about animal sightings so guests are ensured a better than average chance of good game sightings.
In addition to the ranger who drives the vehicle some lodges also make use of a tracker, who usually perches precariously on a small seat at the front of the vehicle, whose job it is to look for game, which, for the untrained, can sometimes be hard to spot amongst the vegetation. The tracker will also keep an eye open for animal footprints (tracks) broken branches and even listen for particular bird alarm calls which may provide clues that big game is around.
In some areas game viewing vehicles are allowed to drive “off-road” into the bush which enables rangers to take their guests closer to wildlife. Most safari lodges have access to a good network of dirt (sandy) roads which are usually more than adequate for great game viewing.
The morning game drive usually arrives back at the lodge between 09h00 and 10h00 when guests are treated to a relaxing brunch followed by a long period of leisure before the afternoon drive. Times vary depending on the season, local conditions and the lodge’s operating procedure.
Afternoon game drives kick-off with tea and coffee as well as snacks at around 15h30-16h00 and follow a similar pattern to the morning drive. The drive is usually broken at dusk with a stop for sundowners which are carried in a cooler box in the vehicle.
After returning to the lodge in the evening your ranger usually joins guests at dinner where, invariably, the days’ exciting game viewing dominates the conversation.
Although most game viewing vehicles have canvass roofs, some are completely open and with or without a roof, it is essential to take along sun-screen, sunglasses and hats. Early morning and evening drives can also be chilly, even in summer, so your lodge will ensure that blankets are provided. Although the game vehicles have a high ground clearance many lodges ensure that they have steps or small platforms that facilitate easy access to the vehicle. Rangers will also happily assist anyone who finds it difficult to get into the vehicle.
Most lodges have some restrictions with regard to young children on game viewing vehicles so it’s best to check with your safari consultant about the rules before booking.