Game drives are the backbone of most safaris, with the idea being to spend as many hours as possible in the bush searching for animals. A game drive can be done at any time of day, but early morning, mid-morning and late afternoon, with a break early on for breakfast, and another in the middle of the day for lunch, is the usual plan. Night drives are also an excellent way to view nocturnal animals, although they’re not permitted everywhere.
A few key accessories can greatly improve the quality of your safari experience. Field guides depict the flora and fauna of a specific area alongside photos, identification pointers and distribution maps. If you’re into photography, invest in a high-quality digital SLR with a 100-400mm zoom lens and a small, collapsible tripod. Finally, a quality pair of binoculars is probably the most important piece of equipment on safari – even a cheap working pair is better than none at all!
Animals are free to roam and may not be where you want them to be, but the better informed you are, the more likely you are to see what you are after. Prime your senses, keep quiet and look for clues. Watch out for silhouettes, moving vegetation and shapes that don’t fit into the landscape. Use your peripheral vision, and watch where other creatures are looking. Listen for alarm calls, snorting breath, splashing water and changes in the activity of other creatures. Finally, relax, keep quiet and give heed to your own primal instincts.