A Typical Day on an African Safari

Typical day on an African Safari

Though a typical day on safari will vary between safari lodges and camps, the information below is an example of what happens on safari in a conservancy, where you have the ability to do night game drives, to give you an idea of what happens each day. 

It is important to remember that timings will also vary depending on the season you’re visiting certain countries. For example, in Southern Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa) in the winter months (June and July), you are likely to get up slightly later to catch the sunrise and head out slightly earlier in the evening to watch the sunset.

Wake-up Call

Being on a safari is about getting up early. Depending on the camp or lodge, you will receive a wake-up call around 06:00 hours, or earlier. Tea, coffee and biscuits are served, and when the sun comes up, you go on your early-morning game drive. This is the best time to track nocturnal hunters such as leopards and lions when they are on the prowl, before the day’s heat kicks in.


After a few hours of game driving, you will either return to your camp or lodge for a hearty cooked breakfast or have a bush breakfast on the plains and then come back just before the heat of the day.

Midday and lunch

Typically you eat lunch at your camp or lodge; and then spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing, reading or taking a nap at the height of the heat. Or, if there is a pool, take a refreshing swim.

Late afternoon to early evening

At around 16:00 hours, you have afternoon tea before going on your afternoon game drive. Depending on the location of the camp or lodge will determine whether you return at sunset or after sunset. The afternoon/evening game drive is a great time to see animals, just like early morning. As it gets darker, predators start to wake up from their daytime naps. As the sun sets, it is a great time to enjoy a sundowner.

Most game drives get back just before full darkness, giving people time to take a shower, have a drink before dinner, and then eat. Many nights end with drinks around the campfire, where people warm their toes and tell safari stories.


Depending on the lodge or camp, you may have the chance to go on a game drive after dinner. Spotlights are used to view nocturnal wildlife. Most of the time, this is the best time to see animals such as the elusive leopard, or other animals such as porcupines and genets. A night game drive gives you a whole new view of the bush and is an experience you’ll never forget.