This is a year of change and adaptation for WildEarth and safariLIVE.
As Heraclitus once said “The only constant is change,” and these words lend themselves nicely to the ever evolving and dynamic aspect of mother nature, and our enduring mission to connect people to the wild.
As of Monday, 8 April, safariLIVE will no longer be broadcasting the Sunrise Safaris. This change comes with many exciting new developments. Instead of heading out once in the morning and once in the afternoon, safariLIVE will bring you not only the Sunset Safari, but take you into the night, every night! With the use of our thermal and infrared technology, we aim to discover the secret lives of those creatures that call the darkness home.
From your favourite big cat characters to the smaller and more elusive animals like aardvark, porcupine and pangolins, we aim to bring you these animals in their natural environment, undisturbed and doing exactly as they are meant to. We will be delivering as many live night feeds as possible from both the Sabi Sand in South Africa and the Mara Triangle Conservancy in Kenya. This not only includes our intrepid vehicle teams but also our thermal eye in the sky, set to search the wild from the ground and the air.
The cancellation of the Sunrise Safaris is as a direct result of this exciting new change. The naturalists, camera operators and directors will be working long after the sun has set on Africa and will therefore need their mornings for much needed rest. We will aim to broadcast sunrise action when we have more crew onsite and this will go live to Facebook and Twitter’s Periscope, so keep an eye out for those notifications.
The safariLIVE crew is “over the moon” about this exciting new change to exploring the wild. We look forward to having you all join us for this pioneering new way of exploring Africa and her best kept secrets.
Please see the updated safariLIVE broadcast schedule for your time zone below:
The morning drive is important. Wildlife become very active in the morning. I do volunteer work in South Africa. We are always out at 3:30 of 4:00 am. Break in the middle of the day and back out at 4:00 in the afternoon. Also Safari Live had some very good guides, Llike Ben, Patrick and Lauren. All gone. Who ever is making these decisions are risking losing many viewers.
That picture is beautiful.
Change is unavoidable and I hope to the heavens that you are in a position – sooner than later – to return the sunrise to us, with new naturalists, more funding, more resources! Whatever it takes to let those of us who loved ending our day watching the unrivaled magnificence of an African sunrise. Please, please, please.
Will miss the sunrise safari, watched every day. Sunset safari starts too late at night here. Reruns on youtube not the same as live.
In my opinion, the reason so many regular viewers are upset about the demise of the sunrise safari is that it takes away the opportunity to be interactive for a lot of us. It has blown our community apart. I have come to regard many of the safarians as friends in an odd sort of internet way. There is a genuine sense of loss being experienced. It is not a matter of the sunrise safari being popular. It was the one that made the interaction possible. It also was pretty cold to give a bald announcement with little notice.
I appreciate – and in part stand corrected by – Chris Oden’s quiet, open-minded, comment. I can see my own tone is in danger of assuming my preferences should trump other people’s. I’m sorry about that (just as I am perplexed and sorry that my name and email address remain on view below. I thought I was required to provide them but I wonder why they now won’t go away?)
I’m moved to try again, though, within the context of my most profound respect for Wild Earth, to express fears that go beyond mere regret for what I, personally have most enjoyed: going out on the live Sunrise drives – especially as that astounding light spreads over the vastness of the Mara. It will be my further loss if, having reason to distrust social media like Facebook and Twitter, a Sunrise drive should only ever be available again to users of these sites. I put in a selfish plea for one remaining YouTube sunrise outing a week?
However, I still think it important to raise the issue of how something in the way of gravitas – the dignity of what is being studied or explored – has a way of getting encroached on when a mass audience is to be courted onTV. And to wonder aloud if it is avoidable. Does a TV audience have to be inevitably courted with entertainment – the wild needing to be presented as entertainment – if a wider interest has any chance of being held? Would the original internet game drive format not have convinced a wider audience? Have been felt to be dull? And I do have to confess (though ready to be shouted down) to unease where the thermal eye in the sky is concerned – as if that’s taking unfair advantage! Should we feel entitled to have access to all of Nature’s secrets?
