A game drive tends to be the most popular Zambia safari activity and is conducted in an open 4x4 safari vehicle. This is the most effective way to see Zambian wildlife, as these cover much ground and can get close sightings without placing our guests in harms way or disturbing the wildlife. We eschew canopies as these interfere with the views of the trees and birds during the day, and at night the stars.
Each vehicle has 3 bench seats with a back rest and a foot rest for each, so up to 6 guests can each travel comfortably with a ‘window seat’ however we typically restrict each game drive to 4 guests maximum. These leave camp in the morning and return before brunch, halting for a mid-morning coffee stop. Cooler boxes and a First aid kit are carried on each vehicle, which is also equipped with a VHF radio for safety and for our guides to share news of interesting sightings so that the likelihood of any of our guests missing out on a great sighting is minimized.
Your Zambian safari guide is an expert in the bush and will point out interesting subjects as if by magic: a flick of a tail here, a curve of an ear there, a movement wherever. If one opts for a game drive in the afternoon, this will depart after high tea and then stop at sunset for sundowners (snacks and a drink, usually a cocktail, of your choice) before an experienced tracker assisting the guide switches on a red filtered spotlight and looking for the nocturnal creatures on a “night drive”. The light will be handled sensitively, avoiding shining on the eyes of any animals but particularly the herbivores so as not to influence any behaviour or outcomes. Even the vehicle’s head lamps are covered with red filters, as the red light reduces discomfort and improves the viewing experience for all concerned.
Photographers are also well catered to on our night drives whereby Chiawa Camp & Old Mondoro are the only camps we know of in Africa that offer diffused white lights for photography which eliminates any "hot spot" and creates a more naturally lit subject without any disturbance whatsoever, however effective range is limited to about 15M. Our guides will help you set your camera for best results, and ensuring your flash is switched off. Night drives will return to camp before dinner.