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All day driving vs morning & late evening driving?

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onewithnature
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Re: How Fast Do You Drive?

Unread postby onewithnature » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:55 am

I know 20 km/h is tops. But, when I drive an entire day or two without seeing much, I am mighty tempted to cover more distance and get into another area. And then 20 km/h usually produces that sighting yet again!
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Re: How Fast Do You Drive?

Unread postby onewithnature » Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:02 am

The other problem with doing the speed limit is when a buck races across the road.
Especially now in rutting season, I had a few impala rams dash across the road to chase each other, not giving a flying hoot about the cars (and why should they, being their park and all!).
We were once, many years ago, driving along a dirt road near Olifants I think and, without warning, a large kudu dashed out of the narrow verge bush.
Despite us only doing 30 km/h at the time, we were unable to react in time and, thanks to their amazing survival skills, this kudu simply leapt entirely across our bonnet!!
Another time, while doing 50 km/h into the setting sun near Pafuri, I barely missed hitting an nyala ram as he shot across the road; the sun was blinding and I couldn't respond in time; however, again, the animal saved the day, but narrowly!
I know that a car doing 60+, or even 50, when the Park is in Stygian darkness can only invite trouble: there is no-one on this planet that will respond quickly enough to avoid never hitting an animal if speeding in thick bush and near-darkness!
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Re: How Fast Do You Drive?

Unread postby onewithnature » Mon May 11, 2009 4:06 am

Let's sum up some favourite tips here for everyone to learn how to game-spot more effectively.

My top ones are:
- Drive out as soon as you can after gate open;
- Arrive back as near to gate close as possible (but without inviting a fine for late arrival, or speeding to make it in time);
- Drive at a speed that allows you to effectively scan all the gaps (I like 20-25 km/h);
- Be courteous to others at a sighting, and help them locate the game you're seeing if they cannot;
- Keep noise levels at a minimum at a sighting; if possible, total silence is preferable;
- Park on the side of the road where the sighting is, and keep it single file;
- Keep your windows open as much as possible (except when close to predators or baboons) to listen for bush signs (breaking branches, rustling, animal and bird noises, etc.);
- Take pictures and catch a thrill whenever you can!
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Re: How Fast Do You Drive?

Unread postby Scottm » Tue May 12, 2009 2:05 am

Glen79 wrote:In the early morning and late afternoon, when I'm crawling along at 5km/h along a river road ..... its pure bliss, and when that irritating tail-gater become 5 cars plus, I pull over and make as if im reading my map. After they pass, i merrily continue on my way. :whistle:


The easiest method of avoiding tailgaters is to place a "BIRDWATCHING" sign in your back window and when you get a few cars behind you, to just stop at the first LBJ you find. They will soon pass :twisted:

I generally travel at between 20 and 25kph, but I use what a friend taught me many years ago.
Aptly named the "MacDonald middle-distance theory" after him, we concentrate on looking in the areas between 25 and 50 metres from the road. In most instances, anything further is too far and anything closer that is moving is often seen anyway.
Works well for me and what you miss, you don't miss :huh: so long as you have a great day.
As a newbie in the birdwatching scene, it is now almost impossible to have a bad day, unlike the big-5 chasers :hmz: and these little birds have shown me to many other sightings :thumbs_up:
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Re: How Fast Do You Drive?

Unread postby TheunsH » Wed May 13, 2009 11:19 am

We are all individuals and each of us has our own preferences. :thumbs_up:

Some of us prefer to drive at 10 km/h, others at 30 km/h and others prefer driving, legally, at 40 km/h on the gravel roads and 50 km/h on the tar roads.

If I’m driving at 10 km/h surely I have to accept the fact that I will be tail-gated sooner or later and I can’t blame a tail-gater for tail-gating me. All I do is to move more to the left for the tail-gater to pass me.

Some of us prefers to be “big five chasers”. As long as such a big five chase is done according to the rules its fine with me as well. I for one prefer to search and find one of the big five and while searching for the big 5 I may just spot a Pel's fishing owl, Narina Trogon, Brown Hyena or Caracal! :shock: :wink:

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All day driving vs morning & late evening driving?

Unread postby Eddie29 » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:12 am

Hi to all

Just wondering normally when we are at the Kruger we get in the car and drive all day long and this is most of the time a bit of a strain on the family, now i was wondering is this really the way to go or would my chances of seeing something be just as good if we set off early in the morning returning to the camp at let say 11:00 and then only set off at about 15:00 in the evening?

Or as i prefer get in the car in the morning make normal stops during the day and go back to the camp just before gate closes?
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Re: All day driving vs Morning and late evening driving?

Unread postby Sawubona » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:22 am

Hi Eddie,

I think it really depends a lot on the time of the year you are going. In summer time it really will be better doing the morning and afternoon driving.

During winter it is possible driving the whole day, as it is not that hot, and animals will move during the whole of the day, grazing and drinking(sounds good hey) :twisted: .

