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What is a typical day on safari like?

What is a typical day on safari like?




A typical day at your Zambian safari lodge as written by a lodge manager:

Between 05:30 and 06:30 (depending on the season) you will be gently woken by a soft knock on your door from one of the friendly members of staff. Make sure to wear something warm, as it will be cold that early in the morning regardless of the time of year. A good idea is to wear a few layers so you can slowly disrobe, as it gets warmer.

Leaving your room make your way to the departure area of the lodge where we have laid out a selection of tea, coffee and pastries. Here you will be met by your guide and after a few minutes and a cup of coffee you will leave for your first activity of the day.

(Breakfast is served at the lodge on the river bank and the wildlife viewing continues).

(Sun-up in camp - at this time of day the animals are still very active having been making the most of the cooler night to go about their business). 

(A pride of lions settle down for a morning sleep as the heat day starts. Lions make the most of the cooler nights to hunt and are often found in the morning settling down for a lazy snooze). 


Each day we offer our guests a variety of activities including a game drive, fishing, canoeing or bush walks. At our main lodge we are able to accommodate two activities a day, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon that usually continues into the evening. However at our private safari house you are allocated a private guide, your own vehicle and your own riverboat which means your time at the lodge is a great deal more flexible.

(Nile crocodiles enjoy the warming morning sunshine - like a solar panel these ancient beasts need to warm their cold blood before becoming more active during the heat of the day). 

(Look out under rocks, in trees and long grasses for snakes - these elusive creatures make brilliant photographic opportunities).

(Breakfast in the bush for some is significantly less exciting!).

The most popular activity and the reason Zambia is rated as the world's best Safari destination are our world famous game drives. You will board your open top game drive vehicle, which in Zambia are almost always extensively modified Toyota Land-cruisers and usually seat around 9 guests. If it is a colder time of year we will always put out warm blankets in the vehicle for you. Your guide will give you a quick talk about what to expect on the drive and the basic guidelines to follow to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable trip.

(Fording a river in one of the modified Toyota Land Cruiser safari vehicles - these vehicles offer exceptional comfort and wildlife viewing). 

(Having warmed up in the morning light, the crocs slip into the water in search of some food).

You will set off from the lodge and spend the next three to four hours exploring the incredible landscape around you and discovering a range of wild animals. Mid way through your drive your guide will find a nice area to pull over and will set up a small table with tea, coffee and snacks. This break allows your group to stretch their legs and have a chat everything you have seen on the drive so far. You will then hop back in the vehicle and continue on the drive searching for the animals you have yet to find.

(Warthogs venture into camp on the hunt for a morning snack - these cheeky chaps are hard to photograph as they usually take flight before you can raise your camera lense!).

Returning to the lodge you will find a fantastic brunch waiting for you. Fresh fruits, cereals, yogurts and fruit juices will be laid out and a full menu of cooked breakfasts are always available. While having brunch you can chat to your guide about the options for your afternoon activity. You are than free to spend the next few hours at leisure either catching up on your early morning wake up call with a nap or just relaxing on the deck or in your room watching a variety of animals graze around the lodge.

(A mother and her young baby enjoy a refreshing drink at the river bank in the early dawn light). 

Around 3PM you will make your way back to the main lodge area where we will have an afternoon tea waiting for you. This tea usually includes a variety of pastries, cake, tea and coffee. Here you will again be met by your guide who will chat to you about the afternoon's activity. While the game drives are always a highlight of any Zambian Safari they are by no means the only way to explore the beautiful national parks and experience the wildlife surrounding you.

(Your team of dedicated staff in camp is here to help you and provide you with the ultimate level of service, comfort and guiding). 

Many lodges in Zambia are situated near a river or body of water and so a number of water based activities are available to you. One of the most incredible safari options available is a canoe trip down the river. This incredibly relaxing activity will see you drift silently down the river in a two or three person canoe passing a plethora of wildlife along the banks. Because of the silent nature of the canoes it is easy to get within feet of many of Africa’s most incredible animals including Elephants, Lions and Rhino’s.

(Elephants are some of the most amazing animals to photograph whilst on safari - these animals are said to have a soul by locals and are certainly sacred). 

Another great option is a riverboat cruise. We pack a cooler box full of your favorite drinks and a picnic basket full of snacks and send you off with your guide for an afternoon of cruising and game viewing. The views from the boat are spectacular and animal sightings are always guaranteed as animals come down to the river to drink. The unobtrusive nature of the boat means it is possible to get incredibly close to the animals without disturbing them.

Another option is to pack a few fishing rods on board and try your luck with a bit of fishing. Zambia is world renowned for its Tiger Fishing and guests flock to the mighty Zambezi River from all around the world in the hope of catching one of these incredible fish. Many of our guests come to the lodge for exclusively this reason and don’t step foot on a game drive vehicle for the duration of their stay! Other great options are joining your guide on foot for a walking safari or hopping back on the vehicle for an afternoon drive that turns into a night drive. These night drives are always special as often this is when the animals are at their most active. 

(Siblings play fight and show affection to one another in equal doses). 

Following your activity you will return to the lodge and either head back to your room to freshen up or head straight to the bar for a gin and tonic. As lodge managers we always enjoy joining you at the bar for a pre dinner drink and hearing about the adventures you enjoyed that day. We are also happy to advise you on the available activities and how we think you could make best use of your time depending on your specific interests.

You will then be escorted to dinner, which in Zambia is always a unique affair. Whether we have set it up under the stars in the shade of an ancient baobab tree or host it in our special boma area which resonated with the beautiful singing voices of our staff, meals at the lodge are always an incredible memory. Following an incredible African dinner experience you will be escorted back to your room where we will say goodnight until you see us again bright and early for the next days wake up call and another day of memories and adventure!

(A baby baboon hangs on to his mother as she goes about her daily routine). 

(Your light aircraft plane arrives, marking the end to your time in this very special place). 


For more information on our African and Zambian itineraries and how to arrange your tailormade adventure to Africa speak to one of our travel designers today.

Call now on 0131 662 4731 or alternatively email

Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions is a luxury travel company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. We specailise in tailor-made holidays to Scotland, Scandinavia and Africa and bring a wealth of first-hand experience to each of the bespoke trips we carefully create for our clients. 

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