If you are anything like me getting your daily fix of nature in between (or whilst at) work can prove difficult. It seems that once you have been on a nature trip all you can think of is, when your next trip will be or how can I stay up to date with the nature. One way to get your daily fix is definitely through live cams or nature cams. The thinking behind these cams are that they are that the oeprators place a stationary camera at a waterhole or near somehting that animals will frequent in the hope of capturing some amazing sights.
So in an attempt to bring nature in to your living room, I give you…
The 10 best nature cams on the internet
Please note that I’ve personally researched and tried out every live cam on the list. There are many others which are not on the list, if you know of one that I’ve missed, please let me know. Please note that there are many cams which are from zoo’s or aquariums etc but the aim of this list is to be able to watch animals in the wild and not in captivity.
The one thing about the live cams is that many suffer from technical difficulities and watching them can turn what should be a fun experience in to a pretty frustrating one. For this reason I’m going to give you a warning, the live cams I’ve listed work pretty well but by the pure nature of what is trying to be achieved there will be technical issues. For example, placing a camera on a moving safari vehicle and sending a live feed back to viewers on the other side of the world is an awesome achievement so please keep this in mind when viewing them.
1) SafariLive Live Stream
The reason this is the top of the list is pretty simple, if you want to get the experience of a live game drive then this is the cam for you. The camera’s are mounted on two safari jeeps and 2 times per day they will head out on a safari drive in the Sabi Sand Wildtuin, from Djuma Game Reserve and Arathusa Safari Lodge. I’ve personally watched a few game drives (please note that they usually last 3 hours each but you can come and go as you please) and from what I have noticed the vehicle that you will view from is the vehicle which is having the best sightings.
To give you an idea I’ve just logged on to the SafariLive Live Stream and there is a leopard and her cub feeding on an impala kill. So I decided to test out some of the features and it is possible to rewind the stream. This allowed me to go back to when the leopards were first spotted. There is also the facility to comment on the drive as it happens.
At the time of writing this article there were 148,407 subscribers to the Youtube channel and 1,311 (fluctuates) watching at the same as me.
Definitely check this live cam out, it will give you the closest African Safari experience possible (without actually going on one live).
As of Saturday, May 11th 2019:
The Sunrise drive runs from 05:00-08:00 local time, which means start times of 23:00 EDT, 20:00 PDT, 04:00 in the UK [GMT], 05:00 in Central Europe, and 13:00 Sydney time.
The Tuesday to Thursday Sunset drive times are as follows:
The safari starts at 15:00 local time, 09:00 EDT, 06:00 PDT, 14:00 in the UK [GMT], 15:00 in Central Europe, and 23:00 Sydney time.
Our Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday Sunset drive times are as follows:
The safari starts at 16:00 local time, 10:00 EDT, 07:00 PDT, 15:00 in the UK [GMT], 16:00 in Central Europe, and 00:00 Sydney time.
2) Bears Salmon Run
The bear salmon run webcams are also very interesting to watch at they show bears hunting for salmon. Another great part of this webcam is if you visit the cam when the cameras are not filming you will be able to see highlights of bears fishing. The cameras are set up in the Katmai National Park in Alaska and give viewers the ability to select from 5 different cameras. The cameras or views range from underwarter cameras capturing the salmon to scenic views from Dumpling Mountain.
With the ability to select from 5 different cameras it does give you a great chance for seeing something exciting. The other benefit of the Bear Salmon run is that the camera’s are pretty clear.
To conserve solar power, the camera’s live hours are now 8:15am – 8:30pm AKT.
3) SAN Parks – Live Cams
The South African National Parks (SAN Parks) website maintains some WebCams for visitors to enjoy. These Cams are made up of four still cams and three live cams. The live WebCams are located at Ando elephant National Park, Orpen in the Kruger National Park and Satara in the Kruger National Park. The Still Cams take pictures at regular intervals and upload them to the website, where as the live cams are filming video as it happens. It is quite common to see animals come down and drink from the watering holes that the WebCams are situated at. The Webcams work well through out the day and night so no matter what time you view them you are able to see what is happening at the waterholes.
