26 October 2016Last updated

Features | People

Spy on the Kenyan wildlife from your home

Tourism website to regularly upload short videos of various wildlife

By Shiva Kumar Thekkepat
12 Jan 2016 | 05:56 pm
  • Source:Corbis Images Image 1 of 3
  • Source:Corbis Images Image 2 of 3
  • Source:Corbis Images Image 3 of 3

For those who’ve been mesmerised by the wildlife of Kenya but not been able to see it for themselves, the country’s tourism authorities have devised a way to whet their appetite. As part of its Make It Kenya publicity campaign that was launched last September, they’ve tied up with HerdTracker to host short videos of the various wildlife in the country.

Last week wildlife and travel enthusiasts took a Kenyan safari from the comfort of their homes – with the first ever live web broadcast of lions in the Masai Mara during the twilight hours. They tuned in using Twitter’s Periscope app and #KenyaLive to watch the webcast.

There will be more for viewers who did not get enough of the live footage of lions gambolling in the night.

“We’ve planned over 50 live broadcasts across 11 days,’ said Najib Balala, cabinet secretary of the Kenya tourism ministry. ‘Make It Kenya is committed to sharing authentic images of Kenya with a global audience and this campaign is another way that we’re sharing rich content about our country.’

Hosted by safari experts Carel Verhoef and Andre Van Kets of, the programme uses cutting edge technology – including the incredible new starlight camera to capture the exclusive content.

The programme can be viewed on mobile phones, tablets or computers via Periscope and at

The first of the programmes, the Mara Conservancy Lion interaction that was available online from 7 to 13 January, offered insight into the natural habitat of the lions in the Olare Motorogi and Naboisho Conservancies of the Masai Mara. The live night broadcasts followed lions hunting under the cover of darkness and roaming the conservancies. The broadcast team went through several camps including the Olare Mara Kempinski Hotel, Asilia Africa’s Encounter Mara and Naboisho camps as well as Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition Mahali Mzuri luxury safari camp.

‘I’m thrilled that Mahali Mzuri will be playing a part in the #KenyaLive campaign,’ said Branson. ‘This is a fantastic opportunity to see how the kings of the jungle interact, play, hunt and bond. I’m certainly hoping to catch a glimpse of the action!’

The next webcast, from 14 to 18 January, will be centered around the Watamu Turtle Watch. This will be a live broadcast of the Local Turtle Trust project from the coastal town of Watamu, including the first ever live underwater broadcasts. The project protects nesting sea turtles, rehabilitating sick and injured sea turtles before sending them back into their natural habitat.

One very special broadcast will even involve live footage captured via ‘TurtleCam’, using a GoPro strapped to a turtle’s back.

To follow the live broadcasts, download the Periscope app and follow HerdTracker’s channel from 7 to 18 January.

By Shiva Kumar Thekkepat

By Shiva Kumar Thekkepat

Features Writer