But I, too, so thank you, Wild Earth, for what you have urgently set out to offer . And for the personal delight I have felt awed by – daily – since starting watching SafariLIVE about a year ago..
Totally let down loads of viewers sold down the river
This is my second attempt to post, as the first did not save. As I’ve lived a long life, I know change is inevitable. To me, it It usually means that someone no longer wants to engage or do something. WildEarth/SafariLive can do as they wish, and doesn’t owe anyone anything. I too live on the east coast of the US. I believe the folks in the US will be the most affected by the elimination of the Sunrise drives. Perhaps this segment of the population is no longer “desirable”. I personally watch the Sunrise live more than the Sunset. Many in the US simply cannot view live drives from later in the day Africa. I know there are the recorded videos, however recent other changes stop me from watching those.
I am a long time viewer. These drives are an excellent educational tool, and give a connection to nature many of us will never have in person. I never used to miss a drive. If I did, I always caught up on the recording. Now I rarely do. It’s really distressing to see that longer time guides/presenters, whatever they may be called, have been pushed aside for newer inexperienced ones. That is why I don’t watch. James H, Tristan, Jaime, Steve, Sydney replaced by others. The new people aren’t terrible, they just don’t have the experience to hold one’s attention to be on every day.
So thanks for the ride and good luck all.
A Petition has been made in hopes that safari live keeps sunrise safari. http://chng.it/vjqVyf2Rcs
I Want to thank you for the wonderful exciting information you teach us each day and seeing this twice a day was a great excitement!! I am looking forward to the new ideas you are looking for I welcome them but enjoyed the morning too.
Thanks and be well
I have been a viewer for over 4 years, and this change is quite disappointing. It truly is alienating a good portion of your loyal audience– the beauty of SafariLive was joining people from all over the world together, and obviously we all have different time zones. The Sunrise safari is the only live Safari many viewers can watch.
While I appreciate the thermal and infrared views (it is amazing technology), viewing it for any length of time isn’t enjoyable. It just doesn’t compare to seeing wildlife in full color in the light of day.
I hope this change isn’t permanent.
An unfortunate change.
I believe I understand the necessity of the change though.
I’ve been watching occasionally for 2-3 years.
I, like others commenting, live in the eastern US time zone.
The drives on Monday through Friday happen when I’m either sleeping or at work.
I’m only able to watch the Saturday and Sunday sunrise and sunset drives.
In the time I’ve been watching, I’ve noticed what seems to be less water in the area and less animals.
There seems to be more time driving around looking for animals to show.
I suspect the upcoming change is being made due to the probability that finding animals to show will be easier at night.
But to be honest, I don’t really watch for the animals.
The biggest reason I watch is for the great people.
The guides (or presenters driving the vehicle), the camera operators, the people at final control, and the people in chat are the main reason I watch.
I’ll now be losing that for what would have been the Saturday and Sunday sunrise drives.
I’ll miss seeing the animals, but mostly I’ll miss watching all the great people, their stories, their playful banter, their questions and answers, etc.
I know many of us Sunrisers are very disappointed in this change. We are not allowed to voice our opinions on this on a certain FB page, they get deleted. And they were nice, not bashing anyone.You just cannot get the same animal interaction at night that you can during the day.. There will no longer be the tracking and chase like during daylight. When an animal goes through the bushes, the camera will lose it. The drone is heard by many animals and disturbs them (see the one where Trishala even says something about how angry the bull elephant was over the drone as it waggled its head warning it and then fled from it.) The drives have changed, and not for the good. I will say goodbye as I can no longer see them live. Good Luck, however the drone is a loss for viewers.
I also am sad to see the change(s). I agree completely with Anne Vinden’s comment and with Brent when he said he missed the old days when he and James drove around trying to think of things to talk about. Those shows were wonderful spontaneous fun, which is what doesn’t seem to be around much anymore. Would Ralph get a chance now to roll over to a giraffe? But I still thank all of you for your dedication and love of the wild and sharing it with us. I has educated me and opened my eyes to a vast part of the world I knew little about.
