As the sun dips low on the horizon you will stop for a break. This time, instead of tea and coffee, “sundowners” and snacks are on offer. What better way to celebrate the end of the day than with a gin and tonic, watching the sun set over the African savannah?
Darkness descends quickly in Africa, and from now on the safari continues with the aid of a powerful spotlight. Please note that your ranger/tracker will not shine the light on diurnal animals. This is because it will temporarily blind the animals or possibly even permanently damage their sight. The spotlight is used to search out the nocturnal game, from lions and leopards to bushbabies and chameleons! This is also the time of day when the lions start to move. Having spent most of the day sleeping, which can lead to some amazing action. However, it can also be a time when you see very little happen at all.
It is very important to note that many reserves and lodges around the continent do not permit night drives. In these places the safaris typically end at sunset. If you particularly want to experience a night drive, make sure that you will be staying somewhere that allows it!
In winter you will normally return to the lodge around 19:00 (7pm). Half an hour to an hour later in summer. There is normally time to freshen up in your room before returning to the main lodge area for dinner.
Most lodges try and vary the dinner venues to make each evening a little different. Most will try and get guests to have a “boma” at least once during their stay. Although bomas take various forms, the idea remains the same. Dining outside, under the stars around a roaring campfire, the quintessential African safari experience (Boma dinners are less likely during the summer months when it is too hot to sit around a fire, and the risk of thunderstorms greater)
After dinner, relax around the fire and regale in stories of the day’s sightings before finally heading back to your room for a well earned rest, remember there will be a knock at the door very early to start all over again!