Introducing the World's Best WebCam

The world's BEST webcam? Yes, I am pretty sure I have found it.

It is at AfriCam, and it is pretty amazing. Ten or more individual cams are trained on various spots in southern African game reserves. These cameras enable you to see not only elephants and zebras gathering at their waterholes, but monkeys and leopards in nearby trees. Honestly, I have never seen anything like it!

To see a live image, go to the AfriCam home page and choose a cam from the list on the left. If there are no animals shown in one, chances are still good that you will find some at another. The cam sites are on Central African Time, which is 7 hours ahead of Eastern U.S. time (or 10 hours ahead of Western Time). Admittedly, some times are better for viewing than others. The best hours seem to be during our morning hours (i.e., 9:00 a.m. - Noon, ET) and very late night (i.e., 1:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m. ET).

AfriCam offers two special features to help you find live images of the animals whenever you happen to be viewing. One, called "Cam Scan" is located at the bottom of the first (or lefthand) column on the home page. It places the present image of one cam on your screen, and then slowly checks out all the other cams. A complete cycle takes about 5-6 minutes. Perhaps even better is "Cam Tracker," located at the top of the same lefthand column. Cam Tracker shows the last shot "taken" by another viewer at one of the cams, and thus clues you in to what is most interesting at any of the locations. (You can also find Cam Tracker by following this link.)

Can't find any worthwhile images at the moment? Then it's just a matter of time. You can establish that fact by looking through some of the images collected in AfriCam's Highlights section. Here you will find not only yesterday's Pic of the Day but also approximately 20 additional images captured on the same day.

In fact Highlights contains literally thousands of images captured during the past one and one-half years, in the Previous Months, Pic of the Week, and Pic of the Month sections.

There are other special features as well, including the incomparable Polar Bear Cam Album, containing images captured during October and November 2000, at a cam that is now inactive.

It is not easy to grasp just how much photographic information is available at this site. After you finish with some of the above sections, you might also want to check out a few of the feature articles (which include a number of additional slideshows); one or more of the short videos; the articles on past cams (see middle of righthand column on this page); or the various field guides.

You can see nearly everything without registering as a "member," but membership does have a few privileges. Registration is simple and only takes a minute or two.

January 19, 2001