23-08-2021 by Leni Frau
Electric' safaris in the Maasai Mara reserve, the world's number one paradise for wilderness lovers.
But electricity is not just about strong emotions that reach the heart with a charge of beauty and involvement, it is about the introduction, by a Kenyan-Swedish company, of the first off-road vehicles with electric motors. A revolution that could change the way people go on safari and at the same time further protect animals and the environment.
Not to mention the savings: recharging the batteries (possibly with a generator) guarantees savings of almost half the cost of locomotion, not to mention the fact that the price of fuel is constantly rising and that the possibility of charging the batteries using solar panels is currently being studied, thus activating a totally eco-sustainable circuit.
The Opibus company, founded in 2017 in Nairobi, specialises in converting safari vehicles, both diesel and petrol, to electric power. So it's not about new off-road vehicles, but you can make a Toyota Land Cruiser or Land Rover 'hybrid' or fully electric.
So the first Land Cruisers have appeared and the animals seem to have christened them in the best possible way. As driver and specialist tour guide Sylvester Mukenye told the Reuters news agency: "If you drive silently, you can obviously get much closer to the animals, especially the elephants, because there are no vibrations on the ground or fuel fumes in the air, so they are less disturbed and may even approach the vehicle with curiosity.
This is what happens with lions and other animal species, Mukenye says.
In a short time, Opibus confirms, there are already 10 off-road vehicles in Kenya converted and powered entirely by electric batteries, three of which are already operational in the Maasai Mara.
The Nairobi-based company uses as much Kenyan-made materials as possible for the conversion.
Those who work in the safari field, who love nature and its conservation as they say they do, and who want to live and let their customers live even more intense and real experiences, should at least think about the hybrid.
(photo taken from Opibus Facebook Page)
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