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Info: Sunset/Night drives taken from camps.

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wildtuinman
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Unread post by wildtuinman » Wed Sep 07, 2005 9:49 am

I don't agree, unfortunately. Spots will cause harm to nocturnal animals. Owls will even fly into trees after being blinded and all noctuarnal animals can eventually pick up permanent eye damage. They aren't use to any bright lights as they hunt at night.

After being blinded they may even become unfair prey to a predator as it takes them time to adjust from the sharp light in their eyes again.

An animal's eye reflection can be picked up at quite a distance. Far enough to see them. Any further than that you would have missed it in any case. The light must never be shown into their eyes. Bounce it off the ground infront of it or shine it on the body.

The guides will easily tell you what animal you saw. No need to eluminate the animal like ceasars' palace. I say 98% of the animals seen on nightdrives are less than 10m away from the vehicle in any case.
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Unread post by wildtuinman » Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:18 pm

Toddelelfe wrote:And don`t forget warm clothes, the wind could be cold when driving. And something to drink.


I have found driving @ night on a tar road is much cooler then a gravel road. Please don't take beer on a nightdrive. You will want to stop for a wee every 5mins. It makes your trip hell. :lol:
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Unread post by arks » Fri Jun 09, 2006 9:38 pm

TXDrifter wrote:What kind of vehicles are used for the sunset drives? Is it easy to see and take pictures? How many people would a vehicle typically hold?

Thanks, only 84 more days to go. 8)

The smaller vehicles, used generally at bush camps, hold 10, and the larger ones hold @20 people. It's generally pretty easy to see and take pix, especially if you get an "outside" seat. You may also be asked to help operate a spotlight, but plenty of consideration is usually given to those trying to take pix.
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Unread post by bert » Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:22 pm

Elsa wrote:I am not sure how pleasant it would be in Winter as it would be extremely cold on the back of an open vehicle that late at night.


Very true
Dont forget gloves, windbreaker and something to cover your head.

Same goes for the morning walks and drives.
1st hour is cold

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Unread post by Bush Baptist » Fri Jul 07, 2006 7:42 pm

scholes1313 wrote:Hello . does anyone know if you can go on any of the camp drives or walks from Morela and Balula? I was just hoping that the drives and walks from Orpen and Olifants camps will pick up from these camps.


The night drive vehicle from Orpen picks up visitors from Marula and Tamboti and drops them off again afterwards.
I presume the walks are the same, as the camps are only 2 km apart.
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Unread post by wildtuinman » Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:42 am

Just to explain a bit...

If you wanna see nocturnal life then obviously the night drive is the way to go. In general, animals are far more comfy with vehicles in Kruger, thus you will get closer to the hairy and scary stuff on a night drive then whilst on foot.

Walks are there to experience the smaller things and scenery you tend to miss out on when driving around in a car.

The two areas differ vastly as well. Lower Sabie has a perennial river which Satara does not have. So the sightings of animals may differ. Both are very good for the main predators though.
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Unread post by Mgoddard » Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:52 am

You are right, you can book a 10 seater if you have a private party of less than 10. I have booked this at PK before, but not sure if all camps do this, and the price was roughly R25 more per person. Check with the camp itself.

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Unread post by rothk » Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:58 am

I think it also depends on the camp, what type of car you get for the drives. In Crocodile Bridge we had a 10 Seater, as they were only a few people booked on the drive. At Satara we had 2 20-Seater for the Sunset Drive because there have been a lot of booking.
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Unread post by DuQues » Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:57 pm

The morningdrive you can do yourself, so that one is out of the list of choices. :wink:
The morningwalk however is something you really should do. You get to see the little things, the spiders, the plants, chameleons, and maybe the big 5 as well if you are lucky. The guides are very knowledgable, and will tell you all they know. So ask them whatever comes in your mind, and don't think it's a silly question.
Sunset or nightdrive.... That's not a hard one for me, the nightdrive. You have far more change of seeing the noctural animals then.
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Unread post by arks » Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:04 pm

