App. – Ahead of my recent trip to the Kruger National Park, I downloaded the Whispers of the Wild App, which I’d been introduced to by mail a couple of months ago.
To be honest, I’m not big on Apps and even though my phone has a wide collection, most are social media or photo editing related, or clever little things that do exchange rate calculations while I’m travelling. Yet this is different.
Having Whispers of the Wild is an incredible way to enhance your safari experience.
It offers an audio guide to the bush and the animals you will see there, enriching the time and offering in depth information on the various aspects of nature with safety advice, a questions section and guide to conservation. There are excellent photographs and animal sounds to listen out for and the narrators invite and hold your interest.
It links to a map showing where the various animals occur, offers full and scientific names, identification pointers, tracks, heights, weight indicator, lifespan, gestation period and more at an easy glance. Even a look at threats that particular animal may face. There is even a game that you can challenge your wildlife knowledge with.
It’s very comprehensive, information and charming all wrapped into one. Here is an excerpt from their official media release:
‘This app is for anyone planning an African safari. Whether you are going on a game drive or just relaxing on the deck back at your lodge, or even if you need something to keep the kids entertained, Whispers of the Wild enables you to learn about African animals without having to take your eyes off them.
Now, your smartphone or tablet can become a portal into the world of Africa’s magnificent creatures. The informative audio playback, combined with an amazing image library, animal sounds and an interactive game, will keep you entertained and delighted for hours on end.
This app can be used anywhere across Southern and East Africa, from the Kruger National Park to the Serengeti, the Okavango Delta to the Ngorongoro Crater and offers the user the opportunity to learn while watching the animals. And the best part is, you don’t have to lose sight of the animals you’ve spotted in the process.
Developed by Samir Randera-Rees, best known to most people as one of the presenters on the world’s longest-running environmental show, 50/50, you can now share in his passion for nature and wildlife in general by downloading the app. Randera-Rees readily admits that he’s always been fascinated by the natural world growing up in South Africa and he often found himself exploring the deepest recesses of his garden in search of living creatures.
After working as a game ranger and studying for a Masters in conservation ecology at various institutions in Europe, he returned to the Kruger Park region to complete his thesis in carnivore interactions. Ever since then, he’s been searching for ways to share his love for the African continent’s wildlife with the broader population.. Not only is he one of three professional voice artists that can be heard on the app, he has also contributed some of the photos he’s taken over the years.
Completing a task like this is no small feat, and Randera-Rees was fortunate to be assisted by Valli Moosa, Chairman of WWF South Africa, Mavuso Msimang with his 16 years of experience in the transformation of SA Tourism and SANParks among others and Gavin Hartford, an industrial sociologist who’s also an avid ornithologist and botanist.
With their help he has compiled more than 350 minutes of audio guide content, covering more than 50 African mammals including lion, zebra, cheetah, rhino, giraffe, honey badger and elephant to name a few. Easy-to-use tools help even safari newbies to identify the animals quickly, and once you do, the audio is arranged so that you can choose to listen to the information that most interests you.
Of course, the app will never replace the experience of a human field guide, but this is the next best thing. Not only is it beautifully designed, but it is user-friendly and informative, even offering detailed distribution maps to show you where different African mammals can be found, while realistic looking footprints help you to identify the African wildlife that has passed before you.
Over and above this, the app provides safety advice to keep both you and the wildlife safe while offering the user the opportunity to donate to their Conservation Partner, the Endangered Wildlife Trust. The app empowers wildlife lovers to donate to a trustworthy and effective conservation organisation that works to support the conservation of species and ecosystems in Southern Africa, to the benefit of all people.’
A must for Animal and Safari lovers.
Actually I’ve been listening to it much since home, in a bid to increase my knowledge of the animals that I am lucky enough to see on safari. Something that I’d recommend you do pre-safari.