A Typical Day on Safari
Since the word "safari" is used for a number of widely different types of wildlife experiences, I would like to present a few guidelines of what to expect during a day on an African safari.
- You will be awakened fairly early for a game drive (just after dawn) when animals are most active and visible. Times vary depending on whether you are on safari in winter or summer.
- At this early hour, you eat only a snack or a rusk (a local biscuit) and coffee or tea. You then head off on safari with your ranger for about 3-4 hours.
- Depending upon your specific trip, your return to camp can be any time between 9:00 and 10:00 AM. By this time, you can look forward to a late breakfast or brunch, followed by free time to enjoy the lodge and your private safari accommodations.
- The next few hours spans the hottest time of the day. You may wish to take a siesta, journal, read, or perhaps take a swim. The animals will be looking for places to shelter from the heat and are generally inactive during the middle of the day.
- Around 3:30 or 4:00 PM (depending on winter or summer schedule), you will head out again for an afternoon or early evening game drive.
- Dinner back at the lodge is usually around 8:00 PM.
Game driving tours are done by rugged four-wheel-drive vehicles, designed for wildlife viewing, photography, and off-road exploration in designated private reserves. In Southern Africa, the safari vehicles are open-sided, which can be breezy and cool while in motion, yet hot when stationary. I advise travelers to dress accordingly and layer clothing. In East Africa, however, the vehicles are enclosed and have pop-up tops. Some driving days are fairly long, but this is usually if you are doing an overland Tanzania Safari from Lake Manyara to Ngorongoro or similar.
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