Walks and drives are quite different experiences, both rewarding!
My suggestions is that you do a walk and at least one drive.
Not all camps offer both sunset and night drives, but both sunset and night drives allow you the opportunity to experience the park after dark and the chance to see some nocturnal animals.
And morning drives leave before sunrise, so also give you a nocturnal experience.
Walks allow you to enjoy the smaller and more intimate things the park has to offer, so you'll learn about some plants and insects, and while walks are not focused on seeing big game, you never know what you might encounter.
And just the chance to be out walking in the bush — lots different from a get-out point or picnic spot — is magic!
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Unread post by arks » Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:46 am

You can book drives through central reservations, just email them with a list of which camps you'd like to book a drive.
If you tell us which camps you are staying at, other members can advise on which are best for drives.
I'd also hope you plan to do a morning walk at one of your camps.
The walk offers a very different sort of experience and is really not to be missed!
You're right in thinking that you don't want to overdo on drives, as you'll enjoy doing your own late afternoon drives as well and will also want to just enjoying relaxing in camp on some evenings.
Best is to have a balanced mix 8)
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Unread post by WeeBirdy » Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:21 am

I agree with everybody about night drives, sunset drives, and walks being a great way to see Kruger when the gates are closed.
And I also agree with the point about not overdoing the night drives--it's nice not to have to rush back to camp early every afternoon, and to get some leisurely braai-and-sundowner-time at camp.

But I also want to put in a good word for the morning drives.
As Arks pointed out, you do get to leave before the gates open and it's still dark enough for the nocturnal animals to be out.
Plus you get to see a spectacular sunrise! :P
We went on 2 morning drives last month, and had fantastic sightings on both: a pack of wild dogs (twice! :shock:) and 2 prides of lions, plus lots of great zebras, ellies, and giraffes (my favorites), a bushbaby, etc., etc.
Yes, the gates do open up early enough to see the sunrise on a self-drive, but being out in the morning before everyone else AND seeing nocturnal animals made the morning drives as exciting as the night drives.
If it's not too expensive and you have the time (meaning you still have some afternoons and nights of free time), I'd recommend doing one of everything--walk, morning drive, and night/sunset drive!

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Re: Night drives

Unread post by cybeR@NGER » Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:51 pm

wachinda wrote:Which is better to go on sunset or night drive.

I prefer sunset-drives too - to a certain extent. Both have their own merit, though.
On sunset-drives you get a bit of daylight and if you're at the right place (Letaba, for instance), the ranger will stop at an appropriate location for sundowners and sunset views. After that you still get about two hours of night-drive, so you get to see nocturnal animals.
Night-drives are totally night events that concentrate exclusively on nocturnal animals.
There is an age restriction on both drives, but I'm not sure what it is, right now. It's either 10 or 12, if I'm not mistaken.
Last edited by cybeR@NGER on Sat Aug 04, 2007 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by Herman » Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:39 pm

We've done both sunset and night drives on several occasions and I'd say I prefer the night drive ( starting at 8 pm as opposed to 5 pm - sunset drive ) for the simple reason that when you drive out at 5pm there are still cars out on the roads but on the proper night drive there aren't any regular visitors on the roads any more !
If you pay your R200 - or whatever it costs - you expect something out of the ordinary and you don't want to be on the road when normal day visitors are also still out there ?
Another reason is that the nocturnal animals don't always start moving around the moment the sun sets , but sometimes only a bit later, so the 8pm drive could be more rewarding than the 5pm drive ?

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Unread post by Imberbe » Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:17 am

Sunset drives have some advantages. Many of the nocturnal animals actually become active at dusk already, and you will be able to see them before dark, often even having a better view than when spotting that same animal after dark.

Also, you do see more animals while it is still light outside, making the whole experience a better package.

Yes, if you are only interested in nocturnal animals, spending more time after dark is a good idea, and the night drive may be better. I have however found that a night drive can become very monotone, even when you do spot the odd nocturnal animal.

To me the silence of a sunset in the middle of the bush is just magic.

Night drive / sunset drive? Both are special and not to be missed!
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