Every day, we see and hear snorting antelopes, buzzing bees, chirping birds and the occasional laugh of a hyena. The ever fresh grunt of a hippo in the pool remains the signature tune for viewers wishing to experience African wilderness from the comfort of their homes or offices. For animal lovers and conservationists, Mpala is a safe haven for endangered and threatened animals including the African Elephant, Grevy’s zebra and reticulated giraffes. Through the technology in place, on the ground at Mpala and on explore.org, we all experience a personalized presence of the animals in our daily lives.
All the sights and sounds at the home of African wildlife on Explore enrich the Mpala Live! online educational content aimed at providing facts and fun by inspiring a new generation of conservation biologists. Thanks to the support of Explore, viewers can augment their experience with the live cams. Featuring original artwork by naturalist Lavinia Grant, the interactive field guide helps engage younger audiences with facts about the animals, locations, and the mystery of the African savanna. Users can filter animals based on class, eating habits and time of day they’re active. Clicking the flip cards brings up a detail page that helps the reader learn about the animal’s habitat, size, sounds, and even the Swahili pronunciation of the animal’s name. The guide is arguably the most complete online resource for East African animals and currently features 88 species and with the Mpala Live! team now working on adding more to the birds and reptiles section. In future, we hope to add sections on insects and flora.
The ultimate field trip for teachers and students can be found on the Classroom. For this journey, students virtually experience the sights and sounds of the lively river hippos and elephants, monkeys, zebras and giraffes as all come by for a cool drink. Teachers find lesson plans and classroom activities created by qualified educators, reviewed by scientists and field researchers, and adaptable to grades 1 – 8. The U.S. plans conform to national standards. The Kenya curriculum helps students connect with their environment.
Stories from the Bush feature Mpala researchers in the field talking about their work with the animals. These curated pieces give an insight into the lives of men and women in science and how their passion translates into cutting-edge research.
Through funding received from Explore, the world experiences the Living Laboratory that is the Mpala Research Centre, the home of African Wildlife on Explore.
Victor Kasii @mpalalive