From Sunrise To Sunset – A Day On Luxury Safari In Africa
Here in Africa we believe that this is the nearest place to heaven on Earth. The African veld, better known to locals as ‘the bush’, is serene and savage, peaceful and thrilling, with bright sunshine and pitch-black nights with stars so brilliant they are like fluorescent lights in the sky. Yes, a place of contrast and a place that you will always yearn to return to. Welcome to a day in the bush on a luxury safari – Welcome to 24 hours of ‘Heaven on earth!’
So, you have finally gotten here. Africa. It is colourful, and its people are welcoming. The weather is fine and your expert tour operators are friendly, attentive and you know you are in good hands. You look forward to your first day at your luxury lodge and your first ‘wildlife’ experience. So how will this and pretty much every one of the few days you are here look like? From lodge to lodge or camp to camp this can vary a little, but this is a pretty typical day on a luxury Safari in ‘the bush’…
From Sunrise To Noon
Early wakeup call – Your day starts early, around four or five am, depending on the time of year, before sunrise, but don’t be put off by this, the reward is great! Your game ranger will let you know it’s time to wake up and you will hear the distinctive sounds of bird calls in the bush. They are different and welcoming and beckon you to rise to a new day.
Light breakfast, coffee & tea – Something light like the traditional ‘Rusks’ (better known to many as cookies or biscuits, but deliciously different) and other light snacks will be enjoyed together with a great locally brewed coffee or traditional English tea.
The morning game drive – You have been warned to wear something warm, because even in summer a ride on an open 4 x 4 vehicle can be chilly, but blankets and flasks of coffee are provided, and you find the wind in your hair exhilarating.
Your expert game ranger welcomes you, cautions you to keep your hands inside the vehicle and immediately starts to educate you on what you may experience as the drive progresses. The sunrise is sublime, as before your eyes the bushveld comes alive.
Birds flit from thorny bushes to trees you’ve never seen before and you spot a small herd of some of the common smaller antelope, usually Impala, or you see a Warthog or a few Zebra. These fascinate you as this is all new to you. Your game ranger entertains you with quirky tales of the bush, or amusing information, like a group of Zebra are known as a ’Dazzle’ because they are hard to spot by colour blind predators.
Suddenly it happens. You turn a corner on the dirt road and one of the ‘Big 5’ are right there – so close up you think you could reach out and touch them. An Elephant, Lion, Buffalo, an elusive Leopard or the sadly endangered Rhino stand before you – or turn to run from you. The binoculars are out – cameras flash. The feeling of this first-time encounter is thrilling!
This will be the course of the drive – learning, pointing out interesting things and now on your mission to see all of the ‘Big 5’ you realise how addictive this can be. You take a break in a scenic spot and again enjoy some snacks and hot coffee or tea and now the conversation is abuzz with all the new sightings.
Return to camp – breakfast/brunch – You feel ravenous when you return to camp late morning, the bush bug has bitten you and the fresh air arouses your taste buds. Wherever you go the food is prepared by expert chefs. Breakfast varies from the standard English and European ‘continental,’ breakfasts to a full breakfast with hot and cold food on offer.
Relax and unwind – There are optional bush walks at some camps for those who feel they need the exercise or are just more interested in seeing the smaller creatures of the veld and learning about tracks and flora and birdlife.
Honeymooners and those who want to relax may decide to just spend the time at the pool – it’s a great time to enjoy the African sunshine and get a tan – or even be spoiled with a massage or beauty treatment at the Spa available at some of the more upmarket lodges. Guests are also welcome to retreat to their room or the lounge with a good book or for a short nap.
From Midday To Sunset
Lunch – At some camps a full lunch is now offered, or you can usually get at least a light lunch ordered from the kitchen of the lodge. The dining continues and it’s always good. This is usually a buffet of sorts offering all the usual popular international dishes and some local favourites – like various game meats.
Siesta time – The bush has a way of lulling one to sleep. The afternoon siesta is a great favourite with guests. Some will sleep, some will read their favourite book, but the bed in your air- conditioned room is inviting as the sun becomes a little fiercer!
Afternoon tea – ‘High tea,’ as it is known in the finer establishments, consists of light snacks and your favourite drinks, just getting you ready and well fed for the next game drive that lies ahead.
The afternoon game drive – The experience is similar to the morning drive, but now it is nearing sunset and the ranger is more likely to take you to watering holes and hides, where the big and small game come for a drink and to bathe and socialise. Once again you will stop halfway through the drive for a cooling sundowner and snacks, while enjoying the view and sunset from a scenic spot.
Then as night falls your game ranger switches on the big spotlight. He flicks it from place to place looking for those shining eyes in the dark. Maybe you will spot the elusive leopard or hyaena or a beautiful owl. Again, it is a thrilling and totally different experience!
After the drive you will have some time to freshen up before enjoying pre-dinner drinks and dinner, with a campfire always near to create the perfect bush ambience.
The Boma Dinner – It is a huge circular area where a massive fire burns in the centre. Sparks dance up to the night skies as you sip cocktails, drink some of the fine wines, beers or whiskies on offer and discuss the day’s sightings. The food again is sublimely delicious and varied. You may even be offered a local delicacy, ‘Mopani worms!’
Bed time – Once again the lull of the bush beckons you to an early retirement in your plush accommodations and as the lights go out you hear the roar of a Lion in the distance and the scornful laughter of the Hyaena. What a day! As slumber overtakes you, you think “This certainly was 24 hours of ‘Heaven on Earth!’
Let Jewel of Africa safaris, one of Africa’s preferred operators, design a tailor-made package for you to experience many days like this on safari and many other incredible destinations in Africa. Contact us and let us make your ‘Bushveld’ experience an unforgettable one!