Game drives

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 mostly take place in the early morning, late afternoon or in the evening, because most animals are more active during cooler times of the day.

Safari jeeps

Rugged four-wheel drive safari jeeps are almost invariably Toyota Land Cruisers, converted into safari vehicles by a specialized coachworks company. In East Africa (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda) this means that some of them are stretched to seat 9 instead of 5, the top of the windows is raised for a better panoramic view, and the roof is replaced by a large pop-up roof to allow you to stand up straight to film or take pictures.
In Southern Africa the open 4×4 safari vehicles are most common:  South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia and Malawi. The safari vehicles are most often Toyota Land Cruisers and carry 6 to 8 guests. They have open side and offer face to face encounters with nature. In rainy seasons or winter, the guide might decide to put on a canvas roof with side windows. Very often there is space for a tracker who sits on the bonnet reading animal tracks whist the guide drives and ensure your safety.  These are the common vehicle type an private lodges and camps throughout Southern Africa. Safari Njema! (Have a pleasant journey!)

A typical day on safari

  • 05h30 Wakeup call at the room
  • 06h00 Light breakfast in the main area
  • 06h30 Depart for your morning activity: game drive, nature walk, mokoro
  • 10h30 Return from morning activity
  • 11h00 Brunch Afternoon at leisure – possible activities: Swimming pool, curio shop, spa
  • 15h30 Afternoon Tea
  • 16h00 Depart on afternoon game drive
  • 19h30 Return from game drive
  • 20h00 Dinner under the stars (weather permitting)
  • After dinner: optional night drive at certain destinations.

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