Global IT giant Google is set to put Kenya’s Samburu National Reserve on its Street View platform, exposing it to millions who use the feature across the world.
Street View, a Google Maps feature, offers users a panoramic (360 degrees) view of a place. It works by searching an address on Google Maps.
The address and street imagery appears and by clicking on the image, a user can view a picture of the site. By moving the mouse around, a user can view all the buildings visible within 360 degrees, similar to what one would see if standing at the address.
Street View will also allow users to upload additional pictures of destinations that can be viewed by the public.
Kenyans currently have access to Street View images for other destinations including different states in the US, Europe, Australia and even South Africa but cannot upload or view images of local streets and sites.
Samburu National Reserve remains one of the few reserves that humans cohabit with elephants. It hosts approximately 160 elephant families, which translates to over 1,000 elephants.
Google plans to launch the feature in September through a partnership with Save the Elephants initiative.
The feature is expected to attract interest of potential visitors by offering them a glimpse of what they would see on a tour of the park.
National parks and reserves offer a key attraction to animal lovers who travel across continents to experience scenes such as the annual wildebeest migration at the Maasai Mara National Park, and also see elephants – whose population has been reduced significantly by poachers who kill them for their ivory.
In Africa, South Africa is currently the only country that has Street View. Kenya currently has access to the main Google Maps app that is used to find directions.
Users are also able to find the quickest and shortest routes to their destinations. Using the Google Maps, users can also zoom in for a satellite view of an area. The modern traveller has taken to the Internet to study the most exotic destinations to visit.