The essence of a Safari game drive
Set out in an open 4×4 safari vehicle in the company of a ranger and tracker team, who will attempt to track your favourite animals. The Sabi Sand Game Reserve is well known for its leopard sightings and you may well spot one of these elusive cats resting after a successful night hunt. These usually shy and elusive cats have become accustomed to vehicles in the Sabi Sand and, unlike many other areas, where leopards are rarely glimpsed in daylight hours, sightings of these magnificent animals are not uncommon on day drives.
Before setting out on your first game drive, the trained guide will ask you about your favourite wildlife species and will do their best to ensure that your preferences are met, whether it is tracking a particular animal or spending more time enjoying each sighting and getting to know the habits of the animals. The guide and tracker will also tell you about the vegetation of the region and will explain the behaviour of the animals that you come across. In some cases, the guides will be able to identify individual animals and let you know about their history and habits.
While wildlife is the biggest drawcard for most travellers, the guide and tracker teams are also equipped with a wealth of knowledge about the area’s vegetation, including the traditional and medicinal uses of various plants. Birding enthusiasts can ask their guide to identify birds that are specific to the region as well as notable migrant species. Guests with a special interest in photography should let their guide know, as he will then take extra care to position the vehicle to make the best possible use of the available light at wildlife sightings.
Most trackers come from the areas immediately surrounding the game reserve and, as such, will be full of interesting information regarding the region’s culture, language and traditions, as well as local folklore.
Game drives in the Sabi Sand are able to go off road in search of exceptional sightings, include the members of the Big Five, when not in environmentally sensitive areas or after excessive rain. Afternoon game drives may also continue after dark, with a specially filtered spotlight used to illuminate wildlife that remains active at night