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Info: Sunset/Night drives taken from camps.

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Imberbe
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Re: Times

Unread post by Imberbe » Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:38 pm

Hi Biggsy ... and welcome. :D

The Sunset drives usually leave approx. an hour before sunset and takes three hours. So depending on the time of year you should be home by 8 or so.

So you could be in bed by 9 / 10.

The walk leave from camp approx. 6 (again depending on the time of year).

So yes, quite possible to do both.

Some camps offer a night drive that departs after the sunset drive has returned. This may become a bit late ... depending on how much sleep you need.

The morning drives depart an hour before camp gate opening times, so that may be around 5am or earlier. :wink:
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Re: Game drives and guided walks

Unread post by Imberbe » Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:32 pm

The sunset drive starts an hour before dark and finishes approx. two hours after, so it includes a night drive component ... the best of both worlds! :wink:
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sunet drive for disable visitor

Unread post by fee » Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:54 pm

Is it possible that a disabled person is able to go on a sunset drive. I am not sure whether anyone is allowed in the front of the vehicle with the ranger. My dad is 81 (a stroke patient) and taking him for his second visit to KP in Dec. If its not possible, then I would explain this to him. We are a big group going and would hate him to be turned away. Any suggestions for me.

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Re: sunet drive for disable visitor

Unread post by Scouter » Fri Nov 27, 2009 6:59 am

On both the sunset drives and the morning drive we took in Lower Sabie in the last 2 years there were people sitting in the front seat with the ranger - on the morning drive it was a young un-accompanied boy whom his mother dropped off with the ranger and then left, so hopefully it won't be a problem with your dad .....
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Re: sunet drive for disable visitor

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:43 pm

In the 10-seater it is fairly easy to get in the front seat - in the big truck, which you would need for your party it is almost impossible to get in the front unless you are fairly agile - and it would be difficult to try to help someone in too! However the back is easy to get into as the step lowers to almost ground level, and then there are 2 more steps.
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Re: sunset/night drives

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:54 am

Timing also depends on the situation of the camp.

Here at Malelane camp we do a sunset drive which starts at 1700 throughout the year because we get a lot of outside bookings (pick up at the gate) and changing the time according to season creates problems. When I helped out at Croc Bridge they did change the time of the sunset drive to try and get an hour of light and 2 hours dark - and there were times when folk coming from outside missed the drive because they thought it was later - or arrived early and then had problems back at their lodge having arranged dinner for their expected time back!

The camps that do both sunset and night drives will also normally have fixed times because the same vehicle are needed for both drives (sometimes the same guide too).

So the answer is - it depends on the camp and circumstances! The website cannot deal with small changes all the time so will advertise the average. If you want specific details contact the camp concerned and ask to speak to the duty manager, or even better, the head guide.
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Re: Night drives punda maria

Unread post by Imberbe » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:47 pm

Hi!

There is no normal and usual on any drive, including night drives. That is part of the excitement and the magic of the bush. Each drive is unique, sometimes you see "nothing", some times you see something spectacular. Every drive is however special in its own way, and is in itself an experience. It is important to approach a night drive with a positive attitude, and not to go just to see predators.

But yes, there is an increased chance of seeing some of the big predators such as leopard and lion, and a much better chance of seeing some of the smaller nocturnal animals such as civet, genet, some mongoose species, bush babies and african wild cat, which is simply not "on the menu" during the day.

Guides decide which route to take on a particular night. Usually there are a few options available, and they make the decision each night which one to take. They may have some information, they know the area and where good spots are, and this helps them decide. But again, no guide can ensure a specific sighting.

Enjoy your visit, and I hope you have a spectacular drive! :thumbs_up:
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Re: Night drives punda maria

Unread post by Betelgeuse » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:38 am

Springhares emerge from their burrows after dark...so check out what time the sun sets and decide on a sunset or night drive. You can see numerous warrens or burrows along the Mahonieloop (S99). Good luck!

