News update: 31st May
The intense interest surrounding the recent IPO of Facebook on the NASDAQ was an amazing indicator of the reach and power of social networks. Few could have predicted the scale and speed at which various social media platforms have become an important means of keeping in touch with friends and business for millions of people around the world – in real time. Smart phones and iPads have made news uploading virtually instantaneous. Sabi Sabi could not remain untouched by the fast evolving cyberworld, and although the reserve itself has been largely unchanged for centuries, there are now thousands of online friends watching and reading the daily happenings in this remote part of the African continent on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The driving force behind Sabi Sabi’s social media programme is Richard de Gouveia. Richard, who is a ranger of note and a talented photographer, has expanded his bushveld horizons. He has developed into a fascinating storyteller and is now the Sabi Sabi blogger. Richard’s regular blog brings the bush alive for followers across the globe with up-to-date information on wildlife sightings, animal encounters, bird viewing and weather phenomena. In just a few short months, the blog, which is written in Richard’s distinctive “in the moment” style, has attracted a huge list of followers.
Sabi Sabi has developed a very strong presence on Facebook. Many of the other rangers are also keen photographers and this social medium gives them a platform on which to share their special photographs quickly and easily. Pictures and videos are posted daily, and there are dozens of likes, shares and back and forth comments on each photograph that makes it to the Sabi Sabi Facebook page.
Twitter and Facebook have also become a very effective means for Sabi Sabi to keep current happenings absolutely up to date, and to reach guests who may already be travelling. In February, when floods forced some lodges to close, Facebook posts and Twitter tweets kept tourists informed about developments; while the daily blog charted the rising water levels and resultant effects on the bush.
And of course, let’s not forget YouTube and its ability to take videos viral. Sabi Sabi’s most exciting wildlife moments are captured on video and swiftly uploaded to YouTube to be enjoyed by thousands across the world.
For the more structured information that potential visitors require, the Sabi Sabi website gives a comprehensive look at the reserve, its lodges, the wildlife, rates, programmes and viewing lists; while this fortnightly electronic newsletter gives a synopsis of news and events.