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A typical day on an African wildlife safari,
join your game ranger and find out what it's like.

Find out what to expect from a typical day on an African Wildlife safari. Sit back and let your game ranger tell you the in's and outs of what a day on safari in Africa looks like. But before we continue, let us just stop for a moment and ask ourselves, is there such a thing as a "typical African safari day".


It almost makes you think that every safari day is the same, but that is of course not correct. Each day on a safari is a brand new and unique adventure in its own. The wildlife encounters are different and unique each time.

So is the scenery of the different regions you pass through. Every lodge and campsite has its own distinct and unique atmosphere and location. So, although the words "typical safari day" can appear to be somewhat misleading, they are not meant to. What they do mean to say is that there are similarities in the routines of your days on safari.

On an African wildlife safari your days usually begin with an early morning wake-up call at around 5 a.m. and you start preparing for your first game drive of the day. You meet your ranger and tracker over a nice cup of hot coffee or tea with a light breakfast of toast to chase away the last bit of sleepiness and make you feel great and ready for the day.

The best times for game viewing are early in the morning from just before daybreak onwards and from late afternoon until sunset. The late afternoon drive is often extended, turning it into a night drive. Around 6h00 to 6h30 the gates of the rest camp or lodge where you are staying will be opened and the morning game drive can get underway.

Full of anticipation and excitement you get into the safari vehicle, together with about 4 to 8 other people. It is just before dawn, the bushveld has calmed down and there is a kind of tranquillity hanging in the air. Night life is quieting down, its noises dwindling, while daytime life is waking up with the first calls of a few early birds welcoming the first glimmer of daybreak.


A sunrise over the African bushveld van easily be rated among the top 5 experiences of an African wildlife safari. There are almost no words to describe it well enough. It is something to be experienced. Amazing colors at the first light of dawn, the early morning sounds and activities of the wild, altogether a spectacular atmosphere.
Sunrise over the African bushveld
Sunrise over the African bushveld A sunrise over the African bushveld van easily be rated among the top 5 experiences of an African wildlife safari. There are almost no words to describe it well enough. It is something to be experienced. Amazing colors at the first light of dawn, the early morning sounds and activities of the wild, altogether a spectacular atmosphere.

You are on your way. An experienced and knowledgeable game ranger doing the driving and telling you everything he knows about the bushveld and its wildlife. A skilled tracker has positioned himself on the look-out seat up front above the bull bar. Between the two of them they will make sure that your wildlife encounter will be an exciting, informative and safe adventure.

Early morning is one of the most wonderful times of the day on an African wildlife safari. To witness the extraordinary beauty of a sunrise over the African bushveld is an experience thst will stay with you for a long time. Silhouettes of thorny acacia trees against the golden glow of the sky, the upper edge of the sun peeking over the skyline in the distance. Fantastic, what a sight and what a a picture. And you are not just looking at it, you are in it, an experience that you will never forget.

All of a sudden the tracker up front signals, pointing ahead and somewhat to the left. And then you see him, appearing from behind a bush, a massive black-mane male lion. Everybody is holding their breath. The ranger switches of the engine and a hush falls over the vehicle, its occupants and the bushveld around it.

Slowly the huge body saunters by the vehicle, big mass of black mane hair around its muscular neck, stretching down its back. He walks like he owns the place, moving each massive paw slowly, deliberately, purposefully, like a king. One last look, a slow swing of its tail and then it turns and disappears into the bush.

And so the game drive continues with sights of the other members of the Big Five (Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo Leopard) and large herds of antelope such as Impalas, Zebra, Wildebeest (gnu) etc. A morning drive can easily take up to three hours, depending on what you come across during the trip.


Game drive and black-mane Male Lion encounter, an experience that is on the top of the list of any African wildlife safari. The mane of a full-grown male lion is one of its most distinctive characteristics. The size, fullness and color of the mane is a reflection of the lion's health and strength and is used as an intimidating display during confrontations with other lions. It is generally believed that the darker the mane of a lion, the more powerful it is.
Game drive encounter with a black-mane nale lion
Game drive encounter with a black-mane nale lion Game drive and black-mane Male Lion encounter, an experience that is on the top of the list of any African wildlife safari. The mane of a full-grown male lion is one of its most distinctive characteristics. The size, fullness and color of the mane is a reflection of the lion's health and strength and is used as an intimidating display during confrontations with other lions. It is generally believed that the darker the mane of a lion, the more powerful it is.

By then you have taken in so much, that it is time to get back to the camp, (or Lodge) to enjoy a sumptuous and nourishing brunch. Most animals take it easy during the heat of the day and are not active until the day cools down again in the afternoon. You can follow their example and spend the middle of the day relaxing at the pool side, taking a siesta or meet and visit with the African people at a local village.

From mid afternoon it starts all over again, with an afternoon and evening drive starting at around 3.30 pm. It is everyone's favorite and anticipation is running high. This is the time when the predators start getting into action and who knows what lies up ahead for you to watch and witness Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and Hyena do what they do best and that is hunting and catch their prey.

The duration of a late afternoon or evening game drive is also around 3 hours. When it is getting dark the focus of the attention will be more specifically on the nocturnal wildlife. Game drive vehicles are usually equipped with powerful spotlights to enable you to catch sight of the animals in the dark. As the light reflects in them, the eyes of the animals will light up, even at the longer distances. This way it is relative easy to spot and pinpoint them.

