Tuesday, 27 April 2010

WE are still here after 3 years ... :)

Well today is Freedom day here in South Africa. The day that our country had the first fully democratic election in which all South Africans could vote back in 1994. It is also the anniversary of the first LIVE safari broadcast from Djuma by WildEarth in 2007.
Technically it's not really WE's birthday, as WE had been operating at Djuma from September 2006 (preparing all the systems), WE were incorporated in August 2006, and the domain name (www.wildearth.tv) was registered in December 2005.
It's also not the first anniversary of the first LIVE safaris ever broadcast, as that accolade goes to AfriCam, when we did the first VGD (Virtual Game drive) in 1999, and the first streaming video game drives in 2001.
However, today is an emotional day for us. Not only because our whole country is celebrating democracy, but also because today WE can proudly say that for 3 whole years we have broadcast 2 LIVE safaris every day. Well almost every day ... about 98% of the days. :) As many of you know, this has taken a monumental effort from many many people. It is a huge achievement, of which WE are all very proud. 
From those early days on the Tank with Nick and Helen (pictured above), WE have endured many challenges. Some have been obvious to all like the limited access to viewers (80 slots), the technical difficulties with the Tank and the broadcast equipment, not to mention the loss of some very well loved crew and friends. Some of the challenges WE have faced have been less obvious like the loss of our primary revenue source and client, Telkom Media, and the financial challenges of employing a full time team at Djuma and broadcasting these immersive safari experiences to a global audience.
What has always kept us going has been a combination of the passion to share our wild places and the support from you our loyal viewer family. I can proudly say that today, 3 years on, our loyal family of supporters has grown substantially and our passion to share our WildEarth burns ever brighter ... it's in our nature.

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