Google Street View is one of the coolest bits about Google Maps where you travel around the world while sightseeing without leaving your seat. They initially launched in the US in 2007 and other developed countries have had their cities and landmark sites being mapped on Street View ever since. However in the case of Africa, only Egypt and countries in the southern part of Africa have had their landmarks be photographed and added to Google Street View.
Well, today, Kenya has joined the other countries in Africa where you can now see elephants in Samburu National Reserve in Street view. Kenya Tourism Board tweeted about this new development in the morning:
Samburu national park becomes the 1st park in Kenya to be accessible with street view.
— Kenya Tourism Board (@MagicalKenya) September 15, 2015
This project was in partnership with the well known David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Samburu National Reserve, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Save the Elephants and also with the support of the Samburu County Government. It was no mean feat since it involved a total of 845,000 hours of GPS tracking, 20,655 recorded field observations and individually identifying 1,450 elephants.
Ian Douglas Hamilton, the founder of Save the Elephants commented about the new development:
“I’m thrilled to share the place I love on Street View and let people everywhere roam across elephant rage on a voyage of digital discovery. We hope that experiencing this area on Google Maps and Google Earth brings you a deeper understanding of elephants…“
This is a noble initiative by the partners so as to showcase to the world not only elephants, but other animals too in their natural habitat which could lead to increased visits from tourists or donor funding to support the conservancies.
*Spoiler alert: Those elephants have names.