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Info: Sunset/Night drives taken from camps.

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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:48 am
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Location: Johannesburg
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Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:28 pm Unread post
I really Enjoy drives from Berg en dal as there is always quite a bit of predator activty around the camp, and Raymond, Texan and Stanley are awesome guides. :mrgreen:

The reason Crocodile Bridge would have been more expensive would have been if you are coming from outside the Park as they add conservation fee's onto the drive price
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KNP Sunset Drive / Night Drive

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Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:23 pm
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Location: Pretoria / South Africa
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Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:41 pm Unread post
Hello all, please can you guys share your opinion on the sunset drive and night drives in KNP. Are they worth it? What is the difference between the 2? Why do only some camps offer the "night drive" and why do the prices differ from drive to drive and camp to camp?


Re: KNP Sunset Drive / Night Drive


Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:38 pm Unread post
Hallo VANPTA

The sunset drives leave camp about a hour before gate closing time and stay out for three hours.

The night drive leave camp after dark and stay out for only two hours.

Both drives are great. What I enjoy most about the sunset drive is to see all the other visitors going back to camp while you drive in the opposite direction. :twisted:


Re: KNP Sunset Drive / Night Drive

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Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:05 pm Unread post
Hi VANPTA,

I preffer the sunset drive. Its like the best of both. When the drive start it is not completely dark yet, and then after some time it gets dark and they take out the spot lights.

But yes, both drives is great!


Re: KNP Sunset Drive / Night Drive

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Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:59 pm Unread post
20 or 30 people in one drive, that seems a little too much...


Re: KNP Sunset Drive / Night Drive

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Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:43 pm Unread post
It can be if you don't get like minded folk on the drive!
so maybe best to ask when you intend booking if they know how many are booked and which vehicle will be going out.


Re: KNP Sunset Drive / Night Drive

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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:17 am Unread post
threedogs wrote
On our most recent trip in Aug/Sept we employed the tactic mentioned above.
We would check how many booked on the night drive for example and on nearly every occasion we had no more than 2 other people with us or the small vehicle to ourselves!
With this scenario you can learn a lot from a guide as you have his/her whole attention and vise versa. However, we weren't at the larger southern camps so there the situation may be vastly different.
I wouldn't recommend going in a large group if you are not the very tolerant type like me :tongue:
Some people can be noisy, erratic with the spotlights, obnoxious......you get the picture.
It seems like the odds are in a bigger group there is always at least one........ :roll:


:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:


Re: KNP Sunset Drive / Night Drive

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Legendary Virtual Ranger
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 am
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
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Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:28 pm Unread post
Elsa wrote
Hi VANPTA and warm welcome to the forum!

I am not sure why the prices differ but it seems its mainly Punda Maria and the Bushveld camps that are different.
Maybe its a question of popularity and numbers? :?


The smaller camps often have shorter night drives thus making the price a little less (have not checked the prices)? eg I remember at Punda doing a sunset drive 4-7pm and then the night drive 7.30-9.30pm with the same vehicle. In the bigger camps there are more vehicles and guides and there is an overlap with a longer night drive (typically 5-8pm and 6.30-9pm). Not all the southern camps offer the later drive though.


Re: KNP Sunset Drive / Night Drive

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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
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Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:56 pm Unread post
I do agree that the big vehicles can be a disappointment - and even as a guide it is very difficult to 'connect' with guests in that situation. I salute those who make it work!

Having said that, a couple of disruptive guests on a small vehicle can be almost worse and totally spoil things.
I have in the past told guests they will be taken back to camp if they do not behave (having checked with duty manager first) on a couple of occasions and then not had to make the call because they did comply.
And other guests supported me after I had spoken to the unruly ones a couple of times too, which helped.
But some guides do not confront bad behaviour because they are afraid of complaints - and it is always the rule-breakers who are the first to complain!!!!!
Especially if they have been told off...... I think it is a face-saving thing, or wanting to get back at the guide concerned.

If spotlights are being misused then I just suggest it is time to change over control and allow others a turn!
If the guide does not suggest it then maybe ask at a stop if a change around can happen.
But if folk are doing OK I leave it to the guests - having said right at the beginning that the lights can be operated by more than one person either by passing the light forward or backwards, or changing seats at a stop.


Re: KNP Sunset Drive / Night Drive

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Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:49 pm Unread post
I believe one has the right to ask the guide to drive slower.

The guide is not responsible for the spotlight, guests are. The guide drives.

Most guides I have been with are well trained and try their best to get you great sightings.


Re: Day & Night Guided Tour (ONLY)

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Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:41 am Unread post
Hi Essie,

As far as I know, no other tour operators are allowed to conduct any activities after gate closing hours except the sunset and night drives/Wildernis trails etc done by Sanparks themselves.
There are many operators that do full/half day drives but they would be restricted to the normal tourist roads, rules and regulations of the park.


Re: Alcohol must be banned on sunset+night drives!

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Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:16 pm Unread post
Maybe there should be a rule that when guests book the drives they are told there and then that there will be no alcohol allowed on the drives and if it is taken on, the guides will simply drive back to camp and off load the offending people.


Re: Alcohol must be banned on sunset+night drives!

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Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:21 pm Unread post
You sign a indemnity form before any drive or walk so why not add the no alcohol rule :wink:


Re: Alcohol must be banned on sunset+night drives!

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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
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Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:02 pm Unread post
Alcohol is no longer allowed on the drives.
I make sure everyone knows that before they get on board!
If someone has been drinking before they arrive and are noisy and difficult we can also refuse to take them (with the camp manager's support).


Re: Alcohol must be banned on sunset+night drives!

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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:15 pm
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Location: Kyalami, South Africa.
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Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:09 pm Unread post
Good news EJ. Maybe someone can tell all the camps and all their guides, etc. that this is the case - obviously some staff at Satara don't know (or don't want to know) the rules. The game drives must be a pleasure for everyone on the vehicle.
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