This is horribly sad news. I am on Pacific Time in the US and these new drive hours are in the middle of my work day so I will no longer be able to view the drives. I actually like the sunrise drives the best.
Good luck with the new schedule, although for many of us it means no more live drive viewing.
So sorry to hear that there will be no more Sunrise Drive, but I do understand that change is inevitable in this day and age. We have been privileged indeed thus far in being able to view these incredibly interesting drives ‘live’, complete with the stunning sunrises in both Djuma and the Mara. There is something very special about welcoming a brand new day. Unfortunately I will be unable to watch ‘live’ anymore as Sunset drive has always been broadcast in the middle of the night, my time. I will never give up hope that the Sunrise Drives will return at some stage.
So thank you all for your excellent work, I have loved every minute.
I have been a viewer of SafariLive for several years. I also reside in the US on the east coast and primarily watch the Sunrise drive live as opposed to the Sunset. It has been very disappointing to see presenters such as James H, Tristan, Steve, Jaime, and Sydney pushed aside for new inexperienced people. I actually find that I am listening less and less with them because they don’t have anything to hold my interest. I have nothing against the new, but I enjoy the contributions and ideas of the others, and miss them. Consequently, I don’t want to even watch the recorded Sunset drives anymore.
I’ve lived long and am very familiar with change. It usually means someone doesn’t want to do something anymore. That’s your right. This was such a wonderful way to expose people to nature that many of us will never experience in person. Thank you for it…the loss will be hard to accept.
Like the other commenters here, I am an adult viewer living (and working) in the United States who, now that the Sunrise Drive has been cancelled, will no longer be able to watch, because the Sunset Drive takes place during my working hours. I appreciate that you now have a bunch of cool tech toys to play with, but in my opinion, a thermal feed doesn’t come close to the joy of watching as your fantastic camera operators capture birds, mammals, and other creatures during daylight hours. And watching the recording of a drive after the fact is something like watching a sports game on rerun — not anywhere near as enjoyable. I will really miss it.
I will never stop admiring what you do and offer but I am very sad indeed that things seem to be gradually changing in directions that make Safari Live somehow far less the unique thing it was. I caught the very end of the time when what we were privileged to be offered was a simple on line game drive – with usually just one guide – who was unmistakeably that – and not having to be a presenter too. The excitable tone that seems required of a presenter-entertainer is out of place I feel in this context. Our screens are already on overload with all that. And I am heartborken to be losing the Sunrise safaris. – especially sunrise in the Mara.
This would be my take as well. I remember not very long ago, guides saying how un-safari-like it would be to use the drones to find animals, and I agree…now it’s happening like it’s all that.. I loved the actual safaris of the past, but as the hyper changing from one guide to another became the thing, I’ve watched less and less, and while I enjoy some small amt of night drives, they are not remotely as interesting to me as light of day. Seems I will be watching even less now, if at all.
This is a real boneheaded move. I’m on the east coast of the US as well and can’t catch the sunset drives. FLIR is nice and all, but I don’t think anyone wants a black and white night safari otherwise, night after night. This is going to bite SL in the rear end in the long run, and bite hard.
I am one who does not like the drones or the spotlights. The drones make me see the after images of the horrific wildfires around the world. I won’t watch when the drone is operating. The spotlight waving around is totally annoying.
I‘m not too happy with this change either. I find it kind of disrespectful to bother the animals even longer hours in the dark. It also extends the total time of having vehicles around for flora and fauna. Including the commercial Lodges and the longer WE evening drives that sums up to approx. 10 hours daily. This is what worries me. We should be happy to be tolerated in animal kingdom but now I think we push the boundaries.
While I sympathise with those for who this might mean watching live is no longer possible, I for one can’t wait to see what you guys do with the night drives.
Safari Live has evolved massively in the time I’ve been watching (3 years or so). What you have built is as important as it is impressive.
I will miss the African sunrise – almost as much as I miss Brent – but I think this is an excellent decision.
Keep pushing forward and the work you do will continue to inspire.
Best of luck!
