Night game drive is an adventurous activity in Tanzania that is carried out at night in an open safari vehicle with a canvas canopy, spotlight torches for clear viewing, driven by a professional guide and with the help of an armed park ranger to protect you from any danger. Tanzania has a number of national parks but night game drives are permitted in selected protected areas such as Lake Manyara national park, Tarangire national park, Mikumi national park and Ruaha national park. Night game drive is one of the exciting activities to engage in on a safari in Tanzania, during the night game drive you will be able to view the rarely seen animals during the day game drive or nocturnal animals such as
- civet cats,
- bush babies,
- spotted hyenas
among others which tend to hide in the bushes and shrubs during the day and hippos which spend their day in water and get out to at night to graze.
Where to go for a night game drive safari?
1.Night game drive in Lake Manyara national park
Lake Manyara national park is located in the northern part of Tanzania, southwestern part of Arusha between Lake Manyara and the Great Rift Valley and situated on the road to Ngorongoro conservation area and Serengeti national park. The national park is one of the few destinations in Tanzania that offer an interesting night game drive safari which start at around 8:00 pm after an early dinner. From the lodge your driver guide will drive you to the park gate for a briefing about the rules, regulations and expectations while in the park, night game drive in Lake Manyara national park takes about two to three hours drive and it’s carried out in the thick ground water forest, Simba River, hippo pools among other. During the activity you will be accompanied by an armed park guide who will help you to spot various nocturnal animals that become active at night including genets, civet cats, porcupines, leopards, lions, view hippos grazing along the roadsides among others. You will also have a great experience as you listen to night sounds, learn about the stars and have great views of other animals resting in the open plains.
2.Night game drive in Tarangire national park
Tarangire National Park is located in the northern part of Tanzania just a few hours’ drive from Arusha town. The national park is one of the most visited protected areas in the country due to its abundant wildlife and is one of the national parks that offer the exciting night game drives which is carried out at around 8:00pm after dinner at the lodge and it’s done in an open safari vehicle with spotlight torches and with the company of an armed park ranger to protect you from any danger. During the Night Game Drive in Tanzania you will get an opportunity to enjoy the parks nightlife with great views of nocturnal animals which become active at night such as
- honey badgers,
- wild dogs,
- serval cats,
- white tailed mongoose,
- genet cats,
- bush babies,
- bat eared fox,
- hippos grazing, views of the stars, view other animals like
among others resting under the iconic baobab trees. Night game drives in Tarangire national park can be arranged by Tarangire safari lodge and visitors pays $ 80 per person, $59 park entrance fee and $23.60 ranger fee per group.
3.Night game drive in Mikumi national park
The national park is the fourth largest national park located between the Uluguru Mountains and Lumango range bordered by Selous game reserve in the south. Mikumi national park offers night game drive activity that is carried out with an armed park ranger and it starts at around 8:00pm after dinner up to 11:00pm. During the night game drive you will get an opportunity to view nocturnal animals like
- hyenas among others.
4.Night game drive in Ruaha national park
Ruaha national park is the second largest national park located in the center of Tanzania and among the few protected areas offering the night game drive which is carried out at around 8:00pm after dinner with the company of an armed park ranger who will protect you from any danger and also help you to spot nocturnal animals like leopards, genets, porcupines, civet, giant eagle owl among others.
What to pack for your night game drive safari?
Night game drive is an exciting activity in Tanzania that is carried out in few national parks that is Lake Manyara national park, Tarangire national park, Mikumi national park and Ruaha national parks. The night game drive starts at around 8:00pm after dinner and takes about two to three hours drive. During the game drive there are items that visitors should carry including insect repellent to prevent you from biting insects which will be attracted by the spotlight torches, anti malarial medications like cameras to capture the incredible moments and take great photos, a pair of binoculars to capture far animals, wear cold clothes to protect you from night coldness, neutral clothes among others.
Rules and regulations to follow during the night game drive safari
During the night game drive in Tanzania there are various rules and regulations to follow such as keeping a low tone while in the park so as not to chase away the animals, not driving too close to the animals because the spotlights can confuse or blind the animals, not littering rubbish in the park, not driving off track, not smoking while in the park because it may cause some fire.
Night game drive is a once in a lifetime experience that shouldn’t be missed on your safari in Tanzania. You can also engage in other activities such as game viewing, guided nature walk, bird watching, camping among others and for more information you can contact Across Tanzania Expeditions