In our itineraries we talk about game drives, sundowners and bush TV’s. But what do we actually mean with these safari terms? And what can you expect of a day on safari in Tanzania? Let’s start by saying that every safari is unique and no day is the same. The anticipation, not knowing which animals you may find today, is an essential part of the adventure. In general, however, this what a typical day on a Tanzania safari may look like.
Early start of your safari day
Even if you are not a morning person, we can assure you: waking up early has never been so easy! You will rise with the sun around 6.00 am. Most lodges offer a wake-up service, sometimes with tea or coffee. We advise to have an early breakfast before setting off around 7.00 am for your first morning game drive. A game drive is a leisurely drive in the park to look for animals. This can take from an hour or two up till a full day in case you prefer to explore more of the area.
Another option is to leave as soon as the first rays of sun light appear, explore the area for 2 or 3 hours and come back for a late breakfast. After that you may go again, or rather to take some rest at the camp and try your luck later in the afternoon. Although your safari is fully planned and organized, you are still free to decide how to spend the safari day!
Morning game drive
Early morning is usually the best time to spot wildlife, when it is still cool and predators are active. Also the light and soft sun rays are phenomenal for taking photos. Your guide will drive you to the most beautiful spots or the areas that are known as a lion or leopard habitat. Zebras and wildebeests are grazing peacefully, having survived another night. Herds of elephants are slowly strolling across the plains and colourful birds are hiding in the bushes. With some luck, you may even encounter lions feeding on a prey after a successful hunt.
Sometimes though, you may drive for some time without seeing any wildlife at all. That is what makes a game drive so adventurous. We can’t predict it and often the most special moments happen when you expect it the least.
Mid-morning your guide will find a suitable place for a break. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while taking in the views and the tranquility of the beautiful surroundings.
Picnic lunch or a leisurely afternoon at the lodge
At the end of the morning, you may decide to return to the camp for a hot lunch. Here you will follow the example of the animals: relax and rest in the shade in the heat of the day. But if you can’t get enough of your game drive, it is also an option to take a packed lunch and have it at one of the picnic spots inside the park. Always be aware about cheeky monkeys or birds, who may want to share your food. And remember: do not feed wild animals and take all trash back again into the car.
Afternoon game drive
After the picnic lunch continue your game drive and see if you can find animals that you have not been able to spot before. As the day cools and the sun sets, animals become more active again. Lions may go for an early hunt or you may find a cheetah on a termite hill; his favourite look out spot. In case you spent the afternoon at the accommodation, 4.00 pm is a good time to go out on a game drive again.
You will return to the lodge just before the sun completely sets, around 6.30-7.00pm. Which is also the perfect time for a sundowner: a cool beer, a glass of wine or a G&T at the camp fire. Also known as the “bush TV”. Share your experiences with other guests or look at the taken photos under a starry sky.
Have a hot shower, or maybe a refreshing jump in the pool, before sitting down for a 3-course dinner. You will notice that a safari day can be tiresome, so feel free to return to your bed well in time. And enjoy a wonderful night’s sleep in the African wilderness with the nocturnal noises in the background.
Other safari activities
Besides game drives, there are other safari activities to choose from like a hot air balloon safari, walking safari guided by a ranger, canoe safari or a night game drive. We will be more than happy to advise where and when it is possible to enhance your safari experience.
Because we have no limit on the kilometers driven, it is completely up to you how to spend your safari day; a full day game drive or only a morning and afternoon game drive. Or perhaps no game drive at all and just quietly enjoying the wilderness from your private veranda. After all, it is your holiday.
A family of warthogs running with their tails straight in the air. Elephants taking a mud bath. A pride of lions dozing under a tree. A safari in Tanzania is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. But that it will be spectacular is for sure!