Last but not least is the experience of the end of an exhilarating African wildlife safari day. Turning back to the camp or lodge at the end of the day, you can now indulge in the enjoyment of a delightful shower, an ice cold drink around the camp fire, a delicious bushveld barbecue ("braai") dinner in the boma, a wonderful African night sky with stars blazing and at the end of it all, blissful sleep with the nocturnal wildlife sounds and the roaring of lions clearly distinguishable, in the background.

Picture Gallery

Game drive and Rhino confrontation. Coming this close to a pair of Rhinos is a breathtaking experience on any African wildlife safari. In Africa there are two species, the White Rhino and the Black Rhino. It is generally believed that the name "White" is derived from the the Dutch word "wyd" meaning "wide", referring to the White Rhino's distinctive flat and broad mouth used for grazing. The name Black Rhino was chosen to distinguish this species from the White Rhino. It has a smaller and pointed mouth which it uses to pluck leaves and twigs from bushes as its food.
Game drive meets Rhino duo heads on
Game drive meets Rhino duo heads on Game drive and Rhino confrontation. Coming this close to a pair of Rhinos is a breathtaking experience on any African wildlife safari. In Africa there are two species, the White Rhino and the Black Rhino. It is generally believed that the name "White" is derived from the the Dutch word "wyd" meaning "wide", referring to the White Rhino's distinctive flat and broad mouth used for grazing. The name Black Rhino was chosen to distinguish this species from the White Rhino. It has a smaller and pointed mouth which it uses to pluck leaves and twigs from bushes as its food.


Eye to eye with a Zebra. For a Zebra coming this close to a car is very rare. A zebra's mood can be read from its ears. If it is in a friendly, calm or even tense mood, the ears stand erect. When it is angry, the ears are pulled backward and when it is frightened the ears are pushed forward. Any idea what mood the Zebra in the picture is in?
Meeting eye to eye with a Zebra
Meeting eye to eye with a Zebra Eye to eye with a Zebra. For a Zebra coming this close to a car is very rare. A zebra's mood can be read from its ears. If it is in a friendly, calm or even tense mood, the ears stand erect. When it is angry, the ears are pulled backward and when it is frightened the ears are pushed forward. Any idea what mood the Zebra in the picture is in?


View from the inside of an open safari game drive vehicle, the centerpiece of any African wildlife safari. Behind the steering wheel you see the game ranger who will share his knowledge and experience with you. He is usually assisted by a tracker sitting up front on the vehicle as a look-out reading signs and tracks. They are mostly people who have grown up in the bush and know its in's and outs intimately.
View from the inside of a game drive vehicle
copyright © Matthias Catón
View from the inside of a game drive vehicle View from the inside of an open safari game drive vehicle, the centerpiece of any African wildlife safari. Behind the steering wheel you see the game ranger who will share his knowledge and experience with you. He is usually assisted by a tracker sitting up front on the vehicle as a look-out reading signs and tracks. They are mostly people who have grown up in the bush and know its in's and outs intimately.


Lunch is ready in the Selati Camp in Mala Mala private game reserve. Fashioned in a colonial "Out of Africa" style, Selati Camp is situated in the famous Mala Mala private game reserve. Small and intimate, it offers the perfect accommodation for travelers looking for a romantic luxury African wildlife safari lodge in South Africa.
Lunch is ready in the Selati Camp in Mala Mala private game reserve
Lunch is ready in the Selati Camp in Mala Mala private game reserve Lunch is ready in the Selati Camp in Mala Mala private game reserve. Fashioned in a colonial "Out of Africa" style, Selati Camp is situated in the famous Mala Mala private game reserve. Small and intimate, it offers the perfect accommodation for travelers looking for a romantic luxury African wildlife safari lodge in South Africa.

Video Gallery

Check out this video showing shots taken in the famous national wildlife parks of Kenia. It does not get much better than this. Explore and photograph the best African wildlife reserves, at the best time of year, from our own private safari vehicles, boat charters, light plane flights over the Rift Valley, elephants and lakes filled with flamingos, and - for the brave - even short walks on foot! Geographic photographer Chris Bray, along with partner Jess Taunton will help everyone to capture unforgettable images of lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos, ostriches, hippos, zebras, monkeys, giraffes, antelope, birds and more. Highly experienced ranger guides will get us close to the game each day, and in the evenings we'll relax in stunning private accommodations including luxury 'tent houses' overlooking the Amboseli National Park to Mt. Kilimanjaro, and the 'Elephant Bedrooms' where elephants literally walk right past! For more information go to www.ChrisBray.net.


This video was taken on an African wildlife safari in the Ruaha National Park in Tanzania. Known for its scenic features such as the Great Rift Valley, hot water springs, wetlands, natural springs, river systems and beautiful rolling hills and mountains it is Tanzania's largest wildlife park. Together with a high concentration of Elephants and rare animals like the Greater and Lesser Kudu and the Sable and Roan antelope the park is home to a wide variety of animals such as Liona, Leopards, Hyenas, Cheetahs, Giraffes, Zebras, Elands, Impalas and many more.


Called "best Kruger National Park safari", this video was filmed and edited by Brendan Goldberg. Covering and area of 19,633 sq km or 7,580 sq mi, the world renown Kruger National Park is the flag ship of South Africa's total number of 20 national parks. With its impressive number of species, 336 trees, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals, it offers an African wildlife experience that ranks among the best in Africa.


This video is showing highlights of spectacular African wildlife encounters amid breathtaking scenic beauty from each of the 8 major safari countries in Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia.


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