As long as you guys and girls don't go on a drive at Punda Maria expecting sightings like you would in the South of the Park; you'll enjoy it.
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Re: Info: walks and game drives taken from camps

Unread post by saraf » Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:19 pm

bjoernsson wrote:Hello, we stay at Tamboti 15.02. and Satara 16.02.

Now we wanted to book a morning walk at Tamboti on 16.02.
The Website says: All activities from Orpen Rest Camp:, Guided Bush Walks, Game Drives (in the company of trained field guides), Bundu Trail – (pre-booked overnight activity)?

How does this work?
Does anyone collect us at Tamboti?
Do we have to drive on our own to Orpen?
But we could not arive in time at Orpen? Start morning walk 5.30, open gate tamboti 5.30, that does not work?

Thank you for any help!

Hi bjoernsson, welcome to the forums.
You will be picked up from Tamboti. When you book in for Tamboti just confirm with reception that you've pre-booked the activity and confirm the details. You'll be given an indemnity form to sign. Make sure the receptionist writes down the time and place of the pick-up so there is no confusion.

Also if you are going on a walk the guides won't take you if you are wearing white or anything that is very light coloured, you'll be made to change or cover up.

Hope you enjoy your walk
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Re: Guided Walks and Drives

Unread post by Imberbe » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:12 am

Croc. Bridge offers morning walks and sunset drives. Night drives are taken when the sunset drives are fully booked, to accommodate more people.

Remember that a sunset drive actually encompasses a night drive for around half of the drive time. That translates to roughly an hour and a half. Exposure to nocturnal animals are actually excellent at dusk already, often giving better viewing due to better light conditions.
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Re: Guided Walks and Drives

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:51 am

Cut off age for children on drives is 6. However younger children are allowed if the drive is entirely booked by one group.....but the smaller vehicles are 10-seaters, and the bigger ones 21-seaters. I suggest you contact Skukuza and ask them directly about this. Ask to speak to the Head Guide or the Duty Manager so you get a definitive answer.
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Re: Game drive or guided walk from satellite camps

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:19 am

Welcome to the forum and beware of addiction!

The satellite camp activities are usually booked at the nearest main camp and they pick you up for whichever one you book.

At Malelane camp you book the activities at the Malelane gate. They currently offer morning and sunset drives, and morning walks will be added soon. In the meanwhile walks can be booked at Berg-en-Dal and they will pick you up at Malelane.

Timing varies from camp to camp. Check this when you book.
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Re: Morning drive, sunset drive or night drive?

Unread post by Dupacc » Mon May 03, 2010 1:49 pm

Hi Lunar,

We enjoy all drives, but if we have to choose, it will be the Early Morning Drive, - the one that leaves before sunrise while it is still dark. On these drives, we often then see animals that slept on the warmer tar roads. Last year from Satara, we saw the Big Five, with Lions no less than 7 different occasions.

However, going on a night drive wil give you the opportunity to see animals and birds not often seen and to experience night-life in a special way. So I guess it depends on what you want to see and experience.... :roll: :hmz:

Enjoy! :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
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Re: Morning drive, sunset drive or night drive?

Unread post by Mafunyane » Thu May 06, 2010 4:48 pm

I must say the late night drive gets me high in anticipation. All the nocturnals are out and about and it's a complete mystery what you are going to find. Some of the animals that you will never find before gate closing time and even by sunset
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Re: Info: walks and game drives taken from camps

Unread post by Imberbe » Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:52 pm

Yes, you can book at the camp itself when arriving. But then it is down to availability of a space on that given day, and you may find that the activity is fully booked. Camps do tend to try and accommodate all people by adding i.e. another drive. This is however not always possible due to limited vehicles and personnel. On the walks it is even more difficult, since it asks very specialized personnel. Not all guides are qualified to do walks.

If you want to make sure, rather book a few days in advance.
Last edited by Imberbe on Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparksvolunteers.org


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