Embarking on an African safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it’s natural to wonder what a typical day on safari entails. From the crack of dawn to the starlit night, each moment is filled with adventure, wonder, and unforgettable encounters with Africa’s mesmerising wildlife.
In this article, I’ll walk you through a day in the life of an African safari, from morning to night, so you know what to expect when you book your adventure with The Grown-up Travel Company.
Morning Game Drive
- Dawn wake-up call: The day starts early on an African safari, usually around 5:30-6:00 am. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. The first morning might be tough but you’ll soon adapt to “safari time” – early to bed and early to rise. As the sun comes up, animals become active, and the morning light offers incredible photographic opportunities. You’ll be gently woken with a knock on your door and a hot beverage to help you shake off the sleep.
- Breakfast: Before setting off, you’ll enjoy a light breakfast at your lodge or camp. The menu typically includes fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereal, and pastries, along with tea, coffee, and juice.
- Game drive: With your experienced guide and trusty 4×4 vehicle, you’ll venture out into the wilderness to witness the African bush come to life. Morning game drives usually last around 3-4 hours and offer a chance to see a variety of wildlife, from majestic elephants to elusive leopards.
Mid-Morning and Lunch
- Brunch or lunch: After your morning game drive, you’ll return to your accommodation for a well-deserved meal. Depending on the lodge or camp, you may be served a hearty brunch or a lighter lunch. Expect a delicious spread of cold meats, cheeses, salads, and fresh bread, alongside local dishes and sweet treats. Or you can go for a full “English” breakfast, nobody’s judging.
- Relaxation time: Mid-mornings and early afternoons are perfect for relaxing and unwinding at your accommodation. As the African sun reaches its peak, animals tend to seek shade and rest, making wildlife sightings less frequent. This is your chance to recharge your batteries, perhaps with a refreshing dip in the pool, a siesta, or a good book on your private deck.
Afternoon and Evening Game Drives
- High tea: Around 3:00 pm, you’ll be treated to high tea, featuring an array of sweet and savoury snacks, accompanied by tea, coffee, or even a refreshing cocktail. Again, nobody’s judging. This provides a perfect energy boost before you head out on your afternoon game drive.
- Evening game drive: As the heat of the day subsides and the sun begins to set, wildlife becomes active once more. Your afternoon game drive is an opportunity to spot different species and observe their behaviour as the day turns to night. The golden hour just before sunset offers breathtaking landscapes and dramatic lighting for your photographs.
- Sundowners: A safari tradition, sundowners are a chance to pause during your game drive, enjoy a drink, and watch the sun sink below the horizon. This magical moment is a highlight of any African safari and a time to reflect on the day’s experiences while immersed in the beauty of the African bush. You will probably choose your type of sundowner before leaving the camp because your guide will be taking what’s needed with you. And that’s a G&T or two, right?
Dinner and Night-time Activities
- Dinner: After a day of exploration, you’ll return to your lodge or camp for a sumptuous dinner. Menus often showcase a fusion of African flavours and international cuisine, with dishes prepared using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Dinner might be served in a communal dining area, around a roaring fire, or under the stars in a lantern-lit boma.
- Campfire stories and stargazing: Once you’ve savoured your meal, it’s time to gather around the campfire with your fellow travellers, share stories of the day’s adventures, and listen to your guide’s fascinating tales about life in the bush. The clear African skies also offer a prime opportunity for stargazing. Marvel at constellations and celestial wonders while your guide shares their knowledge of African folklore and astronomy.
- Night-time game drives (optional): Some lodges and camps offer optional night-time game drives, allowing you to experience the African bush after dark. Equipped with powerful spotlights, you’ll have the chance to spot nocturnal animals and witness the thrilling action of predators on the hunt.
A day in the life of an African safari with The Grown-up Travel Company offers a perfect blend of thrilling wildlife encounters, relaxation, and unforgettable experiences. From the first light of dawn to the enchanting night skies, you’ll be immersed in the magic of Africa, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re an experienced safari-goer or embarking on your very first adventure, our personalised, professional service ensures that you’ll enjoy the best that Africa has to offer.
As someone with over 30 years of experience in Africa, I can attest to the incredible adventures that await you. When you choose The Grown-up Travel Company, you’re not only booking a holiday, but you’re also investing in a life-changing experience that will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation of Africa’s awe-inspiring landscapes and diverse wildlife.
Ready for Your African Safari Adventure?
Now that you know what to expect from a day on safari, it’s time to turn your African dream into a reality. Contact me today to start planning your perfect safari adventure, tailored to your individual preferences and desires.
Together we’ll create your very own adventure in the magnificent wilderness of Africa, with the promise – and I would say guarantee – of unforgettable memories that will stay with you long after you’ve returned home.