But, I know some people will drive the whole day in summer as well.

I have a little daughter, and in summer it really is better to rest in the siesta time, or let het swim, and then drive again in the afternoon.

It is different to every family's situation and possibility's.

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Re: All day driving vs Morning and late evening driving?

Unread postby binkybozo » Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:20 am

We are all day drivers but we stop a lot and i mean a lot (4 hours at lake panic) so the strain of driving all day isn't that bad for us but then it is just my s/o and I.
If we had kids i think it would be a totally different story.
you could be sitting your kids up for bad memories of the park...lol "oh no, we are going to sit in the car the whole day" type of memory for them and i don't think that will make them fans of the park...lol!
yes, we have seen tons because we drive all day but would we do it if we had kids, no way.
my s/o grew up going to the park (took her first steps at lower sabie) and her fondest memories as a kid were the siesta times, swimming, looking for lion ants etc, so i would take the siesta in the midday hours with the kids.
if you and your s/o doesn't like to sit in camp then perhaps you two can work something out like one day you sit with the kids and the s/o takes a drive and then the next day vice/verse that way it keeps you both somewhat happy and the kids are happy.

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Re: All day driving vs Morning and late evening driving?

Unread postby flying cheetah » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:26 pm

Hi Eddie,
usually I plan a 2-3 hours siesta, but often enough I cancelled it because I was driving too slow or I just couldn´t get away of something :) I wonder how many km do the all day drivers during one
day? :hmz: I sometimes just make 100-130 km when I´m out all day..
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Re: All day driving vs Morning and late evening driving?

Unread postby wildtuinmal » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:43 pm

I have 2 children. One is 2 years and the other is 6 years.

We usually wake up whenever we want to which is usually anything between 6 and 6-30. Then we usually packed our stuff for brunch the previous night we just pack the cooled stuff before we go.

And then we set off to a picnic spot that is about 50km from our camp. Eating snacks in between but not too much.We usually drive slowly and reach our destination at say about 10 and then we make our bruch. And then we drive back to camp and spend the day there usually at the swimming pool because my son just loves the water. And then we go at about 16-00 for another game drive.

I saw great sightings in the hot hours of the day so I am over the must get up early thing. We go as we feel and we still enjoy every moment.
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Re: All day driving vs Morning and late evening driving?

Unread postby Kicker Cat » Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:55 pm

Hi Eddie,

We are also regular visitors to KNP and have over the past done the all day thing - now we go out early and breakfast at places likk Tshokwane and all the others - Brekkie takes about 2 hours - then either back to camp - not necesarily the one we stay at and rest up
Sometimes go to one of the dams - eg Transport and if we can get the spot under the tree just sit, read and even doze off - amazing what you see

But having time off with family is most important otherwise boredom sets in and the there is nothing worse that whining kids

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Re: All day driving vs Morning and late evening driving?

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:01 pm

I am not an all day driver, never have been.

I do believe that we have to listen to our bodies, take rests..

I am an early riser, which means that by eleven I am ready to fade.
I will happily do that where I am, under a tree, in a tent, with a friend driving..
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Re: All day driving vs Morning and late evening driving?

Unread postby Tony Park » Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:28 am

Mrs P and I are lucky enough to spend a lot of time in the parks each year so we no longer go for very long drives.

In fact, we alternate between sometimes just doing a morning or afternoon drive. AS MM says, you have to listen to your body.

We'll often do two early morning starts, leaving when the gates open and returning about 10 or 11 depending on the time of day, then not go out for the rest of the day (I'm lucky/unlucky enough to have work to do most days in the park anyway).

Then, on the third day we'll treat ourselves to a lazy sleep in, but go out for a long afternoon drive, sometimes taking a cold chicken diinner or something similar to have in the landy just before retunring to camp.

The other thing I leanred early on being a keen amateurish photographer is that the the light in the middle of the day is not good for taking pics.

We have a friend who drives all day and thinks we're mad for not spending enough time in the park. But, like I said, we're in no rush.

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Re: All day driving vs Morning and late evening driving?

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:07 am

I also find that I enjoy the camps more and more. There are often such unexpected sightings along the fence, and the camps themselves offer a wonderful opportunity to see the small, the unusual and the delightful.

On my last trip to Mapungubwe, the camp emptied early and I was the only fortunate person to see a group of Eland on the perimeter of the camp.
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Re: All day driving vs Morning and late evening driving?

Unread postby wingman » Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:45 am

Hi we tend to do more morning and late afternoon drives starting with coffee and rusks and then onto a picnic site for egg and bacon and and back to camp by 11h30 then laze around the pools until 15h00 and out again, this varies depending on the route for the afternoon or day. We also do one or two full day trips to other camps or areas we are not staying at on that trip so that will be a picnic breakfast long lunch break and back in the afternoon with probably a picnic or bridge stop on the way.
We find viewing does slow down in the heat of the day but have seen some good sightings at midday. the camps are nice to explore around mid day as they tend to be not so busy.


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