Africa Safari: Day and Night game drives
Game drives are conducted in a open usually about 10 seater Jeep, and usually last about 3 hours.
I have my own preferred seat where I like to sit. Ask me and I will tell you.
Generally the game drive vehicle will have water, pair of binoculars for the guest to share, some bird and game identification books, as well blankets for the early am and evening game drives.
The partially hidden seat in the front of the jeep is the tracker seat. Not every lodge/camp utilizes the guide/tracker system, some just use a guide.
In the heat of summer the vehicle below has a canopy that goes over it.
This type of jeep game viewing system is prevalent in Southern Africa.
When you get to East Africa they usually use the pop top partially opens on a enclosed vehicle. In some camps you can upgrade to the open vehicle.
Africa safari game drive typical schedule:
- Early morning wake up call is usually between 430am and 530am depending on the season etc.
- A cup of tea, coffee, light snack, and then a 3 to 4 hour game drive.
- Return for breakfast.
- Some camps offer a bush walk.
- Midday meal.
- Free time until afternoon tea time.
- Then its the afternoon evening game drive.
- Back at about 730 to 830pm.
- Drinks, dinner, possibly sit around the fire.
Then its time to sleep, to be repeated the next day.
A magical time of the evening is the sunset stop while on the game drive.
Time to get of the vehicle, walk around, stretch the legs, have a drink, some snacks, use the bathroom, take some sunset photos.
Evening stop for drinks, snacks on a South Africa Safari
The Night Game drive
This then set sup the mysterious to many night drive, mysterious as most first time safari travelers don’t really know what to expect.
As the evening takes hold the tracker or guide brings out the spotting light.
Hyena spotted on a night game drive with spot light
It can be a little chilly on the vehicle as the night temperatures drop.
So what is looked for with this little beam of light….as it can be very hit and miss on what is seen on a night game drive which means that many times it can be quite boring and tiring for some.
The better night game drives will focus on and reveal insights and sightings to the smaller nocturnal life in the Africa bush.
This image shows you on the right how dark it was, and on the left the guides spot light lighting up this moment of a lion on a kill.
Sometimes seeing some of the night carnivores like lions and possibly leopards, elephant and or hyena are spotted.
Again a good example of how dark it was and the guides spot light lighting up these 2 lions looking for left overs while on a South Africa safari.
What is truly one of the highest level of guiding skills that you will encounter is when the tracker and or guide spots a tiny little owl or some other nocturnal animal sitting in a dense bush or tree, remembering that in order to see this the vehicle is moving and the spot light is moving from right to left and then back again.
It never fails to astound me that they can spot these animals as night.
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