You’re all booked and ready to travel to Africa for the safari adventure of a lifetime, you have made a list of the animals you’d most like to see, places you’d like to visit and the experiences you’re hoping to have. Now all that is left is to make sure you get the most out of your game drives!
In addition to the excitement and preparation of seeing animals in their natural habitat, there are several things you can do to really maximize your overall game drive experience and we would like to share our top tips on how to get the most out of this popular safari activity:
1. Switch off and Tune In
Being on an African safari is the perfect time to disconnect from the busy lifestyle you lead at home and fully embrace being in Mother Nature. What better way to begin your day, than with a knock on the door and freshly brewed tea and coffee delivered to your tent? You will then embark on an early morning game drive where you can take some time out to listen to the sounds that surround you and breathe in the scent of the bush. We recommend tuning out completely and turning your phone onto airplane mode, making use of the camera function only throughout your trip.
2. When and What Game Drive to do
There are a variety of game drives offered daily and guests are welcome to do as many or as few as desired. Game walk and game drive combinations are offered to guests wishing to experience the African bush by car and on foot, accompanied of course with a professional guide. As animals stick to their own schedules, the best game viewing is either at first light and around dusk. Even if you’re not a morning person, it is always good to motivate yourself to wake up early for a game drive as this is often the best time of day for sighting predators. Night game drives offer a good chance to explore and see a whole variety of animals that you would not see during the day. Remember, no two game drives will be the same so choosing to do a variety will give you a better chance of seeing everything on your bucket list.
3. Safety and Security
Our professional and knowledgeable guides have decades of experience in not only spotting animals but in keeping you safe and out of harm’s way at all times. We ask that you pay attention to your guides safety briefing and refrain from leaning over the sides of the vehicle or leaving the vehicle at any time, unless where given instructions by your guide. Remember to keep your voice tones down so as to not disturb animals and also the other guests.
4. Pack Right
Being comfortable on your game drive journey is important as they do last for up to 4 hours. We suggest having the following on hand whilst on safari:
• Neutral colour clothing to fit in with your surroundings.
• A warm layer for the early morning and late evening drives. Ponchos and blankets are provided in the early mornings to keep you warm, but we do suggest you dress accordingly too.
• Comfortable walking shoes.
• Head protection in the form of a wide brimmed hat in the summer and a warm hat or beanie in the winter.
• Sunblock and sunglasses to protect your face from the African sun.
• A good camera with a spare pack of batteries, just in case.
• Good quality binoculars and ideally one pair for each person (there’s lots to see)!
• A sealable bag that can hold all your belongings on the drive.
5. Teaming up with your Guide
Feel free to engage with your guide at any time and to ask as many questions as you’d like. Also, feel free to point out anything you may see when you’re on the move as your guide will be focused on the road. Whilst on safari, nothing is too much trouble and our guides love meeting new guests and sharing their wildlife experiences with you. They will also be happy to help you check off ‘The Hide Species Checklist” which features all the birdlife and wildlife in the area. You can later take this home with you.
6. Be Patient
The Hide is in a prime position in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s largest National Park and it is famous for its large elephant population, buffalo herds, painted dogs and much more. However, no game drive guarantees’ you will see everything, and this is part of the fun. Our team of guides will do their very best to ensure everyone is having a good time and will use all their tracking skills to find the animals you wish to see. In the meanwhile, enjoy the beautiful landscape that surrounds you and keep your eyes peeled!
A game drive takes place in a wild and foreign environment and can be daunting and even a little scary before setting out for your first drive. If you have any concerns that you think may impact your experience, it is best to communicate these to your guide or the camp manager. They will change things if needed to ensure you feel comfortable throughout your time at The Hide.
8. Sharing Photography Duties
If you’re travelling with company, it is always a good idea to share the photography duties so that you can also put your camera down at times and witness the majesty of the African bush without worrying about capturing the perfect shot.
Most of all, have fun! This is a once in a lifetime experience and it’s not every day you get to be chauffeured around the African bush in search of wildlife. We look forward to welcoming you on your next or first Game Drive excursion at The Hide Safari Camp.
Latest Trip Advisor Reviews:
“While in Africa we visited South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe and we stayed at several locations and went on many Safaris however the Hide was a stand out. The game viewing was like no other and our guide was so knowledgeable, we would sarcastically tell him what we wanted to see thinking there was no way it could happen and somehow every time he delivered. The staff were amazing at the Hide they really made you feel like family. I would highly recommend staying at the Hide for anybody coming to Zimbabwe for an amazing experience!”
“The game viewing far exceeded our expectations. Not only did we see all our favourite animals but ones like the rare painted dog graced our presence a few times and even mesmerized us with their hunting down a kudo. We also viewed a pride of lions in action as they attempted to take down the water buffalo.”
18th March 2018 – Latest Wildlife spotting’s at The Hide:
We’ve had four lions – “The Hide Pride” – seen quite often in and around the concession, once at K1, but generally quite close to camp. Cecil’s Pride have also been seen with Bhubesi at Ngweshla a few times. A few wonderful sightings of Sable, with quite a few young ones, which is great! We saw Hyena at sundowners and the guests saw some on a night drive too. We’ve also had elephant and Buffalo seen on the concession this week.
18th March 2018 – Latest Bird spotting’s at The Hide:
Ground hornbills, secretary birds, lilac breasted roller, fish eagle, Egyptian geese, Cape Glossy Starling, wood peckers and vultures. Spur fowls, guinea fowls. Blue waxbill, Francolins, Giant eagle owl, pearl spotted owl, barred owl, barn owl, ostrich. Meyer’s Parrot. Yellow billed kite, swallow tailed Bee eater. Kori bustard. Woolly necked stork, Marabou storks, Spurwing Geese, Crowned cranes, Lesser spotted and Wahlberg’s eagles, steppe eagle, Western banded snake eagle. Spoon bill, broad billed roller, saddle bill, Abdim’s storks. Carmine Bee-eaters. Whistling Ducks, Comb Ducks, Red billed teals