4) Mpala Live Cam – Watering hole view
There are four cam’s as part of this link, they are fixed cams in the Laikipia County, Central Kenya. They offer views over a watering hole, river and bushland. As the camera’s are fixed you are forced to wait for the animals to come to you, however with four different cams the wait is usually not that long. The main view is over the watering hole and it is very common to see hippos sunning on the banks or wading in the water. During the times I’ve viewed the cams I’ve also been able to watch elephants come down to the watering hole for a drink.
Whilst the cams are fixed they are very clear and there has been no technical problems whilst viewing them. Definitely worth watching if you would like to take in the views of an African watering hole.
5) NASA Earth from Space Live Stream
So it could be argued that this is not nature and I was undecided for a long time if to include this but eventually decided to include it. At the time of writing this article there are 3,430 people watching the cam. It is truly an incredible view of earth and whilst the NASA Youtube page includes a live stream, it also includes educational videos and other informative videos.
I’ve included a link to the main NASA Youtube page as there are more than just the live stream there.
6) Polar Bears – Tundra Buggy Polar Bears
These Cams are situated in Churchill, Manitoba in Canada and feature four different fixed cams. At the time I was viewing only one was live and the others were showing highlights. Admittedly there was a message informing me that it was off season and so the non-live cameras were showing highlights which I did stay and watch for a while.
The cameras are very clear and do not seem to have many technical difficulties. If you want to see a polar bear in the wild but are unable to get to Canada to view them, then this would be your next best option.
7) American Eagle Foundation Nest Cams
The American Eagle foundation has a series of four nest cams that have live feeds to bald eagles and their nest. The nest cams are made up of the Northeast Florida Nest Cam, Dollywood Nest Cam, National Arboretum Nest Cam and Smoky Mountain Nest Cam. The specific location of the cams has been kept private to protect the Eagles and their nest. The cams have provided a phenomenal educational impact into the bold eagle nesting process.
The Cams are there during the nesting process and start at the start of the nesting season and the viewers are able to watch the hatchlings grow and develop. During the process the viewers are able to chat to other viewers about what they are watching.
https://www.nefleaglecam.org/ – Northeast Florida Nest Cam
https://dweaglecams.org/ – Dollywood Nest Cam
https://naeaglecam.org/ – National Arboretum Nest Cam
https://smeaglecam.org/– Smoky Mountain Nest Cam
8) Djuma Private Game Reserve Live Stream
The Djuma Private Game Reserve Waterhole Cam started in 1998 and claims to be the oldest waterhole cam in Africa and the world. At the time of writing this article it has 36,800 subscribers to the youtube channel. If you’re lucky enough to be on the cam at the right time you can see anything from animals coming down to drink to one of the big cats making a kill close by.
The camera is remotely controlled by volunteers who log into the camera during their shift and are then able to control the zoom on the camera. Their role is to zoom and search for animals.
9) Gorilla Forest Corridor
The Gorilla Forest Corridor Cam is situated in Kasugho, Eastern DRC. The corridor connects the gorillas night quarters with the forest and allows the viewers to see the gorillas as they come and go from the forest. If you are there during the correct viewing times you can watch the gorillas come through and graze on vegetation and even nest for an overnight sleep.
A lot of the viewing is of the gorillas resting and sleeping and this is due to the amount that they eat and therefore they require those resting time to digests the food.
Best viewing times are 2am – 3.30am PDT and 5.30am – 7am PDT.
10) Shark Cam
The cams are situated 34 miles off the coast of Cape fear, North Carolina. The Frying Pan Tower, where the cameras are located, was originally built to warn boats of the shallow waters nearby and with the use of GPS the tower is no longer been used for this purpose. However, it is an important habitat for sharks, fish and other marine wildlife.
Best viewing times are all day.