Everyone who goes on safari wants to see the Big Five; lions, leopards, rhino, elephants and cape buffalo. The most elusive of these is undoubtedly the leopard. Rhino’s may be rare but there are parks and reserves you can visit which offer a good chance of a sighting. Leopards however keep themselves to themselves, most active at night and staying in the shadows during the day. Most people lucky enough to see one will see it asleep in a tree.
Sara was in Samburu recently, staying at the wonderful Saruni Samburu Camp. She was treated to this amazing sighting.
Victoria Falls is one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The massive Zambezi River falls over 108 metres (360 ft), with over 1,050 cubic metres of water per second racing over its lip when its in full flood. When visiting, from either the Zimbabwean or Zambian sites, its often hard to get a grasp on the scale of it. Vast clouds of spray rise up, soaking you in seconds and hiding areas of the Falls in mist.
With a total width of 1,706 metres (5,604 Ft) spread out in a large arc, its also impossible to get a vantage point from where it’s all visible. After the Falls, the river runs off in a deep cut canyon, racing away through a series of fast-moving rapids. From the ground you can only look from certain vantage points, like the iron bridge that links the two countries, completed in 1905, but get no idea of its course, how it twists and turns as it runs away.
A great way to see the Falls is on the Flight of Angels, a 10 minute helicopter. It gives a perspective of the vastness of the African landscape, the size of the Zambezi as it heads to the Falls, the amount of spray produced and a birds-eye perspective of the Zambezi gorges as they channel the water away.
Many of our clients who visit the Falls do the flight and love it. As well as great views its also exhilarating. This video was taken by Lily, one of our Senior African Consultants. We’ve left it unedited, running from lift-off to landing. You will see in the video that the helicopter circles the Falls twice, ensuring that whichever side of the helicopter you are on, you get a great view of the Falls in one direction, and views of the river, gorge, and Victoria Falls town on the other.
Well, who’d have thought it? When I head off to Kenya in 2008 with a basic video camera and an even more basic grasp on which way to point it, I didn’t expect that our fledgling YouTube channel would grow to be one of the most successful travel channels in the UK. This week it went though 500,000 views, with nearly 400 subscribers.
Over the years the camera work may have got better but we’ve always tried to keep it authentic. The footage is all taken by our staff, guides or clients, there is no professional footage. We want our videos to show how it really is, not through a rose-tinted lens.
We’ve got footage taken on video cameras and phones, drones and night trap cameras. Our guides now have cameras so they can record some of the amazing things they see. This is reflected in the number of views we get and at this rate it won’t be long until we get to 1 million views. Many thanks to all our subscribers, we hope we can continue to keep you entertained and educated on the Real Africa.
So of all our videos, which are the ones we like best..
What noise does a cheetah make?
This video was taken in the Masai Mara in 2013 by Rob’s daughter who thought the noise was so cute. Currently our most popular video.
Safari animals of Kenya.
Our first video, taken in 2008, and still popular, despite the rather dated picture quality..
Elephant using a stick to give itself a pedicure.
Sometimes its the unusual things that are the most memorable. Lily took this video in Amboseli of an elephant that had just come out of the marsh. The care it took to get the stick in just the right position to scrape the mud out from between her toes is incredible.
We have lots more videos planned for this year. Why not subscribe to the Real Africa Video channel to make sure you don’t miss any?
Most people who go on safari bring a camera to photograph the animals. Many also bring video camera or use their mobile phones to record some of the amazing things they witness. Its a great way of letting others back home share the excitement. Real Africa has its own popular You Tube channel – Real Africa’s Video Channel , with nearly half a million views.
Here are some of our favourite clips.
1. The Battle of Kruger.
Perhaps the most famous clip of them all, viewed over 75 million times. In it, a baby buffalo is caught by lions who then have to fight a crocodile off before the buffalo herd regroups and returns. Don’t worry, there’s a happy ending for the buffalo…
2. Impala finds novel way to escape a cheetah.
When a cheetah gets this close, its normally bad news for the impala. Not this time as the impala finds a clever place to hide. Watch out for the bit at the end when they let it out.
3. Baboon gets into a car.
I love this one. The people are so confident, banging on the windows and trying to get the baboons attention. Shame they hadn’t locked the doors.
4. Meerkats climb on cameraman.
I know, hardly cutting edge photography but admit it, those meerkats are cute.
5. Leopard drops in on a kill.
On safari everybody wants to see a kill. This is the only one I’ve ever seen where the chase is vertical. The gazelle didn’t know what hit it.
6. The Predators don’t always win.
This leopard thought it would have a baby warthog for breakfast but the warthog dad had different ideas.
7. Catching it doesn’t mean you’ve won.
This leopard has caught an impala but is chased away by baboons. (Baboons and leopards really don’t like each other). Amazingly, the seemingly dead impala recovers and escapes.
8. Elephant pedicure.
Animal behaviour can be strange. This elephant has just finished grazing in the marshes of Amboseli in Kenya, wading up to its knees in muddy water. It then wanted to get the silt out from between its toes and used a clever way to do so.
9. Learn new things.
Do you know what noise a cheetah makes? You’ll be surprised..
10. Any camera, anybody.
You don’t need to be a BBC Wildlife cameraman armed with a state-of-the-art camera to film something amazing. This clip was filmed by an 8 year old on her mobile phone. What a sight.
Keep an eye on our channel for more amazing videos, as well as guides to safari, the countries, National Parks and animals of Africa.