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Info: Sunset/Night drives taken from camps.

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Question for Sunset/Sunrise Drives

Unread post by pviral » Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:05 am

We are taking sunrise; sunset; night drive; morning walk at Satara and taking sunset drive/sunrise drive at Lower Sabie and night drive at Olifants.

1. What vehicles they use for sunset/sunrise drive offered by camps?
2. Do you suggest night drive and afternoon river walk in Olifants?
3. Shall we will take sunrise and sunset at Skukuza
4. How many passengers per vehicle? Are the vehicle 10 seaters?

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Re: Question for Sunset/Sunrise Drives

Unread post by saraf » Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:15 pm

The size of the vehicle depends on the number of guests booked on the drive. The smaller camps will use the 10 seater but the larger camps like Satara and Lower Sabie will use the 20-seater ones, as their drives tend to be popular.

I think the walks go out on the 10 seaters as they have a maximum of 8 guests.

You are doing rather a lot of the drives - are you leaving yourself enough time to go out on your own?
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Night Drives Vs Sunset Drives

Unread post by FaBecky » Mon May 04, 2015 6:56 pm

Hi guys

We're going to the Kruger for the first time in June and we're wondering if anyone has any advice on the various drives one can book?'

Currently we're looking at Sunset and Night drives from Croc Bridge and Olifants. Anyone have any suggestions or advice on what we should do?

Also, what's the difference between a night drive and an external night drive?

All info is very welcome :)



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Re: Night Drives Vs Sunset Drives

Unread post by Hugh » Mon May 04, 2015 8:53 pm

Usually the sunset drive is longer than the night drive You leave camp before gate closing when its still light then You are driven around and watch the sun go down and watch the nght critters come out the Night drive is later in the evening shorter than the sunset drive .
The difference between the night drive and external night drive is that folk are picked up at one of the gates They are not staying in the park and they get the same drive as the Park residents
Hope that helps . I am sure others will come along who have more experience than I have
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Re: Night Drives Vs Sunset Drives

Unread post by Elsa » Mon May 04, 2015 10:09 pm

Warm welcome to the forum FaBecky! :clap:

Please do have a read through the Info: Sunset/Night drives taken from camps. where apart from the advice Hugh has already given you, there is lots of info with regards the various drives.

For other topics you might find useful, do have a look through our Index to Activities and Sightings

Enjoy and best wishes for a wonderful trip!

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Re: Night Drives Vs Sunset Drives

Unread post by Leaping Lizards » Tue May 05, 2015 11:37 am

Avery warm welcome

Sorry about the copy paste :mrgreen:

Which drive is better is always going to be a matter of opinion.

We love both, and would not be able to pic which is better, so will just highlight the differences.
• Night drive 2 hours, sunset 3 hours.
• Night drive cheaper
• Sunset usually has a good deal of full daylight and full night time, so a good medium.
• Night drives usually less people
• Only 1 set of clothes needed for night drive. Sunset drive you will usually start with a pile of clothes in a bag or in front of you and by the end they all on you.

I hope this helped. I maintain that if you can do both, then do it. But I would recommend that you do not book too many activities, or else your holiday becomes dominated by what time you need to be where for which activity.

Have an awesome visit.
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Re: Night Drives Vs Sunset Drives

Unread post by George_Brits » Wed May 06, 2015 10:38 am

Just to add my 50 cents...

The sunset drives usually leave camp at 4pm and returns at 07:00pm

The night drives usually leave camp at 07:30pm and return at 09:00pm

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Re: Night Drives Vs Sunset Drives

Unread post by chirinda » Thu May 07, 2015 5:53 pm

Whichever one you choose, dress warmly, very warmly, it is freezing up on the truck, especially you will be there in June. I always take a blanket to wrap myself in as well as all the clothes, scarf, hat, etc etc etc. I think the wind chill when the vehicle is moving makes it so cold, never mind the nighttime temps.

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Re: Info: Sunset/Night drives taken from camps.

Unread post by josette06 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:25 am

I am going to KNP in 2 weeks and try to find out where to do the morning drive and where for the sunset one between
the 3 camps I am visiting : Skukuza / Satara and Olifants
Where are the best opportunities in the morning .
Shame the people who have the same question do not come back to tell their experience once back !!!!
Is morning drive in Olifants a good idea ? and sunset or night drive in SKukuza or Satara

Tks for your advices

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Re: Info: Sunset/Night drives taken from camps.

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:18 am

A very warm welcome to you josetta :gflower:

You are staying at some lovely camps that should offer good sightings this time of the year.

My gut would suggest morning drive at Skukuza, and sunset at Satara.

Skukuza has an interesting diversity of roads and getting out before the normal traffic means that you may well hit the predators before they disappear for their daily nap. I love all areas in the early morning, but Skuks can be particularly exciting.

My next suggestion would be Satara for an evening drive. Satara is really a great place for predators. The S100 is particularly well known. The problem can be the amount of traffic in the day time at certain sightings. Doing a sundowner drive means that you can enjoy sightings alone.

