Dramatic Night Safaris in Kenya

Dramatic Night Safaris in Kenya : Imagine yourself on an African safari, driving a 4×4 Jeep across a bright savannah in search of lions, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, and other animals. Consider an entirely different kind of experience, one in which the sun has set and a cool breeze is now blowing across the dimming landscape in place of the heat of the day. The nighttime cries of birds, huge cats, and a hippo’s splashing grunts sliced through the oppressively dense air. Then, suddenly, a pair of dazzling eyes appear out of the pitch-black darkness. This is how a night safari plays out. When the plains come to life at night with a different and occasionally more active array of creatures rarely visible during the day, night safaris are becoming an increasingly popular way to view Africa’s wildlife on a Kenya safari.

Do you think the action on a wildlife safari just takes place during the day? Actually, no. There is a nightly shift in the fields and forests you might not know about

The air cools, the big cats come to life, and new species come out of their daytime hiding places as the sun sets and the familiar qualities of the savanna and bush change into a different kind of environment.

Up to 70% of the creatures become active throughout darker landscapes at night, prowling, hunting, and scavenging till the break of morning. This is the domain of the African wilds.

When the heat of the day has subsided and has been replaced by soft breezes, starlight, and the moon casting its cool shadows across the country, it is time for a night safari. You can proceed intentionally on the savannah or through the bush with your safari guide in your 4 x 4 Jeep until the lighted eyes of a lion, leopard, or other night-prowling monster gaze back at you through the pitch-black darkness.

The noises of a big cat, a hippo, or the close scurrying of some unidentified creature can remind you to move gently as you have entered their nighttime zone, giving a night game drive a feeling of tingling anticipation as you are bundled up with your blanket and thermos.

Getting Ready for a Night Game Drive.

You can carry on your afternoon wildlife drives into your night safari. It can also happen after a leisurely meal or a sundowner, a customary evening beverage served outside. You prepare ready for a different kind of after-dark experience as the sun’s last orange glow begins to vanish.

Most night game travels are around two hours and start between seven and nine o’clock. Bringing an extra sweater and thermos to remain warm has previously been mentioned because, even in equatorial Africa, the temperature can drop quickly in the evening. Bring bug repellant if you can, as these minuscule invaders are active at night. Also, don’t forget your camera we’ll provide you with some advice below so you can shoot pictures while out on a night game drive.

Knowing the kind of wildlife you’re most likely to see will help you be prepared by helping you know where to look and how to identify it. Although bright shining eyes that reflect your light are visible, keep an eye out for adjacent moving shadows, which are a surefire sign of wildlife.

What Wildlife You Might See at Night.

You might notice an increase in the variety and quantity of bird cries as well as the sounds of the surrounding wildlife stirring as the last of the daylight departs.

Numerous creatures that awaken with the moon are different from those you’ll observe on a game drive during the day. Or, they might act in a quite different way. The lions and leopards observed sleeping during the sweltering daytime hours come to life during the cold nighttime hours.

During these times, the big cats are most active, and it’s thrilling to see a pride of lions marching forward in formation on a nightly hunt.

You might see rhinos and elephants gliding stealthily and strangely under the moonlight since your guide knows the finest places to discover the animals during these late-night hours.

Dramatic Night Safaris in Kenya
Dramatic Night Safaris in Kenya

In addition to the larger nocturnal species, there is also a world of smaller wildlife that awakens between twilight and dawn. Little bush babies might be running around, and strange animals like aardvarks, honey badgers, porcupines, chameleons, and tiny elephant shrews, and civets and genets small, cat-like mammals might also be visible.

What Places Offer Night Safaris?

Since most national parks forbid wildlife drives after dark, you’ll need to conduct some research in advance to find out where night safaris are available. Yet we can assist!  Focus East Africa Tours will organize a night safari for you in a number of exclusive reserves across the nation.

The multifunctional private park Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which is not far from Nairobi, is home to all of Africa’s “Big Five” as well as the African wild dog and sanctuaries for rhinos and chimpanzees. The Conservancy is a great place for night wildlife drives since it allows for peeks into its numerous lion and leopard prides.

You might want to visit Taita Hills Wildlife Conservancy for both daytime and nocturnal safaris if you are staying at one of Kenya’s beach resorts. The nearby watering holes are softly illuminated to improve your sight, and the salt licks here are great places to watch nighttime wildlife.

Excellent prospects for night wildlife drives are also provided by a select number of private conservancies that surround Maasai Mara National Reserve. We may prolong your safari into the evening if you’re visiting the national reserve to watch wildlife during the day by taking you on a night game drive in the Mara North, Mara Naboisho, Mara Siana, Mara Triangle, or Olare Motorogi Conservancies.

On your nighttime safari, the only ambient lighting is what nature has supplied, such as the stars and moon. Bright lights are unfamiliar to the animals, which might startle, confuse, and drive them away. Your guide will frequently use a spotlight that has a red filter, which is gentler and has no negative effects, to see the creatures. The same rule applies to your photography: never use a flash while taking nighttime photos of wildlife.

So what are the workarounds to ensure you can get a decent image of that leopard overhead or a nearby grunting hippo?

Finally, you can use a photo editing programme on your computer to increase the image’s visibility and eliminate any red-eye.

With the help of the previously mentioned suggestions, you should be able to capture vivid images of your midnight game drive as well as tangible evidence that you were there to experience the mystery, drama, and amazing struggle for survival that fills these shadowy fields and only ends with the dawn.

The Night Life.

After a leisurely sundowner, a late-afternoon beverage savored in the field, or perhaps following supper at your safari lodge, you might embark on your nighttime game drive. In either case, you will load up your 4 x 4 car with a warm jacket, thermos, bug spray, binoculars, and camera.

Your knowledgeable driver/guide knows where to travel to find the wildlife that is most active around dusk. Even if you might catch a lion taking a sleep in one of the warm fields during the day, the pride usually goes hunting at night. The nocturnal leopard, which is well-known for monitoring the horizon for prey, may also be seen flying overhead.

You’ll search for animals that are usually active at night, such as rhino, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, and hippos, as you drive through the chilly night air. Aardvarks, ferrets, and bush babies leaping through trees are just a few of the smaller animals that emerge from their daylight burrows.

Guidelines for Night Photography.

Maasai Mara National Reserve in Africa: night game drive on a Kenya Safaris

Even while nighttime photography in the jungle and on the savannah presents certain difficulties, it is nevertheless achievable nowadays with the help of sensitive digital cameras and computer imaging software.

Absolutely. But for the best outcomes, you’ll need to make a few tweaks. Flashes are not allowed because they disrupt wildlife. In reality, to minimize disturbance for the animals, many campers will utilize red spotlights for illumination.

The following camera settings will improve your nighttime photos: Your camera’s sensitivity should be increased to at least ISO 1600. Aperture the camera as wide as possible, ideally 2.8. The shutter speed should then be decreased to 1/40.

On the photo-editing programme on your computer, the last modifications will be made. Here, a color adjustment can be used to further brighten the image and eliminate any red tint.

Don’t forget to switch off your flash.

book a trip