The global coronavirus pandemic is affecting everyone on our planet at the moment and self-isolation for now seems to be the best way to defeat this virus. "Prevention is better than cure", as they say and that means that we all need to stay at home to help prevent the spread of the virus.
As of the time of writing (12th April, 2020), more than a fifth of the world's population is under some form of lockdown and this of course means no travelling, no exploring, no safaris, no museums, no theme parks.... you see what I mean. For us at RBOF, this also means no going out into nature, no self-drives, no picnics by the lake... But thankfully we can still get to see some fascinating, exhilarating and thrilling places from the comfort of our own homes through a wide variety of virtual, online tours of castles, gardens, mountain passes, zoos and roller coasters!
Here are some of the places we've found online that you, your family or your kids can visit and explore during your respective lockdown. Let us know what's your best tour in the comments at the bottom of this page and feel free to share this article with your family and friends!
The Lost Roman City of Pompeii
Pompeii was a Roman City near Naples which was buried under volcanic ash in AD79 after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. David Gilmour of the English rock band Pink Floyd notably held a couple of thrilling live concerts at Pompeii over the years. You can go on a virtual tour of this ancient city with drone footage that will take you through and above the city.
Click on the link here.
Palaces & Castles
The folks over at Google Arts & Culture, thanks to Google Street View, give you the chance to explore the grounds and interiors of some the most fascinating palaces and castles across Europe, including Buckingham Palace and Edinburgh Castle.
Click on the names below to visit their respective tours:
Royal Palace of Caserta
Off-roading in South Africa
"Mountain Passes of South Africa" is a website we recently came across when a link of theirs was shared on Facebook. The site has a massive collection of articles about various tracks and passes in South Africa that have been explored, filmed and uploaded onto the website. Paid members can access all the passes and watch videos as if they are driving the tracks in the comfort of their own 4x4 vehicle. Anyway, the link on Facebook mentioned that due to the lockdown in effect in South Africa (and elsewhere), the site will allow free access to all its videos so that you and I can pretend we're somewhere, in the middle of nowhere, engaging low-range, steering our 4x4 along a steep, rocky impasse, followed by a snowy trail leading down to thick, deep desert sand.... (*sigh*)
Check out the Mountain Passes of South Africa website here.
"Hidden beneath the surface are more than 119 caves — formed when sulfuric acid dissolved limestone leaving behind caverns of all sizes.” That sums up what one can see at the Carlsbad Caverns (located in the National Park of the same name), in New Mexico (USA). But instead of going out all the way to New Mexico (not that you can go anywhere now), you can visit these massive caves on a virtual tour with interactive buttons on screen and a narrator that you can pause.
Click for virtual tour here.
Theme Rides & Roller Coasters
Due to extreme social distancing, going to theme parks, adventure parks and so on, is a big "No-No", but we managed to dig up some virtual rides that can be quite head-whirling if you can watch it on a big enough screen! From Disney World to Harry Potter to extreme roller coasters, get ready for some wild rides!
Roller coasters galore at "Canada's Wonderland"
Disney World rides - click here
Seaworld rides - click here
Thrilling 360° virtual rides and roller coasters at "Universal Resort Orlando"
The "culture" aspect of the Google Arts & Culture virtual online presence is given a nod with the collaboration between Google and over 2500 galleries and museums from around the world. What you have as a result is an online collection of all these cultural venues that you can choose from and explore, from your couch, bed or patio!
Check out the collections on the Google Arts & Culture page here.
Night at the Opera
For the lovers of the finer things in life, the Metropolitan Opera House in New York has live streams on its website of various classical operas such as Don Pasquale and Romeo & Juliet.
Visit the Met Opera website here.
Back To Nature
One thing we miss now during the lockdown is going out into nature for a hike, bird-watching or just to connect with the outdoors again. We did come across some links for tours of enchanting, lush, green gardens from France to the UK to Hawaii. Go on, have a little stroll...
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
The Royal Botanic Gardens
Claude Monet's garden at Giverny
Chicago Botanic Garden
Let's Visit the Zoo
Zoos are another fun place that have closed all over the world due to the coronavirus. The Cincinnati Zoo in the US has, however, a live stream on it's Facebook page that you can follow (or watch later) that let's you "feed the baby hippo", "hang out with the giraffes" or admire the fish in the aquarium!
Check out the Cincinnati Zoo Facebook Live Videos page here.
A Tourist In Your Own Living Room
Fancy a walk around the Acropolis in Athens, Greece? Keen to soak up the sun on the warm beaches of the Canary Islands? Want to do some window shopping in Havana, Cuba? Well then check out the Living Walks Youtube channel and transport yourself to almost anywhere in the world!
Click: Living Walks Youtube Channel
"Go, Travel, Explore"
That was the slogan that defined the purpose of Road Beneath Our Feet, when we first came up with the idea for the blog in 2016. In times like these, when you can't go out exploring, at least not for the time being, we find ourselves looking through the video clips that we recorded of the places we have been to, the roads we took, the animals we encountered and the camps we've slept in. So we thought we'd let you know (if you didn't already) that RBOF has it's own little Youtube channel where we have a small (but worthy) collection of videos filmed during our adventures to the various national parks, game reserves, lodges and camps around Botswana. Have a peek and we hope you enjoy them too!
Click: The Road Beneath Our Feet Youtube channel
We hope there are at least a few options in the list above to keep your lust for adventure, the outdoors, nature, culture and adrenaline satisfied, at least for the time being. Let us know in the comments below which are your favourite or share links to any virtual tours or videos that you have seen as well!
Keep safe, stay home and together we can beat this virus!
"We are a Botswana-based family of 3, with a passion for going out into nature and the bush any chance we get!"