Armchair Traveller: A safari in South Africa right now


Just a few kilometers off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa’s Robben Island ( has a long and dark history. Originally farmed by Dutch settlers, Robben Island is famous for its use as a maximum-security prison for political prisoners during the Apartheid era, but the island was used for banishment and imprisonment from as early as 1615, when 10 English convicts were sent to the island. Robben Island famously held Nelson Mandela for 18 years of the almost 30 he spent incarcerated.

The site, now a museum, is now offering virtual tours, which allow you to interact with a map of the island to discover its cemeteries, barracks and shipwrecks that are dotted around this precarious spot.


At the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg (, you’ll find one of the largest art collections in Africa, which can now be explored through 3D tours (and virtual reality for those who have a headset). The collection is privately held but publically accessible, and showcases the work of young African artists in particular.

At the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art ( in Cape Town – Africa’s first contemporary art museum – you’ll find 3D and virtual tours of its collections, as well as audio tours of the museum’s collections and architecture. The commentaries come from artists, curators, architects and designers, and are available in English as well as three local languages.


Experience the wildlife of South Africa through WildEarth’s daily sunrise safari (search for WildEarth on YouTube), which feature drives through game parks with guides answering questions from the virtual audience.

Or follow along at Singita, Sabi Sands ( as a safari guide and photographer post regular video updates of their adventures tracking lions, leopards, elephants and more.

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