Do dress warmly. particularly for the morning drive. More than one person has not enjoyed the experience, due to the freezing chill. I always wear lots of layers, including very warm gloves and something to cover my face.
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Re: How safe are the open game viewing vehicles?

Unread post by saraf » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:06 pm

They aren't actually that open.

There are canvas sides that come up about half way so that the only open part of them is where the windows should go. So as long as guests behave and do not break the outline of the vehicle all should be well. How much protection they would get from a rhino or elephant charge is another matter but the guide should be aware of any situation.

The SANParks guides are well trained - their guests safety and security is the most important thing on their drives. They will not put those guests in danger and will remove the vehicle from potentially dangerous situations.

I was out on a drive in March and asked the guide how many times he'd had to fire his rifle and when was the last time. He's only ever fired it at the firing range when he has to renew his certificate.

But it's the bush, there are wild animals and people will do stupid things so it isn't 100% safe.
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Re: How safe are the open game viewing vehicles?

Unread post by Imberbe » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:18 pm

There is an element of risk involved in the OSV's, since if a predator or for that matter any other animal would want to, they would be able to enter the vehicle without too many problems. But the safety factor is in the natural avoidance of animals of humans and their vehicles. As pointed out they do not perceive humans inside these vehicles as a threat nor as a target.

I am not convinced that the animals cannot distinguish a human inside the vehicle from the vehicle itself as some would suggest. I have seen too many times that there is some reaction by the animal when watching them. The animals are however habituated not to consider the human and do not react to humans. I believe they rather consider the "big picture" of the vehicle.

To increase the safety factor the rules were amended a fear years ago, which actually increased the mandatory coverage of OSV's. You will see that the new vehicles have much more canvas etc. which covers the passengers visually, than was previously the case. These vehicles also tends to be higher than most sedans which lifts the passengers above the normal line of sight of most animals.

The situation in a small enclosed area is unnatural and I believe the behaviour of such animals are often totally different from those in natural situations. The natural situation affords an animal the opportunity to move away if they feel uncomfortable, while in lion parks they are constantly confronted with humans in their space. I am not a supporter of these type of set-ups. NOT AT ALL.

One should also note that the safety factor in a "normal" vehicle is slightly enhanced, but by no means can it be claimed to be secure. An animal such as a lion is extremely powerful and would be able to break a window, should they really attack a vehicle.

But as it has been said. The safety record within the parks speak for itself. To date there has been no attack on a human inside a vehicle in our parks which I am aware of. Some vehicles have been attacked, but the attacks were aimed at the vehicle, not the passengers.

The fact remains that the onus should be on the humans to respect the animals and not force them on the animals. Keep a respectful distance and do not try and park in the face of the animals. The best experience is to watch a relaxed animal doing what they are supposed to do, rather than pushing you camera lens up its nose and then being surprised when the animals gets annoyed.
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Re: How safe are the open game viewing vehicles?

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:54 pm

Do not for one moment believe that the predators do not see humans in the vehicles. I was sitting quietly in my car watching a couple of lions. I was in the driver's seat, and the lions were on the passenger side of the vehicle. Suddenly the male fixed me with a stare and twice charged at the car before I could get it started and leave them in peace as they obviously wanted.

He had been able to see me perfectly through the closed window and across the vehicle, even though I was not moving other than to take a photo or two.

They simply do not regard us as their prey. Only crocodiles naturally do this. Other predators may do so in unusual circumstances such as zoos/safari parks where they are fed by humans, or weak and injured animals looking for anything they can catch.

And yes, as the years go by things actually get safer with more and more training of guides and safety procedures brought in.
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Re: How safe are the open game viewing vehicles?

Unread post by inyanga 1 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:53 pm

After some decades of KP drives I'm happy to let my offspring travel in these vehicles.
If guests disregard the rules and the briefings that everyone gets before setting off then things may happen.
(Jburg Lion Park says do not open windows)

I have enjoyed being 'up close and personal to lions in a KP drive', and surrounded by an huge ellie herd in the dark and watched amazing things from a SanParks vehicle.

But consider this.. you can go on a game walk where there are NO bits of cloth or metal between you and potentially some of the most violent of animals... but..

If you respect that you're in THEIR patch and act accordingly then all will be well. Don't be a 'silly tourist'..

My son in laws remind us that "there's nothing like being less than a metre away from the tons of a bull elephant in total dark on the other side of the (simple) camp fence, you can't see him, ... and he turns on his toes, 180 degrees in less than a second and blows in your face (with his trunk) ".....

Isn't that what coming to SanParks is all about....

that's why we come back...
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Re: Info: Sunset/Night drives taken from camps.

Unread post by josette06 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:13 am

Tks to both of you for the advice. I shall take gloves and hats just like when I go to the mountains here in winter
Can I ask 2 more questions :
My husband has back problems. Do you think he is right not to do the morning or evening drive in the trucks or whatever car that takes us to the drive ?
also I tried to book on this site but cannot get to the reservation page for activities. Is that normal ? Will I still find space available when I arrive in 2 weeks time ?

Tks a lot

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