Africa Night Safari - Ultimate Wildlife AdventuresAfrica Night Safari

As the sun disappears on the horizon and the daily choir of singing birds is immediately replaced by the peculiar noises of insects, a new cast of more unusual characters are preparing to excite you. This is what we call Africa After Dark.

A night safari in Africa is a truly magical experience. It offers you the opportunity to observe an entirely different world of new characters, some you are unlikely to have ever seen and maybe never even heard of. Familiar daylight wildlife remains present but their behaviour changes drastically under the cover of darkness.

The big cats, with the exception of cheetah, come to life after dark and this is the time when your chances of witnessing a hunt dramatically increases. Although visible by day, rarer sightings such as caracal, serval, the diminutive black-footed cat, and African wildcat are much greater after dark. Lions and leopards awaken from their daytime slumber to take on characteristics of focus and stealth.

The hyena family, although the spotted hyena is visible by day, are predominantly nocturnal. The striped hyena, brown hyena, and aardwolf are certainly more likely to be seen after sunset. Other smaller carnivores such as the common genet and African civet are regularly observed.

Africa’s elusive cast of animals wake as the temperature drops for a night of foraging. African special sightings such as the endangered pangolin, bizarre-looking aardvark, and the continent’s largest rodent, the Cape porcupine are all regular sightings if you are lucky enough to visit the right places.

A night safari takes on many forms. It may be that the afternoon game drive finishes with sundowners in the bush and the drive back to camp in the dark forms a night drive. A more rewarding adventure is where the night drive is a separate activity after evening meal. You will join a guide and usually a spotter with a powerful flash light and set out deep into the bush in search of nocturnal animals. Some places are so keen on night safari and maximising the overall experience of guests that even an interesting sound in the bush during dinner may spark a frantic rush into the bush to investigate.

Night time activities in the bush have historically been a speciality of private game reserves and conservancies. It is an activity that has not been a feature in national parks due to regulations stipulating that vehicles must not leave camp before first light and must return before sunset. However, this is slowly changing and there are national parks on the continent that permit properties within their boundaries to offer night drives.

Night safari is an exciting experience and a real opportunity to increase the diversity of observable wildlife during your safari. We highly recommend choosing an itinerary that permits night safari.

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 Contact us to discuss how we can incorporate night safari into your safari experience or peruse our sample itineraries below for further inspiration.

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Africa Night Safari Itineraries

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