bio-diversity that can be found in Samburu, describing hundreds of different elephants, prides of lions, leopards and even the native Samburu warriors who call the park their home.
100,000 African elephants were reported as being killed for ivory between 2010 and 2012 and Daballen, along with the developers at Google, hope that this new feature will help to spread awareness about the plight of the majestic beasts.
Speaking at the feature’s ceremonial launch, the governor of Samburu county, Moses Lenolkaul said: “The more people experience our culture, our people and the majestic elephants and other wildlife with which we co-exist, the more we are able to conserve and sustain the Samburu culture and its fragile ecosystem for generations to come.”
This latest Google Street View feature that follows hot on the heels (or paws) of the Hiroshima tourist board’s bizarre innovation that lets you tour their city from the perspective of a cat.
This interactive tour of Samburu looks like it has gone much further though, giving the African elephant conservationist project some important publicity, in an effort that looks to have far reaching positive implications.
Follow the link here to take yourself on a tour of Samburu and let us know what exciting wildlife you come across along the way!