Storyteller, keen amateur photographer, trained safari guide, field presenter and eco-warrior of sorts, Samir Randera-Rees has a Masters in conservation and an enormous passion for wildlife. This is evident in his new venture, a super-smart app called Whispers of the Wild.
Sawubona caught up with him for a quick Q&A.
Q: What is the Whispers of the Wild app all about?
A: Whispers of the Wild is an audio guide to African wildlife and the key is in that word “audio”. The idea is that the app can act like a digital guide which gives safari-goers the answers to their questions in a very entertaining manner. The beauty of the audio medium is that you can keep your attention on what you’re out there to see – the animals – but you can still absorb fascinating information while you’re watching them.
Q: Who is your audience?
A: The main audience for this app are self-driven safari-goers: the millions of people that visit Africa’s magnificent national parks without a guide. (The app is not limited to self-driven safari-goers, though. Even if you have a guide, there’re many instances where the guide isn’t available to answer your questions).
Q: How does the app work?
A: The app covers about 60 African mammals that you may encounter while on safari in southern and East Africa. When you see an animal, the app helps you to identify what you’re looking at with easy-to-use tools and keys that help you narrow down your search. Once you think you’ve found your animal, you can open its profile and see stunning photos that will help you distinguish between males, female and juveniles.
The audio is broken up into convenient one- to two-minute tracks that cover different themes. This allows you to pick and choose the information that interests you the most.
On top of that, for some animals you can listen to the noise that they make, which is great for the kids. You can also see where they’re found and what their footprints look like.
If your question isn’t answered, you can also ask a question which automatically gets posted on our Twitter feed and will be answered quickly.
Q: What do you aim to achieve with this app?
A: Seeing animals is an incredible experience, but when you give a story to that animal, it starts to mean a whole lot more to you. I believe this is an integral part of the safari experience. Some of that information will stick in the recesses of your mind and make you love nature more. It’ll make your safari experience more special.
That’s what I hope to achieve with Whispers of the Wild. I hope to give more people the complete safari experience and to create more nature lovers.
Most importantly, the app allows you to take a little piece of the African bush back with you when you return home, whether it’s to show your friends and family what you saw or to simply replay the lion call that sent chills down your spine while you were sitting around the camp fire.
For more information, visit the website or, for some quick inspiration, watch the video: