off road in mud time during rain

Game Drive in Tanzania

Killing the Land Cruiser seems like a mistake, especially with consumer interest soaring in go-anywhere all-terrain vehicles that can carry canoes, mountain bikes and camping gear.

While Land Rover’s Series and Defender get credit for conquering Africa, Australia and other inhospitable places, the ultra-reliable Land Cruiser has long been the vehicle of choice in extreme terrain. Richard Truett

In East Africa open side safari vehicles are forbidden. Here they use hatch top safari vehicles. These are modified Land cruiser 4×4’s with pop-up roofs that can be closed when travelling long distance. They are most common in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. They often have charging plugs next to your seat. When there is unexpected rain or you have a long drive on tar road to drive towards the gate, the roof will be closed. Once in the park on safari, the roof will open and you can enjoy an excellent view on wildlife. Hatch tops vehicles also feature a host of creature comforts such as a built-in fridge, high backed seats and wide range radio system to ensure you never get lost in the wild. In addition, drivers are professionally trained according to a strict contingency plan.

Game drive and Night Drives

The word ‘game drive’ can be split into 2 different words: Game and Drive
‘Game’ is generally referred to as ‘animals that are not domesticated and are roaming the plains of Africa. In general we speak about ‘big game’ if we refer to animals like elephants, Cape buffaloes and other larger mammals.
‘Drive’ is referred to as a ‘drive with a vehicle’.
The combination of the words could therefore be described as a ‘drive with a vehicle in/over the plains of Africa in order to view these animals. Over time however, the word became mostly known as a ‘drive with a vehicle in Africa, in order to find (large) game for photographic reasons’.
A game drive you make from your lodge or camp and you will mostly have two game drives a day; one early morning and one late in the afternoon. A game drive can vary in length and distance, depending on preferences of the people in the vehicle and on the animals they encounter on the way.

Game drives leave (very) early in the morning. Never forget that you are on a holiday and that it is no shame to sleep in if you feel like doing so. Not every game drive has the same level of excitement, but you will see, the first time you do sleep in, that leopard will show itself in all its glory (get the point?).
Your afternoon game drive is sometimes extended into an evening game drive. During the dark hours of your drive you may see – with the help of a spotlight – nocturnal animals that you would normally not see during the day.
If you go on a game drive, make sure you carry your camera, binoculars, some reference books (if they are not in the vehicle), your sunglasses and a hat of some kind. In case you come back after dark, don’t forget to take something warm to wear.
During a game drive you will have to possibility to stretch your legs and (maybe) have a drink. Always stay close to the vehicle and tell your guide when you go to the bush room! And do not go by your self
In a lot of National Parks and Game Reserves it is not permitted to go off-road during your game drive. This is to prevent vehicle-damage to the environment. Please don’t force your guide to do so.

Blog courtesy by: Faysal Alao, Tanzanian Travel vlogger.

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