andBeyond’s Virtual Travel Experiences Help Fund Conservation
Building on the success of their live streaming game drives, conservation-led luxury travel company andBeyond has extended its range of virtual safari and travel offerings to help fund conservation initiatives at the reserves that they manage, while keeping the dream of travel alive.
Recognising the need for travel addicts to continue to make a meaningful connection with their favourite holiday destinations, the company began streaming twice-daily three-hour WILDwatch Live safaris at the beginning of April. Encouraged by a positive response from thousands of travel and wildlife enthusiasts, the brand has now launched andBeyond Connect, a range of virtual experiences aimed at giving their audience a taste of travel without the need to leave their living room.
While most of the offerings are available on a complimentary basis, the private online experiences offer a greater level of personalisation, with a percentage of the profits dedicated to conservation.
The range includes a weekly selection of live and recorded programmes, the ability to book private online experiences hosted by andBeyond guides, a travel-inspired digital magazine and a podcast channel with four themed shows.
andBeyond’s twice-daily, three-hour live safaris will continue on WILDwatch Live. Helping to grow a new generation of conservation-minded travellers, andBeyond guides are also hosting the WILDchild TV: Becoming a Ranger series, which includes fun and entertaining activities and information for children. While the separate episodes are pre-recorded, there is also the option of booking live Q&A sessions aimed specifically at children. These provide young viewers with the opportunity to have all their questions answered. andBeyond rangers also give out tips and advice on activities for children to carry out at home.
Virtual experiences to fund conservation
Combining the growing need for more personal online connections with the opportunity to raise funds for conservation, andBeyond has also added a range of virtual experiences that can be booked online. The company has kicked off with the opportunity for erstwhile travellers to book a private Zoom session with one of the WILDwatch Live guides for themselves and up to five friends, using a maximum of up to six links. This allows wildlife enthusiasts to learn more about the animals seen on the live-streamed drives and to reconnect with their favourite guides virtually while making a contribution towards essential conservation efforts. While 10 per cent of the fee goes towards Africa Foundation, andBeyond’s community development partner of choice, the remainder is split between funding essential habitat maintenance, sustainability and conservation initiatives at the reserves, as well as the andBeyond guides.
Additional experiences coming soon include the ability to either watch the three-hour WILDwatch live broadcast with a private guide or to have an andBeyond guide interpret custom recorded content live. There will also be the ability to book Q&A slots on the Protect Our Planet series, hosted by conservation experts. Live cooking and cocktail demonstrations, as well as yoga and meditation sessions, are also planned.
With the print issue of this magazine available to in-lodge guests once travel resumes, andBeyond is bringing these carefully curated and experientially narrated stories to armchair travellers by way of a dynamic digital version.
Themed podcasts for personal conversations
Recognising that the best stories take place around a campfire, andBeyond is offering a selection of four themed podcasts that range from conversations with wildlife and conservation experts to informal chats about life in the bush, as well as tips and tricks on all kinds of topics, from design to photography.