What is the meaning of game drive?

What is the meaning of game drive? In a national park, reserve, or conservancy, a game drive is defined as “a guided trip or self-drive by (preferably 4 wheel drive) open-sided safari vehicle to spot and see African wildlife and birdlife in their natural habitat.” One of the most well-liked methods to view wildlife in Africa is from the comfort of a 4X4 safari vehicle on a game drive, sometimes spelt ‘gamedrive’. Walking, boating, horseback riding, and hot air balloon safaris are some of the other activities that fall under the category of wildlife tourism. While each has its own unique beauty and potential for wildlife viewing, game drives on safari are the most popular and give the best opportunity of amazing encounters.

Predators prowl the African wilderness after dark, when the darkness is alive with weird cries and unexplainable rustlings, and the senses are keened. The creatures that awaken in tandem with the moon are distinct from those observed during the day, and the majority of them are participants in a struggle for existence that endures until dawn. Night safaris provide a special chance to discover this other world and get a close-up look at the wild drama of life after dusk. Here are some excellent suggestions for making the most of your night time driving experience.

Spotting wildlife

It goes without saying that on kenya safari searching for wildlife during the day is very different than spotting it at night. Colours turn into a plethora of hues of grey after dark, and your eyesight is limited to the flashlight’s beam. The guide utilises the spotlights in the night drive cars to look for animals in the undergrowth and illuminate them. Guides will occasionally let you bring your own torch. Obtain consent beforehand and utilise a spotlight with a powerful, concentrated beam. You can aid the guide in his search even though you are unable to contribute your own light. Pay close attention to the torchlight and make sure you scan into the trees from above as well.

Before the night drive, familiarise yourself with the local wildlife so that you know what to look for and how to recognise it. Look for shadows that move or change, and for eyes that sparkle in the torchlight. Don’t expect to witness a lion kill or to spot a leopard on the prowl on your first excursion. Smaller animals that are rarely observed during the day, including as hares, porcupines, bush babies, genets, and small cats, are frequently the subject of night safaris. Night safaris provide birders with the chance to expand their life list by including nocturnal species. Pay special attention to owls, thick-knees, nightjars, and night herons.

What to carry for Night game drives

Maintaining your comfort level is essential to having fun on a night time drive. Since mosquitoes are most active after nightfall, make sure to thoroughly apply insect repellent before leaving. This is particularly critical if you are visiting a region where diseases like malaria or yellow fever are spread by mosquitoes. It’s crucial to dress warmly; on a night safari, a warm hat, gloves, and even blankets come in useful. The fact that most night safaris begin before sunset or the scorching midday heat are not reasons to be misled.

Most places quickly cool off once the sun sets. You can combat the drowsiness that comes with night-time driving and stay warm with a flask of coffee. Do not fail to bring your binoculars, as well as your camera if you’re carrying one.

Night photography

Taking pictures at night can be difficult, if not impossible. Though it is undeniable that the absence of natural light makes it more difficult to get quality photographs, there are a few tips that could help. Although employing an external or built-in flash offers a clear solution to the light issue, doing so is generally prohibited since it disturbs nocturnal creatures. Rather, make the most of the light that is available to you by adjusting the settings on your camera to capture the final rays of sunlight before nightfall, the light of the full moon, or torchlight. When utilising a little camera, remember to choose the built-in “night” mode. When shooting without a flash, you’ll need to hold the camera as still as possible to prevent blurry images.

What is the meaning of game drive?
What is the meaning of game drive?

Beanbags, tripods, and monopods can all assist lessen camera shake, but they work best when the car is stationary. Put your DSLR camera in manual mode if you’re using one. To expand the aperture size and let more light reach the camera sensor, set the f-stop to the lowest value that may be achieved. More light can also be let in by using longer shutter speeds, but moving subjects will appear more fuzzy the longer the exposure. Increasing your ISO is frequently the best choice when taking night time photos. The more ISO you use, the grainier your pictures will be, but this is your best bet at getting enough light to take pictures of your night time drives. Use the guide’s beam of light to illuminate your shot if an animal approaches the car.

Rules and Regulations

Night drives in Africa are often led by experienced guides to ensure your safety and to restrict the disturbance to nocturnal animals. It is rare, if it exists at all, for you to drive yourself at night. This implies that young kids might not be able to take part, as most guided game drives have an age limit of at least 6 years old. Some national parks, particularly in Kenya and Tanzania, have outright prohibited night drives due to the challenges of identifying which cars are genuine and which are being used by poachers who operate in the dark.

Make sure to stay at least one night in a private game reserve or conservancy if you want to enjoy an after-dark safari in these nations. Compared to daylight safaris, night drives provide an entirely new perspective, and for many of us, they are the pinnacle of African adventure. Sightings are never guaranteed, but if you approach the experience as a chance to fully immerse yourself in the untamed world of the bush after dark, then any animals you happen to encounter are just icing on the cake.

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