Between 1998-2002, the dream of Africam became a rapidly growing reality, achieving many substantial successes along the way. However, the fallout from the 9/11 incident put a stranglehold on investments and the further advancement of Africam, resulting in a stagnant state for quite a while. While 3,400 members were registered, only a tenth were regular users.
A new stage of development began to take place in May, 2006, and with it came the first viewing of the live stream in September of the same year. This progress began to see many more users registering, along with many goals and expectations beginning to resurface for Africam as a whole. From that point on, a steady and strong increase of membership has climbed, with the bulk of our memberships registering in the past year.
On June 17 of the current year, at approximately 11:15 p.m., while watching the cams and listening to the teasing sounds of the nightlife around the waterholes, Africam's little chat room came alive. A quick message had just been posted across the top of the screen saying:
“We’ve just reached 50,000 registered members at Africam!!!”
The handful of folks in the chatroom lit up with excitement, the tweep came across the internet, the forum posted the milestone and we all sat back to appreciate the hard work and amazing talent that has attracted so many people to such a wonderful place.
As Africam continues to grow and extend its presence across the internet, Jon Oliver, CEO of Africam, wants the new viewers to remember:
“Animals have their own agenda; they will only appear when they want to. It’s totally unscripted and spontaneous. In the meantime, there is plenty of other non real time information on the site, including video clips, blogs, and the forum.”
Jon himself has seen many changes through the growing years, but cherishes one in particular:
“One of my favorite memories has to be the very first cam stream of Nkorho at 4:30 a.m. CAT in September, 2006. After battling with telecommunications companies for about 36 hours, it finally became a reality.”
As we celebrate the 50,000 member mark and look forward to the moment we hit 100,000, there are many dreams and hopes for Africam. One of Jon's is:
“Our goal right now is to present real wildlife for everybody at a reasonable cost. People do not necessarily have to fly here (bad for carbon footprint) in order to appreciate the animals, or even view via expensive cable/subscription TV."
And, as Jon notes:
“The 50,000 membership mark has been reached over the last 3 years but by far the bulk of this growth has been over the last 9-12 months. Many thanks for taking the time to stop by and register. It allows us to be able to help you appreciate that Africam has a lot to offer, even if there were no critters on your first stop. We are not trying to be like TV…it’s about the animals, not the people.”
Yes indeed Jon, it is about the animals...and Africam's unique way that they allow us to watch, interact, and learn about each one of the amazing creatures that call Africa home.
From all of us at Africam, to each of you registered members…We share our thanks and gratitude for your dedication to this site as we move on through the ever wondrous journey of the African bush.