Connecting people with nature is at the heart of what we do and never was that more pertinent than during a pandemic where people around the world found themselves locked in their homes. For the past 19 months, we have had the great privilege of broadcasting from two unique reserves in South Africa, &Beyond Ngala and &Beyond Phinda. As a result, we’ve been able to share with you, the antics of the rather unique Birmingham Pride with their white lion subadults, as well as some very compelling cheetah, rhino and tree-climbing lion sightings out of &Beyond Phinda.
The WildEarth safaris from these reserves presented an opportunity for &Beyond, as a travel company, to lighten the load of lockdown and keep travel-starved guests all over the world inspired by sharing the wildlife and conservation efforts in their beautiful locations. For WildEarth, it offered us a chance to bring our loyal viewers, the kind of excellent game viewing and diversity of nature subjects you have come to expect from us. Our partnership has proven to be as symbiotic as the examples we see in nature.
But as the COVID-tide slowly turns and the world starts to open to travel once again, it has become increasingly challenging for the &Beyond guides to balance the needs of their real-life safari guests and those that they have entertained and engaged in the virtual safari world. &Beyond strongly feels that it wants to provide only the best possible experiences. They have, therefore, had to decide that they need to pause their involvement in the WildEarth sessions until such time as they are able to provide guides on the consistent basis that you have become accustomed to in the past.
For this reason, &Beyond Phinda and &Beyond Ngala Private Game Reserves will be missing from our screens for the foreseeable future. You may have already noticed that the &Beyond guides haven’t been as present lately as the unpredictability of travel volumes has made it very difficult for &Beyond to adequately plan their guiding resources ahead of time. We are deeply sorry that this has not come with more advance warning, but we’ve been, together, trying hard to find a solution and a way to continue to have &Beyond be part of our daily safaris.
For now, we have not found such a way, but our hope is that once the erratic travel scales settle at a new normal, this will allow &Beyond to again find a balance that includes the &Beyond physical guests and WildEarth’s virtual guests so that broadcasts from &Beyond Phinda and &Beyond Ngala might resume. In the meantime, we would like to bid them goodbye and thank you.
We would also like to thank you, our viewers, for always sticking with us as we navigate all the big and small challenges that broadcasting live safaris into your homes brings as we pursue our mission of connecting you with amazing wildlife and much-loved characters.
Image credit: Sean Messham