Gondwana’s Namib webcam has over 200,000 subscribers

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Staff reporter

WITH 200,000 subscribers and over 1,000 viewers from around the world at any one time, the Gondwana Collection Namibia webcam, positioned at the Namib Desert Lodge waterhole, outperforms many other webcams on the continent.

Gondwana, in a statement, said the NamibiaCam YouTube channel is growing in popularity, reaching people everywhere and making a difference in the lives of many.

“Stories are pouring in from the NamibiaCam community of the positive impact the wildlife camera is having on children overseas, terminally ill patients, children with autism and even an emergency rescue center in San Francisco. It has inspired poetry, showcases nature and wildlife and motivates people to put a visit to Namibia on their bucket list,” according to Gondwana.

The success of NamibiaCam is due to Gondwana Collection Namibia’s IT and marketing team, in particular IT expert Jens Viëtor.

It started with a totally different goal in mind.

Jens originally installed cameras at the Gondwana Collection lodges in 2010 to collect information for the weather site, NamibiaWeather.

This included Namib Desert Lodge with its spectacular backdrop of fossilized dunes.

The small waterhole, a few kilometers from the main lodge, proved to be an ideal site, visited by hundreds of oryx, springbok, zebra, wildebeest and, more recently, to everyone’s delight, a leopard and a cheetah with their cubs.

In 2016, Jens set up a link between the waterhole and the lodge to allow him to upload the snapshots that were taken at minute intervals, and he installed a television in the reception area so that the customers can see the antics of the watering hole.

When the lodge’s internet was upgraded a few years later, he was able to upload live video footage and stream it live on the NamibiaWeather website. Viewership on the site quickly grew to 4,000 a day and the webcam received high praise on TripAdvisor.

When in 2021 a viewer posted one of the webcam videos on YouTube, the Gondwana team was encouraged to do the same and registered the YouTube channel, NamibaCam, in May this year.

They hit a big milestone with the first 100 subscribers and in July they added a chat feature.

People from all over the world started chatting and a community was quickly established. Jens added a microphone to the webcam and the number of subscribers grew steadily, reaching a thousand at the end of October.

He then took it a step further with an innovative burst of Gondwana spirit, and in early December decided to host an online Q&A at the watering hole.

He surprised viewers by appearing on camera wearing an elephant mask and answering questions about the region and Namibia in general, playing the role of a true Namibian ambassador. People loved it.

A Japanese viewer drew a graphic of Jens in front of the waterhole, which went viral and subscribers reached 100,000.

The chain reached the top in Germany where it remained for four consecutive days.

Jens then topped the elephant mask on December 24 and chatted to viewers at the watering hole wearing a Christmas hat, accompanied by a security guard in a Santa Claus outfit.

It had a huge impact and the next day when an elegant giraffe bent down to quench its thirst, 8,500 viewers were in line to watch it.

By the end of April, subscribers had reached 200,000 and the YouTube channel had become one of the most subscribed wildlife channels in Africa. A video feature was added so people could watch live footage they had missed.

Jens continues to engage with the webcam community, spreading a good word about the planet about protecting the environment, our wildlife, sustainability and ecotourism and passing on the Gondwana Collection philosophy of giving back. to nature what belongs to nature.

To share the adventure, go to https://www.youtube.com/c/NamibiaCam

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