Safaris are planned very carefully to coincide with when you are most likely to see wildlife. This means early, late afternoon, or even night game drives are essential to see the animals at their most active.
Safari itinerary ideas
How a typical day might unfold...
An early start means an equally early wake-up call. Tea and biscuits are served at about 6am and at sunrise you head off on your early-morning game-drive. This is generally the best time to spot the wildlife, as the temperature is cool and the animals are still very active, including the big cats, which will be returning from a night of hunting.
After a few hours, you will either return to your camp/lodge for a hearty breakfast, or have a bush breakfast out on the plains and then return just before the heat of the day.
Dawn in the Nxabega Concession
Cheetah at dawn, Serengeti
Lunch and afternoon
You usually have lunch in the camp/lodge and spend the main part of the day either relaxing or using the amenities, such as an outdoor pool. You might have something to eat and drink at around 3pm before heading out for another game-drive.
As with early morning, the evening game drive is often the best time to see the wildlife. The predatory animals begin to stir from their heat-of-the-day slumber, and similarly, their prey become ever more active and alert as darkness falls. Vehicles usually return just before dark in time for a shower, pre-dinner drinks and then dinner. The evenings are often rounded off with a few drinks around the campfire, warming toes and swapping safari stories.
Sometimes, you will have the opportunity to go on a game-drive at night. Vehicles are equipped with powerful spotlights, as well as expert trackers who will generally spot any wildlife well before you will. This is often the best time to spot the elusive leopard, which more-often-than-not will be high up in a tree. A game-drive at night gives you a completely different perspective of the bush and is an unforgettable experience.
Tea break on a game drive
Puku, Game Drive, South Luangwa National Park