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Kenya and Tanzania Safari Game Drive Information

Game drives are the most important part of a wildlife safari.

Standard Game Drives

There are several types of Standard Game Drives, which are listed below. With a tailor-made safari and your own vehicle, you are able to choose the types and durations of the game drives you go on. If you are on a group safari, the types and durations are usually predefined and fixed. On safaris where you fly to the game park or reserve, the game drives are normally set and controlled by the lodge or camp you are staying at.

If you want to change a planned game drive type and or duration, discuss it with the rest of the party first, and if everyone is in accord, ask your driver politely if it is possible to make the change. Please remember that there may be a good reason as to why it may not always be possible, so please don’t be annoyed if your request is declined.

Game drives can be long, hot, dusty and bumpy (ladies don’t forget your sports bra), but are great fun!

Note: Most game drives avoid the heat of the day when many of the animals are sheltering from the sun and it is generally recognised that early morning and late afternoon game drives provide the best opportunities for game viewing, but as the animals go where and when they want, this is not always true.

Early Morning Game Drive

An Early Morning Game Drive starts just before dawn at around 6 am and normally finishes by 8:30 am when you return for breakfast.  Virtually all lodges and camps will have tea, coffee and biscuits etc. available from around 5:30 am, so you can partake of a little light refreshment before you go.

Please remember to take something warm to wear with you, as it can be cold first thing in the morning.

Morning Game Drive

A Morning Game Drive usually starts after breakfast at around 7:30 am and finishes in time for lunch at around 12:30.

Please remember to take something warm to wear with you, as it can be cold first thing in the morning.

Late Morning Game Drive

A Late Morning Game Drive is usually done in tandem with an Early Morning Game Drive and starts between 10 and 11 am, returning for lunch at around 12:30.

Afternoon Game Drive

An Afternoon Game Drive usually starts around 4 pm, returning before dark between 6 pm and 6:30 pm.

Please remember to take something warm to wear with you, as it can be cold in the evening.

En-route Game Drive

An En-route Game Drive usually takes place in the morning or late afternoon and as the name suggests, is performed en-route to a lodge or camp etc. The duration can vary wildly depending upon the journey undertaken, and can even be just the short drive from the lodge or camp to the park exit and vice versa.

All Day Game Drive

An All Day Game Drive, as the name suggests, effectively lasts all day and usually a packed lunch is provided. They normally start after breakfast at around 7:30 am and return before dark between 6 pm and 6:30 pm. They are usually done in large parks/reserves where you cover long distances, or in the case of the Ngorongoro Crater, to avoid dual entry fees.

Note: They can be long and tiring, but normally well worth the effort.

Toilet Stops

Toilet Stops are often necessary, particularly on long game drives.  If a toilet stop is required, please tell your driver/guide as soon as possible and long before it becomes desperate, so he can find somewhere suitable for you.  Where possible, toilet stops are made at lodges and camps, so you can make use of the full facilities.  There are toilet facilities at park/reserve entrances and very basic ones at Ranger Stations.  Rest areas are few and far between, but there are two of them in the Ngorongoro Crater.  If none of these are possible, your driver will find an “open” space with an all round view to stop at and the necessary is performed out of sight behind the vehicle.  Do NOT try to go behind a bush, tree or rock, as you will be in for a big surprise if a lion is also sheltering there!

Don’t forget to carry your hand wipes!

Packed Lunches

Packed Lunches sound very simple, but they are quite extensive and although they vary by lodge, camp etc., they often contain most of the following:

Except for the fruit, all the items will be hygienically wrapped with foil, film, cellophane etc. and everything will be in a specially designed box made of card.

This amount of food is usually too much for anyone, so if there’s something you don’t want, ask the driver if he would like it.  If he says no, please collect all the unopened food from your party into one or more packed lunch boxes and hand it/them to your driver to distribute it to the local children etc.

All food and other waste should similarly be collected into the remaining lunch boxes and handed to the driver for correct disposal.  Do NOT discard waste of any kind from the vehicle.

If you have any special dietary needs, you must make sure your driver/guide is aware of it and remind him as required.

Note: Requests for packed lunches must normally be made to the lodge/camp by the driver/guide before 7 pm the evening before.