Below is a guideline for a typical day on an african ‘safari’, not a ‘tour’. It is important to understand as a company we see a big difference between itineraries; which can be either deemed a ‘safari’ or a ‘tour’. A ‘safari’ is an itinerary where guests spend most of their time in 4WD vehicles, game-driving in the bush. A “tour” is an itinerary that includes a couple of game-drives as part of the itinerary.
An example of a ‘safari’ is our 11-day Botswana Northern Parks Safari, where 9 of the 11 days are spent in the bush, game-viewing. Whereas, a ‘tour’ such as our 22-day Trans-Kalahari Adventure, includes 6 game drives over 22 days on the road. Naturally, a safari will be more expensive than a tour, simply because you are spending more time in remote wildlife areas, which means transportation, accommodation and park/reserve fees are more expensive.
Every day on a safari is different. Depending on whether there has been any action overnight (nothing quite like hearing a lion call) your safari guide will make plans on what to see, where to go, how long to be out, and more. Below is an example of how a typical day on safari may play out.
Safaris are about waking up early. Why might you ask? Sunrise is the time of the day that is genuinely glowing, and when diurnal wildlife starts to awaken whilst the nocturnal wildlife prepares to go into seclusion for the day.
Depending on the lodge or camp you are staying at, your wake-up call can be anywhere from 5.30 am onwards. Some lodges and camps provide tea and coffee, and a small bite to eat before starting out on your game-drive. Often (and this depends on what you see on your game-drive) you will be back for a proper cooked breakfast between 9.30am and 10.30am. Other lodges and camps, provide a full cooked breakfast before starting your game-drive, returning a little later in the morning for either a brunch or an early lunch.
Lunch and Afternoon
After lunch, you have the opportunity to relax for a few hours. This time of the day allows you to review photos, update your diary, read a book or catch up on a little sleep from an early morning start!
Late afternoon / Early Evening
Around 3:30 pm to 4:00 pm, you will head out again on a game-drive. If your lodge or camp is located inside a national park or game reserve, you typically will need to be back by sunset, in time for a shower and pre-dinner drinks. If you are in a private wildlife conservancy, you could be out until 7.00 pm to 7:30 pm, which allows you the opportunity to enjoy a sunset with a sundowner, and some spotlighting before returning for dinner.
At most lodges and camps, there are several places to enjoy dinner. The camp manager will select the perfect location; and depending on the length of your stay, you should have the opportunity to have dinner in at least two locations, so that you are not always in the same place for dinner.
This is a great time to sit around the campfire, sharing your experiences of the day. Depending on where you are staying, you may have the opportunity to go on a game-drive at night. Using a spotlight, is often a good time to spot nocturnal wildlife, such as leopards and owls. A night game-drive gives you a completely different perspective of the bush.