Top 10 Lodges for Night Safaris

Night safaris are an extra special way to enjoy wildlife viewing in Africa. Night drives are often overlooked by safari camps and lodges, but this activity can make a safari that much more memorable!

Standard game drives during the day enable you to see Africa’s most common animals – such as elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard – but night drives present the opportunity for you to see animals that you have never heard of and are more unique.

Nocturnal Animals you might encounter on a night drive

This is an activity that is not needed on your first couple of days of safari – the Big Five and other game is enough to keep you excited, with most of your time out in the bush spent finding the animals that you associate with Africa. However, once you have been able to tick the country’s most popular animals off your list, that is when you might like to find the uncommon ones that you have only heard of through your guide… and these animals tend to come out at night time, including genet, civet, bush baby, porcupine, elephant shrew, and honey badger. This is just the start of the list and there is so much more to include, such as Africa’s hardest-to-find animals – aardvark.

The other exciting element of night drives is the chance of seeing cats at their most active. With the exception of cheetah, most cats are sleeping during the day and it is not until the sun goes down that the excitement starts and you can see them using their skills to catch prey. When a camp offers night drives, it means you have a better chance of watching a leopard stalking its prey or the tactics that a pride of lion implement to catch a buffalo. This is what everyone wants to see – and it will be the highlight of any trip!

Best Lodges for a night drive safari

With regard to the best camps for night drives, we believe that the South Luangwa yields the best rewards and the stand-out properties are Tena Tena and Mchenja Bush Camp. You want a park that includes thick bush, as this provides protection for the smaller creature. Parks like the Serengeti, with its vast open plains, just can’t compete! Hwangwe (Zimbabwe) and parks of the Okavango Delta (Botswana) offer equally good experiences as the South Luangwa, with The Hide and Selinda Camp taking the crown respectively. Check out the full list of top ten below:

"The one thing you need to be aware of during a night game drive is that although there is so much potential for wildlife viewing, there is also a chance that you might not see what you are hoping for. It is hard to find these sightings, but no time on night drive is wasted time. For me, one of the best things you can do during this activity, is tilt your head back and look at the stars – Africa’s night sky is like nowhere else in the world!"