WE is obviously out of touch with its audience, such a shame
I’ve tried to always be supportive while this show changes. But its deeply disappointing that WildEarth is abandoning their American following with this move. Very few people are available to watch live during the hours this will be broadcast in the US. Like others have mentioned, it was a beloved way to wind down from a day. American fans helped grow this show and are now being left behind.
Extremely disappointing news.
If you don’t work this is fine, but for those that work this really sucks.
This is very disappointing. The sunrise drive is the only one I can watch live and interact with. Cancelling it cuts me off from the SafariLive community. Sad, sad news for me.
So now, apparently I can’t reply to a previous comment. I replies aren’t getting posted.
Like the other two commenters before me, I’m an adult watcher in the U.S., and I am also deeply disappointed that the Sunrise drive (which I would watch in the evening) will be discontinued. There is something about watching Safari Live, well, live, that is different from watching recorded versions, in the same way that watching the rerun of a sports game isn’t anywhere as fulfilling as watching it live. So now, unless I’m content to watch the reruns, I won’t be able to watch at all, because I work during the day and have errands to run on weekends. (And quite frankly, while all the new tech is interesting, it doesn’t broadcast nearly as well as the great daytime photography by your camera people.) I will miss you.
So disappointed. I enjoyed sunrise and adjusted to the time change recently at 11:30 PM USA eastern. I wish you would have made this change before the adjustment in time since that is all for nothing at this point. The veteran guides are hardly on LIVE anymore and they were a big draw for me to look forward to each day. Wiping out almost all daylight viewing of the beautiful scenery of Africa for black and white night scenes where you can’t see two feet in front of your face is absurd to me. I guess Hosana walked off the scene just in time.
Sorry to hear no more Sunrise drive. For those in the U.S.that work, we won”t get to see SafariLive anymore. Reruns on you tube really are not LIVE. We don”t see our regular guides Like James, Jamie, Tristian and Steve much anymore anyway so….. And down to one live cam (Djuma ) and one drive . What will we lose next?
I have to say this is a shame. I’m on the east coast of the US, a location that I’m willing to bet makes up many of your viewers. This change means that you’re only going to be broadcasting during working (and school) hours. Given that I am now a “cord-cutter”, meaning I have given up on standard broadcast and cable TV in favor of fare from streaming services, I can no longer relax in the evening watching SafariLIVE, arguably my favorite show. A favorite part of my life is disappearing. A real shame.
I hope you reconsider this drastic move, and think of just who your core audience in North America are, outside of the occasional schoolchildren. I will deeply miss you.
I agree with you, this is a major let down not only to you and I, but to many, as you well know. The sunrise drive was perfect timing for us, living in the Midwest. As a family, we looked forward to this each evening, so we will become creative with the time we spend together. Curious as to whether or not viewership will decline as well.
Well, guess I’ll be missing most of it then. If not all of SafariLIVE. Going to miss you guys a lot. Watching it pre-recorded isn’t the same. I’m generally off to work about an hour after the sunset drives begin anymore. This bites for those like me…. Oh well…. Everything must change, and end, I guess…
I feel like my friend died! This is good news for people on the other side of the world but here in the USA, I am not so sure. It is very difficult to see the sunset safari most of the year and the short time it is easier, it’s usually only the end that gets seen. I have tried watching the “re-runs” but personally for me it’s just not the same. I understand change and really expected this and more to come once TV came into play. I haven’t been a fan of watching animals in orange or black and white. I also take so many screenshots for reference photos for my painting.
For me personally, I am scared of how I am going to make it through the hardest part of my day! I started and continued watching to help me get through excruciating pain. The thrill of waiting to see my boy (Hosana) or the others and examining the strength of how animals can take such pain, well it is what has kept me going all these years. (Have watched since 2010 or so) I know that I am being selfish and guess I should try to be happy for you all and I will do my best to do just that. In many ways it feels like the family just moved even farther away and are going to be hard to see. Forgive my selfish feelings and rant but for myself I have to put it on paper. Congratulations on all the success you are having, hopefully I can see you soon! But mostly thank you for all the medicine, meditation and peace you have given me! I am so so very grateful!