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24 hours on safari in South Africa

by Lara Behrens
9th August 2016 Safari
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Heading out on safari in Africa, you'll never have the same experience twice. The vast expanse of this incredible continent provides a veritable cornucopia of diverse landscapes and wildlife, where you'll encounter some of the world's most fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.

One of the great safari destinations has to be South Africa, home to the immense Kruger National Park, as well as many other smaller, private game reserves. However, if you've been on safari in other parts of Africa, you might find the experience to be a little different down here in the Rainbow Nation.

Here's an idea of what a typical 24 hours might look like on one of Bench Africa's South African tours.

Early morning game drive in Sabi Sands
Early morning game drive in Sabi Sands

Early morning 

Your start time for the day may vary depending on the season, but generally, you can expect to get up early. For example, at Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Reserve, you'll start your day around 5:00 am with a warm beverage before heading out in an open game vehicle at around 5:30 am.

During the drive, you'll usually stop for a tea or coffee break (maybe with a drop of delicious Amarula) and some snacks to sustain you until breakfast. Many of the animals are more active in the small hours, and you can look forward to some great game sightings before the African sun becomes more potent. Excursions usually last between 3-4 hours, depending on whether you want to stay out for longer.

Swimming pool at Savanna
Swimming pool at Savanna

Midday to early afternoon 

Upon returning to your lodge, you'll once again be rewarded for your early morning efforts with a tasty breakfast. At locations such as Savanna Private Game Reserve, you can enjoy your free time relaxing at the lodge, taking a dip in the pool or even having a cheeky drink at the fully-stocked bar.

At Dulini Private Game Reserve, you can also get one step closer to your incredible surroundings on a guided bush walk between game drives, led by an experienced ranger. This way you can feel the ground beneath your feet as you pause to inspect some of the myriad plant species or spot a flash of bird plumage through the trees.

Sundowner at Chisomo Camp
Sundowner at Chisomo Camp

Evening 

One of the great things about going on safari in South Africa is the chance to get the best of both worlds with an early morning and an evening game drive. With a tracker and ranger on board, you can head out to find a great view point as the sun begins to set over the grasslands and the park comes to life with nocturnal creatures.

After a full day, you'll head back to camp in your open four-wheel drive vehicle and tuck into dinner under the stars, or in the comfort of your lodge's dining area. Some properties may also offer the chance to go on a thrilling night-time drive, so be sure to enquire with our expert Africa travel team to find out more.

Finally, once you've said goodnight, there's nothing quite like snuggling down in bed listening to the sounds of the park all around you, reminding you how unique a safari experience truly is.

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