Archives for April2014

How to have the worst game drive ever!

Whether you’re on a self-drive expedition in the Kruger National Park or enjoying being ferried around by an experienced guide on an open safari vehicle in one of our country’s gorgeous private reserves, there are a few things that will either make or break your game viewing experience.

We look at nine sure fire ways to soil the whole trip not only for yourself, but for everyone with you too. Just.  Don’t . Do. It!

1. Pump the beats

While driving through the long, open, straight stretches of Karoo or weaving your way through urban traffic might be the perfect setting to pump those inspiring tunes, a game drive is just not the right place.  Turn the music down, lower your voices and listen to the bush breathe and bloom all around you.  Apart from the fact that you will miss out on that special form of audio beauty, you will also most certainly chase possible sightings away, as most animals have very sensitive ears.

2. Overlook the little things

Seeing the big five is fantastic, there’s no way we can deny that, however, overlooking all the other amazing little creatures while searching for the big ones is actually just a waste of time.  Sure, impala get a little boring after a while, but that doesn’t mean you should assume that there’s nothing more interesting potting in the surrounding area.  If you just speed from one conglomeration of cars to the other in search of a big sighting, you’re sure to miss out on those magical animal interactions that only occur when you’re patient.

3. Forget your camera and binocs at home

Unfortunately great animal sightings more often than not play themselves out at a bit of a distance from your vehicle, which means if you do not have a pair of binoculars to zoom in, you may as well be moving along.  Also, if you’re a keen photographer, leaving your camera behind is sure to cause some major frustration, as you are bound to encounter at least a few perfect shots during your drive.

4. Anger an elephant

There is a certain magnetism about elephants – they really do seem to draw one in, don’t they?  Well, keep your wits about you when encountering one, or even more so, a herd.  Trying to get between mothers and babies is a really bad idea and so is trying to play chicken with a lone bull.  Unless, of course, you’d experience all the gigantic wrath and have your car rolled about or get a hefty fine for causing the poor animal trauma if you’re lucky enough to escape unscathed.

5. Have a few beers too many and fall asleep

A picnic/sundowner stop is an absolute must on any game drive.  It adds to the whole atmosphere and makes you feel like you’re part of the daily motions of the bush – the great circle of life if you will (as long as you manage to stay on top of the food chain).  However, drinking too much during your little break is a bad idea – you will feel sleepy and miss out on all the rest of the action.  Apart from this, you’ll probably piss everyone around you off and they might just leave you in the bush.

6. Under or overdress

There are few things that are worse than either being too hot or too cold while on a game drive.  If you’re heading on an early morning game drive, chances are it will probably slightly chilly, so by all means bundle up!  However, be sure to wear layers, so you can peel away unnecessary clothing as the day heats up and progresses.  If you’re heading out on an afternoon game drive, do the opposite – even if it’s super hot during the day, temperatures may drop unexpectedly by evening and if you don’t have something wind resistant and warm, you’re in for a miserable ride.

7. Stop and get out to take a toilet break

This is probably one of the most difficult lines to toe while on a game drive – taking in enough fluid so you don’t get dehydrated and tired, but not too much, because, well frankly, peeing in the bush is a bit of a problem.  Leaving your vehicle without permission in one of the national parks is a serious offence for which you may receive a hefty fine.  As if this isn’t bad enough, being caught with your pants down by a fierce wild creature can only end well if you’ve got a really good guide or back up plan.

8. Rush

A game drive is not a race, actually it’s quite the opposite.  This is why it’s super important to keep gate times in mind – having to rush through the last hour or so of your game drive just to reach your rest camp in time is no fun and also the perfect opportunity for Murphy to strike.  You know?  Spotting a leopard luxuriating on a branch as the sun sets spectacularly as it only can in the African bush… then not having time to stop and appreciate the beauty (not to mention capture it on camera).  Besides you could also be served with a hefty fine for speeding and for being late for the gate.

9. Keep updating your social media and checking your mail

Part of the charm of the bush is getting away from it all.  So, if you’re continually on the lookout for the next spot with good reception so you can quickly tell all your social media friends where you are, what you’re doing, what you’ve seen and how you’re feeling, you’re kind of doing it wrong.  When you’re about to head out on a drive, switch your phone off and tuck it away. Immerse yourself in your surroundings.  Besides, no one will be missing the social media updates.

Source: New24


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