A safari into the African bush to spot wild animals


A game drive is usually part of a safari, a trip or a journey. It can be carried out with own cars like in national parks or game reserves, or it can be a guided tour in specially for that purpose adapted off-road vehicles lead by a professional safari guide. Those 4 × 4 game viewing vehicles are designed to allow a safer trip for tourists. On farms and lodges however, a game drive is an adventure that entails viewing wildlife in an off road car, always accompanied by safari guides or the farmer himself. They will explain animal’s behavior and interpret the bush.

Guided game drives during safaris are typically scheduled for the early morning, late afternoon, or evening hours. This is because animals tend to be more active during these cooler periods of the day.

Safaris come in various forms, offering different experiences to cater to diverse preferences. Game drives in safari vehicles are a popular choice, allowing guests to explore the wildlife while comfortably seated in specially converted Toyota Land Cruisers. In East Africa, these vehicles are often stretched to accommodate more passengers, and they feature raised windows and large pop-up roofs for better panoramic views and easy photography. In Southern Africa, open 4×4 safari vehicles are more common, providing face-to-face encounters with nature. These vehicles, also Toyota Land Cruisers, typically carry 6 to 8 guests and offer a thrilling and immersive safari experience. During rainy seasons or winter, a canvas roof with side windows may be added for protection. In many Southern African lodges and camps, there is often space for a tracker who sits on the bonnet, reading animal tracks while the guide drives and ensures the safety of guests.

A typical day on safari starts with a wake-up call at around 5:30 a.m., followed by a light breakfast in the main area. Morning activities such as game drives, nature walks, or mokoro (canoe) rides commence around 6:30 a.m. Guests return from their morning activity around 10:30 a.m. and enjoy a brunch. The afternoon is usually at leisure, with options such as relaxing by the swimming pool, browsing the curio shop, or indulging in spa treatments. Afternoon tea is served at around 3:30 p.m., and the afternoon game drive begins at 4:00 p.m. Guests return from the game drive around 7:30 p.m., followed by dinner under the stars (weather permitting) at 8:00 p.m. Some destinations also offer optional night drives after dinner for a chance to spot nocturnal wildlife.

This daily itinerary provides a well-rounded safari experience, balancing wildlife encounters, relaxation, and delicious meals. Each day on safari brings new discoveries and the opportunity to immerse oneself in the wonders of the natural world.