We’re continuing our series on the African bush this week by highlighting its uniqueness. Each game drive is special and you never know what you are going to see. Take a journey with us as we go through a typical day on safari.

The day starts early on safari. A knock on the door or outside your chic tent is followed with a soft voice announcing the arrival of your morning Rooibos tea or coffee. This is your wake up call. Daylight hasn’t broken yet but you take your rooibos tea with a splash of milk as you eagerly dress for the morning, wondering what the day holds. You walk to the main lounge of the lodge to meet your guide and set out in the crisp morning air on your morning game drive. Just like the guide and tracker, your eyes are constantly scanning from left to right, looking for game. Perhaps you happen upon a pride of lions, lounging in the middle of the road.

Lions at Royal Malewane, South Africa

After spending several minutes watching the lions without another vehicle in sight, you decide to move on. There’s so much to see in the bush. You head to the local waterhole to catch a herd of elephant cooling off and taking long drinks of water while the young ones play with each other.

Elephants in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

Hwange National Park Waterhole from a Frog’s view, Zimbabwe

You circle around to the other side of the waterhole where your guide stops and unpacks a table and picnic basket of pastries, teas, and coffee for a break in the drive. As you are holding your warm mug of tea, you watch as a hippo emerges from below the water, its nose poking out in your direction. After a few minutes, another hippo or two sticks its nose out of the water, greeting you while you enjoy the refreshments before moving on. Among the plains game, you see a dazzle of zebra, with a young foal standing close to its mother, and a journey of giraffe munching on the fruits of the treetops. You finish the drive searching out leopard and find a female walking through a dry riverbed. After the morning game drive, you return to the lodge to a delightful spread of fresh food to nibble while you relax. You might book a session at the spa, take a dip in your plunge pool, or catch a nap before setting out again.

Chem Chem Safari Lodge, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

And because the African bush is a living and breathing, thing, your afternoon game drive won’t be anything like your morning game drive. You’ll search out and successfully find those leopard cubs your guide was talking about earlier in the morning, or see a group of vultures circling overhead leading you to a recent kill. You’ll watch as cheetah cubs playfully chase each other and climb over their mother. As the sun begins to set, you’ll stop for sundowners and witness as the sky turns from blue to pink, then orange and purple, before finally setting below the horizon. To head back to camp, your tracker pulls out the spotlight and quickly scans from right to left, looking for the nocturnal animals of the bush.

Dinner is served in several courses by candlelight, or in the boma with traditional fare. You swap stories from the day with other guests and your guide, fondly remembering the excitement you felt seeing the first pride of lions and eagerly anticipating the next day’s drive. You may decide to start your day with a walking safari or a cultural visit to a local village and end your day dining under the stars.

Naboisho CampKenya

Whatever you decide, each day is different and unique, but the spirit of the bush remains. It is constantly evolving; the living, breathing, beating heart of Africa that draws you back again and again, and there’s nothing that compares to a safari in the African bush.

Chongwe, Zambia

Ready for your own journey into the African bush? Contact your Travel Professional. Stay up to date on all of Ker & Downey’s online content by “liking” our Facebook page.