A stay at Lalibela means at least one early morning and one evening game drive. No two game drives are ever the same, but the overall experience of a morning game drive compared to an evening game drive, will be slightly different.
Of course, there are a few standard game drive tips that always apply (keep your legs and arms in the vehicle at all times, and don’t attempt to mimic any animal noises) but here are a few things worth knowing about going on an evening game drive at Lalibela.
1. Take warm clothing
Don’t take this one lightly, especially if you’re visiting us in the autumn / winter season. The moment the sun sets, the temperature drops, and cold air with an open-top vehicle is not the best combination. We provide blankets and hot water bottles (if it’s really, really cold) but make sure to have a proper winter jacket, warm socks and shoes, and something for your head as it can get very cold during the evening game drives.
2. Change your expectations
Night game viewing is different from day game viewing, many animals may be having an early night or you night not spot them as easily because of the dark. As one of our American guests said ‘you get what Africa gives you’, and sometimes she gives you elephants, lion and leopard (then you’ve hit the game-viewing lottery) and sometimes she gives you impala and a spring hare. Try not to discount the humble impala or hare, they are magnificent in their own right but also use an evening game drive as a chance to appreciate the area itself. On a positive note, many animals are nocturnal and hunt at night, so you might have a really exciting sighting.
3. Pack tissues
This goes for any game drive, but the evening game drive is about 3 hours long and if you’re good about getting in your 8 cups of water a day, there’s a high chance nature might call. And if she does, in nature you will have to answer. During the stop for sundowners, your ranger will point out the toilet or restroom bush, in case you need a comfort break. Ladies, make sure you have tissues and something to dispose them in, just in case.
4. Take it all in
When you stop for sundowners, don’t be in a rush to continue with the game drive. Enjoy your favourite drink, snack on some peanuts and watch the sun set gold, pink and orange along the horizon. Nature isn’t always on the move, so sometimes the best way to experience it, is to be still yourself.
The lack of electric lights and the vast expanse of Lalibela means spectacular views of the night sky and stars. Looking up, the sky seems to stretch on endlessly. Simply sitting in the vehicle, looking at the stars and taking in the night sky is an experience in itself. It’s a lovely reminder that we are part of such a big yet wonderful world.