There are those who go on a bushveld holiday and are happy to be up at the crack of dawn, car packed and ready to go on that exciting safari drive. And then there are those who far prefer having a lazy day and then, after lunch, and just as the day starts winding down, like to take their safari drive.
There is something quite magical about that first light game drive. When the rest of the world is asleep, wildlife is already making the most of the cool African dawn and in that bright light, they are easier to spot. But while the morning is a great time for a safari, and something that you most certainly should include on your holiday plans, the afternoon game drive is one that has a lot to offer.
One of the most wonderful things about a late afternoon drive is the quietness. Because of the popularity of a morning safari, places like the Kruger National Park are often quite crowded earlier in the day. This is not just because it is considered one of the best times to go on a drive, but also because it gives guests enough time to do a little wildlife viewing, before heading back to their Kruger accommodation, which is most times outside of the park.
If you are staying at Kambaku River Lodge, which is quite close to the Malelane Kruger Gate, you will be able to have your afternoon safari and have enough time to exit the park and be back at your accommodation before the gate closes which is usually around 5 or 6pm, depending on the season.
Planning your Afternoon Game Drive
Although a game drive is a game drive, there are some things that will change in terms of planning your trip. Mornings require you to be packed and ready to go the night before, so you can just slip into the park, and they also require you to set your alarm for at least 5 am (again depending on the season, in winter you can leave a little later as the mornings are darker).
For the afternoon game drive however, you will be in a better position to take your time, and enjoy a bit of a lazy day before you start packing. And you might find that you also end up packing a lot less.
What to take with
- Snacks and Water
One of the greatest things about a late in the day drive is that you don’t need to worry about packing a picnic basket for lunch. All you need is a couple of nibbles and something to drink, including some water.
The sun in the afternoon might not be as bright as the morning light, but at certain angles it can be blinding. Sunglasses are a necessity.
- A Map
Depending on where you will be driving in the park, a map is a must if you are concerned about losing your way. As the day winds down, fewer cars are on the road, and so if you do lose your way at least having a map will be a lifesaver.