Stuck on a staycation? Need some travel inspiration? Here, thanks to some well-placed webcams, are 10 local getaways you can enjoy without leaving your couch.
South Africa's been under lockdown for over a year now, and the nation is getting serious cabin fever. While limited road trips and weekends away are possible, there's still a general sense that we're overdue for a lekker, long holiday. But tell that to the coronavirus. As long as COVID-19 is still out there, we're all going to be stuck (on one level or another) at home, looking for inspiration for our next big trip.
If you're seriously missing the bumper-to-bumper of your office commute, you could feast your eyes on i-TRAFFIC's highway cams. If you're missing your auntie in Moreleta Park, there is, bizarrely, a static webcam for that, too. And, heck, if you're feeling patriotic during the national vaccine roll-out, you can always admire Graaff-Reinet's Giant Flag project through Google Maps.
But if you want a real taste of what you're missing, you need to check out the live webcams of South Africa's beautiful beaches and wildlife. To help you along – and to save you from the awkward consequences of googling 'live webcams' on your work computer – we've put together a list of our favourites.
This live video stream, from a camera perched atop Bungalow 59, gives you views of the white sands, blue waters and clearly-don't-have-a-day-job bodies of Clifton on Cape Town's famous Atlantic Seaboard.
Want some Table Mountain action? Rietvlei, just outside Table View, is here for you with a lovely view of the national icon. (If you can see it through the smog...)
One more from the Fairest Cape: this split-screen live feed of the promenade at False Bay's Strand Beach has the added entertainment factor of watching Cape Town drivers do their thing.
East London's lovely (and warm-watered) Nahoon Beach has rolling waves and a wide stretch of sand, and – when the weather's right – a healthy dose of surfers.
Now this, as any proud Dolphin Coaster will tell you, is what a real beach looks like. There are live cams all along this stretch of coastline, at Willard Beach and Granny's Pool, and even at Salmon Bay - but it's hard to beat the view of Thompson's Bay. Safe, sheltered and shark-free, it's so serene you'll wish you were there.
The folks at Snow Report have a blizzard of static webcams posted around the country. Can't decide between Driehoek, Tillietudlem and Away with the Fairies? Then go for the Drakensberg's gorgeous Cathedral Peak. The image updates every five minutes or so, but not much changes in between. That's half the beauty of it.\
Speaking of static cams, SANParks has a whole bunch of them set up at places like Addo and Nossob (in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park). You'll want to tune into the mack daddy, though: Kruger. Not much happens in Punda Maria (nothing ever does...), but there's always something to see at Orpen and Satara.
Elephants? Check. Giraffes? Check. Zebras? Check. Lions? Yup, if you get your timing right. The dynamic camera at Tau Game Lodge, out in Groot Marico near the Botswana border, is designed to pick up movement – so you're all but guaranteed to see wildlife.
Switch off your Spotify, crank up your home fibre connection, and enjoy the sights – and sounds! – of northern Tongaland's Tembe Elephant Park. Again, it's an Explore Africa cam, so it pans, tilts and zooms looking for animals. But even if there aren't any beasties to see, you'll definitely hear them.
Finally, another wildlife cam with audio accompaniment. This camera is controlled by a group of volunteers, though – so you have your own safari guide deciding what you'll see. The running commentary on the YouTube feed is a nice added touch, making you feel like you're right there in Sabi Sabi, even if you're actually stuck at your desk in an endless Teams meeting.
Travel bug biting yet? We bet it has. Now that you're done watching the webcam hippos, let our Hippo show you a range of holiday experiences across the world. When you're done comparing those, have a look at our selection of affordable holiday packages, then compare travel insurance quotes and start planning your big post-pandemic getaway!
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.