Top 5 night safaris in Africa

Night drives and safaris are always a hot topic for conservationists, some people believe that it’s best to leave the wildlife alone at night – but we believe that a good guide will not harass wildlife but follow from a distance, observing but not interfering or disturbing. Of course Africa comes alive at night – the cats are awake, the prey animals are on high alert and you really feel as if you are entering another world. If you have booked your luxury safari with a reputable tour operator then the camp you are visiting should have quality guides who know how to behave in the bush – however always remember this is your safari, and if your guide is getting too close to the wildlife tell him. Here are our top spots for night game drives and safaris in Africa:

1. Masai Mara

You are not allowed to do night game drives in all areas of the Mara, but only in the private concessions – we are always pushing the private concessions as they are not crowded, have better conservation policies and offer more freedom. A night game drive in the Mara conservancies is nothing short of thrilling as the vast number of predators are out in force. You might be lucky enough to see some fantastic hyena action, as they hunt for themselves – their loud cackle and whoop is enough to send a shiver down your spine.

Masai Mara

2. Manyara Ranch – Manyara, Northern Tanzania

Manyara Ranch is another private concession in Northern Tanzania. It borders Lake Manyara National Park and as such has very good lion activity most of the time. The Ranch is also made up of varying topography such as dry riverbeds, dams, forest and plains, so your night drive can be very varied.

Manyara Ranch

3. The Okavango Delta

Species which come out at night, which would be virtually impossible to see in daylight include the aardwolf, honey badger, porcupine and aardvark. In the Delta you have the highest chance of seeing these very shy creatures, although please bare in mind it is still a very small chance – it’s the going out after dinner to look for them that’s fun!

4. Wolwedans, Namibia

This is a very different kind of night drive, as the area has just been made Africa’s first Dark Sky Reserve – star gazing here is second to none, with the milky way and planets clearly visible.

Wolwedans

5. Sabi Sands

After your delicious sun-downer in the Sabi Sands you can take short night drives back to camp – this area is famous for being the best place in Africa to see leopard, so look out for these elusive and confident cats as they prowl through the bush at dusk.

Rose Hipwood is Managing Director of Africa Rose Travel Ltd.

Comments (1)

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  1. Mzuri Temba says:

    Manyara Ranch Conservancy is great: an exclusive 35,000 acre private ranch! There are only 6 luxury tents in the private concession area which makes it quite an intimate camp. The guides are excellent. You can also go on a walking safari or a horse-riding safari (for experienced riders) there. Wolwedans NamibRand Nature Reserve is a totally different kind of amazing! Perfect spot for Dark Star Safari :)

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