All game drives are undertaken in an open safari vehicle, with a driver / guide who has extensive experience and intimate knowledge of the area, and is an expert on game movement and other ecological aspects of the region. Game drives usually depart in the early morning and late afternoon when it is cooler, for game to hunt and graze, so there is a better chance of encountering abundant wildlife. There are also exciting night game drives where you can witness fascinating nocturnal animals.
Most game viewing activities take place in the early morning and late afternoon, which maximize the chance of encountering animals when they are most active. In the warmer months most animals find shelter during the heat of the day. The greatest opportunity to see a Lion is usually just after sunrise. Other large African animals like Buffalo, Giraffe, Wildebeest, Elephant are more visible an hour before sunset.
Some areas offer better bird watching opportunities than others. The greatest number of birds may be seen between October and March, when the central African migrants are present. Endemic species will be seen throughout the year.
There is no finer way to enjoy the essence of the African bush than on foot. The freedom of being in the heart of the wilderness and in close proximity to Africa's magnificent wildlife is an unforgettable experience. Walking safaris inspire a degree of respect for the wild environment, as you soon realise that you are a participant and not just a spectator.
Other exciting activities may include; horse-back and Elephant-back safaris, ballooning, quad bike drives, mountain biking, scenic flights, game capture, assistance with field research, Gorilla tracking, anti-poaching exercises
Packing for a Safari's
The essential thing to remember is to travel light.
Be Certain to Have with You:
- Valid passport
- Valid visa - if required
- One other picture identification (e.g. driver's licence)
- Photocopy of passport page to carry in wallet
- Air tickets
- Expense money
- Comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy
Dressing for Safari's
On safari, most people wear shorts and a T-shirt during the day and put on long sleeved shirts and long pants in the evening for warmth as well as protection from mosquitoes. Should you be particularly sensitive to the sun a loose cotton shirt is essential during the day. Khaki, brown, olive and beige colours are best for and safaris and game walks.
White is not a suitable colour for these activities, as it increases your visibility to wildlife you want to get a closer look at and it will get dirty very quickly. Fleece or sweater and a windbreaker for game drives, because it is highly possible that you may go out on a hot day, but be faced with a chill evening on your return. Remember that layering your clothing will keep you warmer than relying on one thick item.
Clothing to Pack for Safaris
- 2 pairs khaki cotton pants
- 2 pairs khaki shorts
- 2 long sleeved shirts/ blouses (for sun protection as well as warmth)
- 1 light sweater or sweatshirt
- 1 lightweight, waterproof windbreaker
- Swimming costume
- Sturdy walking or hiking boots
- 3-5 short-sleeved shirts or T-shirts
- 5 changes underwear and socks
- Hat with a brim (baseball caps might cover your nose but not your arms and neck)
- Gloves (if you really feel the cold)
- Down vest or jacket (if you really feel the cold)
- Sarong or kikoi type garment
- Most lodges and safari camps offer laundry as part of their service. Hotels all offer laundry, at additional cost.
The following are some guidelines you should follow:
Bush vegetation is extremely sensitive. Off-road driving causes erosion and encourages the encroachment of unwanted plant species. Observe the animals silently and with a minimum of disturbance to their natural activities. Loud talking on game drives can frighten the animals away.
Night drives with excessive use of spotlights disrupt the activities of nocturnal animals causing temporary blindness and disorientation. Never tease or corner wild animals, this may cause an unpredictable response and a potentially dangerous reaction.
Do not remove any natural material from wildlife reserves. This disrupts the ecology of the area and promotes the spreading of diseases amongst domestic animals and crops. Never attempt to attract an animal's attention. Don't imitate animal sounds, clap your hands, pound the vehicle or throw objects.
Please respect your driver / guide's judgment about your proximity to certain wild animals. Don't insist that he take the vehicle closer so you can get a better photograph. A vehicle driven too close can hinder a hunt, or cause animals to abandon a hard-earned meal.
Remember that your guide is an expert, so always follow his advice and ask him questions if you are unsure of anything. Never sleep outside. Take only photographs and memories with you.
Litter tossed on the ground can choke or poison animals and birds and is unsightly. Refrain from smoking on game drives. The dry African bush ignites very easily, and a flash fire can kill many animals.
Never attempt to feed or approach any wild animal on foot. This is especially important near lodges or in campsites where animals may have become accustomed to human visitors.