Exploring the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve in the late afternoon and into the evening offers exciting new game viewing opportunities including sightings of nocturnal animals and possibility to viewing Lion or other predators in action.
Eyes in the Dark | Night Game Drive Adventures
Eyes in the Dark - Night Game Drive AdventuresThe Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve is situated in the Mpumalanga Province, close to South Africa's top tourist attraction, the Kruger National Park. Stretching across 65 000 hectares of land, the nature reserve shares an unfenced 50 kilometres (31 miles) with the mighty Kruger Park, allowing the wildlife to roam between the two reserves.The Big Five safari park takes its name from the two rivers that flow through it; the Sabie River and the Sand River. The life sustaining water of these rivers results in the area boasting one of the most bio-diverse animal populations in the whole of Africa.A day in the safari park begins early with a wakeup call summoning you out of bed and a hot cup of coffee to coax your senses awake before you embark on a morning game drive. Early morning sightings are exceptional and after a wonderful few hours spent viewing a variety of game animals including Rhino, Elephant and Kudu, it is time to return to your luxury safari lodge and enjoy a hearty breakfast and a lazy day either swimming, dozing, reading, being pampered in the spa or simply gazing out at the bushveld surrounding you, watching any wildlife that happens to saunter past.After the lethargy of the day you find yourself fully ready for some action and as the clock shows 4pm you wander back down to the main guest area to rendezvous with your fellow guests and your friendly game ranger once again. This time everyone is a lot more awake and with cameras, binoculars and warm jackets at the ready everyone climbs onto the game viewing vehicle and you set off once again down the sandy road.Excitement and anticipation mount as you venture further down the road. During the first hour of the game drive the day is still warm and the animals are still sheltering from the sun's rays in the shade of the trees. You stop of a while to watch a herd of Zebra and also spend some time parked alongside a flat savannah area watching Tssessebee, Wildebeest and Warthog all interacting.As the sky starts to change colours and the sun starts to creep towards the horizon the ranger stops at a scenic spot and everyone is allowed to climb out of the vehicle. A delicious array of snacks and local beverages is conjured from the cooler box at the back of the vehicle and everyone chats away while they enjoy a glass of delicious local wine or an ice cold beer.Standing out in the middle of the bush as the sun sets and the landscape displays hues of pink, purple, lilac and peach you take a moment to stop and absorb your surroundings. Breathing in the sweetly scented air you allow yourself to recognise how relaxed and satisfied you feel. Every sense in your body is fulfilled and your mind is occupied with images of black and white stripes, wide open spaces contrastingly landscapes. This experience is pure bliss.After a while your ranger packs away the array of snacks and drinks and everyone clambers back onto the vehicle. The sun has now set and the evening's cool blanket has been thrown casually across the land, covering it in new shapes and shadows. Your ranger produces yet more treasures from the vehicle, this time he uncovers large and powerful spot lights which are plugged into power sources. He explains how to sweep the light slowly through the bush, up the trees, and down onto the ground.Game spotting on an evening game drive is a completely different skill and as the night grows darker you soon learn how to pick out the white twinkle of an animal's eyes as they are caught briefly in the light. A Nightjar flutters into the road, lured by the warmth of the road and the insects hovering above it and you suddenly see a twinkle hidden on a branch of a tree. Calling out to the ranger, the vehicle is slowly manoeuvred so that everyone can see the unknown sight.The ranger finds the animal once more in the tree and identifies the find as a Bush Baby; a nocturnal primate with large ears and big round eyes. He looks down on you and the ranger explains his habitat and habits. A night game drive is very different from a day drive both in the way the animals are sighted as well as in the types of animals you see and the sightings you have.The cooler evening also finds the larger cats becoming active and as you navigateyour way slowly down the road you suddenly sight 4 Lionesses wandering slowly down the road.Your highly skilled ranger stops the vehicle and whispers to everyone, pointing out that just in front of the Lions there is a family of unsuspecting Warthog. The Lions are approaching downwind and the Warthog have no idea that they are just a few metres away.
You all sit in amazement as the drama of the African bush unfolds in front of you in a cloud of dust and a cacophony of squeals. The experience is raw and unpolished, expertly accomplished by the Lionesses and you sit in awe watching and witnessing the way of life in Africa revealed.
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