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Daredevil Kenya Minister Skydives Into Watamu

Daredevil Kenya Minister Skydives Into Watamu
Highlights

Unique wildlife project broadcasts of lions and underwater sea turtles in their natural habitat;includes turtlecam footage obtained via camera...

Unique wildlife project broadcasts of lions and underwater sea turtles in their natural habitat;includes turtlecam footage obtained via camera strapped to turtle’s back

  • World’s first live broadcast of rehabilitated turtles being released into the Indian Ocean and tracked via underwater camera
  • Kenya’s new Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Najib Balala, took a leap of faith in his new role by skydiving onto the beach at Watamu

#KenyaLive, the latest campaign from Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism ended on a high with the adventurous new Cabinet Secretary for Tourism (Minister), Najib Balala, officially marking his arrival into his new role with an impressive skydive onto the beach in Watamu – all broadcast live via the Periscope app.

The #KenyaLive campaign also saw the CS Balala getting involved in the rehabilitation of turtles as part of the Local Ocean Trust Project in the coastal town of Watamu. Live broadcasts on Periscope showed rescued and rehabilitated turtles being released back into the Indian Ocean. For the first time ever, live footage was even recorded underwater via a GoPro camera strapped to a turtle’s shell.

“Ending this campaign in Watamu is the perfect way to show what beautiful beaches Kenya has to offer – and the huge variety of activities that visitors can try, I can now personally recommend the skydiving for an adrenaline rush! In the last month there have also been several new tourism incentives announced to attract increasing numbers of tourists to Kenya’s beaches. These include a rebate programme for Mombasa charters, waived landing fees for charters, reduced national park entry fees to a maximum of USD $60 from February 2016 and waived visa fees for children under 16. There is a major programme in place to support the tourism industry – it is the second largest revenue generator of the economy and we have plenty to offer visitors from around the world,” said Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Kenya.

The partnership between Make It Kenya, Discover Africa and HerdTracker progressed from the Mara, which gave viewers the chance to enjoy a virtual night safari, live from their homes, to the coastal town of Watamu where the team worked with the Local Ocean Trust Project to release rehabilitated turtles.

Earlier, during the #KenyaLive campaign, hundreds of people around the world logged in via Twitter’s Periscope app, to watch the world’s first live lion interaction at night from Olare Motorogi and Naboisho Conservancies of the Maasai Mara. In a major highlight during the lion week, a mother lioness in the OlareMotorogi area showed off her six new one-month old lion cubs to safari guides for the very first time. "This is the first time the mother has shown the cubs to any guests or guides from the area," a guide said. Viewers logged in via their mobile phones, tablets or computers through Periscope and MakeItKenya.com saw the cubs playing while animated hearts (Periscope's equivalent of "likes") flooded the screen. The cubs played, stumbled and pounced on each other for over an hour just as dusk descended around us," recalled chief photographer Stuart Price. Price's photos are the first ever taken of these lion cubs, set against a moody dark sky, with a thunderstorm rumbling across the plains in the distance.

Safari hosts Carel Verhoef and Andre Van Kets of DiscoverAfrica.com and HerdTracker led the broadcast team throughout the #KenyaLive campaign, using cutting edge technology –including the carefully secured GoPro cameras tethered to a turtle – to gain exclusive world-first content.

All of the broadcasts can be viewed on HerdTracker’s YouTube channel.


Photo1 CAPTION:
KENYA, Masai Mara: The #KenyaLive campaign broadcast live via Twitter’s Periscope app enabled people around the world to watch the world’s first live lion interaction at night from Olare Motorogi and Naboisho Conservancies of the Masai Mara. In a major highlight during the lion week, a mother lioness in the Olare Motorogi area showed off her six new one-month old lion cubs to safari guides for the very first time. The cubs played, stumbled and pounced on each other for over an hour just as dusk descended.
MANDATORY CREDIT: MAKE IT KENYA PHOTO / STUART PRICE

Photo2 CAPTION:
KENYA, Watumu Beach: The #KenyaLive campaign from Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism ended on a high with the adventurous new Cabinet Secretary for Tourism (Minister), Najib Balala, officially marking his arrival into his new role with an impressive skydive onto the beach in Watamu – all broadcast live via the Periscope app. Subsequently, CS Balala got involved in the rehabilitation of turtles as part of the Local Ocean Trust Project in the coastal town of Watamu. Live broadcasts on Periscope showed rescued and rehabilitated turtles being released back into the Indian Ocean. For the first time ever, live footage was even recorded underwater via a GoPro camera strapped to a turtle’s shell.
CREDIT: MAKE IT KENYA PHOTO

Photo3 & Photo4 CAPTION:
KENYA, Watumu Beach: The #KenyaLive campaign witnessed Cabinet Secretary for Tourism (Minister) Najib Balala releasing rehabilitated sea turtles back into their natural habitat. Part of the Local Ocean Trust Project, the live broadcasts on Periscope showed rescued and rehabilitated turtles being released back into the Indian Ocean. For the first time ever, live footage was even recorded underwater via a GoPro camera strapped to a turtle’s shell.

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