People ask me what the days look like on a wildlife safari in Africa. To be brief; they are beautiful but can also be exhausting, depending how enthusiastic you are and how long your guide is willing to take you out for. But most people find it refreshing to be in the bush and can forget about their daily lives. And remember, you can always get more rest when you get back home!!
Rising early and your morning-game drive.
In general (if you wish) you wake up very early in the morning. (Personally I could never understand people that wanted to skip a morning game drive because they want to sleep in).
Depending on the company you booked with, you have tea or coffee and something small to eat, or you will have a more comprehensive breakfast before starting your morning game-drive. Your morning game-drive should be (in my opinion) at least 4 hours. Its a good time of the day, as the predators will come back from their nightly wanderings and other mammals are just waking up. A lot of companies will have a short break during this morning drive to offer you more refreshments and to give you the opportunity to go to the bathroom. You should return to your lodge or camp between 11.00-12.00 am.
Your lunch will be between 12.00-14.00. Its a relaxed part of the day and people normally discuss over lunch what they have seen on the morning gamedrive. Be careful with what you drink as the temperatures will still rise! ( I recommend plain water and not alcohol ). If you go out for a full day, your lunch times might be different but it is still nice to find a cool shady spot and relax for a while. I remembered a trip with only one guest. Every full day I would take out the hammock and attach it between my car and a tree. Boy, did he enjoy that!
Taking a Nap.
After lunch you typically will have time for a break and you normally remain in your lodge or tented camp. Its time to take a little nap, do some reading and if you are lucky enough to be in a posh place, take a refreshing dive in the pool. Updating diaries is a favorite pastime for a lot of folks. This is also part of the day with the least wildlife activity, so don’t feel bad about lazing around that pool.
This typical English tradition is hard to abandon. Somewhere between 15.00-16.00 you will have the opportunity to have some light snacks and some other refreshments, after which you will depart for your afternoon game-drive (make sure your guide takes your drinks for the sun downer later on).
The Afternoon Game-drive.
This drive is generally shorter than your morning game-drive. The heat of the day is slowly wearing of and the animal world is getting back to life. It is also the time of day that a lot of animals will head of to drink and the waterholes get crowded. Just before sunset you might enjoy ‘a sun downer’ (a (alcoholic) drink just before sundown) in the bush, before making your way back to your lodge/camp.
Some companies offer afternoon game drives that extend into the early evening. This will give guests a ‘spotlight’-chance to see the more elusive nocturnal mammals.
A Drink Around The campfire and Dinner.
The time of the day that Africa is famous for has arrived, because at around 19.00-19.30 its pre-dinner drinks around a cozy fire! The chatting can be deafening as everybody wants to tell everybody what they have seen during the day. It is also a nice time of the day to get to know your fellow-travelers or to ask your guide about the program of the following day.
Finally you will enjoy a delicious dinner. For some it will always be ‘al fresco’, others will have the possibility to eat indoors. After dinner you can either have a nightcap or go and hit the sack straight away. Tomorrow will be an early day again…..! (don’t forget to listen to the lions).
This article was brought to you in partnership with Plan Your Safari