Game Viewing Hides vs Game Drives

Tales from the Bush

Are you going on a safari and trying to decide which game viewing options is best for you – is it game viewing hides or game drives? We have a comprehensive article discussing both options to help you make the best choice for your safari!

What is a game viewing hide

A game viewing hide is a specially designed structure located in wildlife-rich areas, typically in the bush or savannah. Its purpose is to provide visitors with an opportunity to observe and photograph African wildlife up close. Positioned near waterholes or rivers, game viewing hides offer an advantageous vantage point for observing animals as they come to drink or engage in other natural behaviours. These hides can be constructed in different ways, either elevated above ground level or built into the terrain itself, optimising visibility for viewers. Wildlife enthusiasts, particularly photographers and birders, find game viewing hides highly beneficial, as they provide a stationary and inconspicuous location from which to patiently wait for animals to approach.

The dry season is considered the ideal time to utilise game viewing hides. During this period, the vegetation is sparser, making it easier to spot animals, and the likelihood of encountering rain showers is lower. By taking advantage of these hides, visitors can immerse themselves in the wildlife experience and witness African wildlife in their natural habitats.

Nantwich Hide
Nantwich Hide

What is a game drive

A game drive is an immersive experience in the African bush, where participants embark on an excursion in a 4×4 vehicle to observe wildlife in its natural habitat. During a game drive, passengers sit within the vehicle as they traverse the designated game area, actively searching for and spotting various animals. The term “game” refers to the diverse range of wildlife encountered during these drives. Typically, game drives are scheduled for the early morning, late afternoon, or evening hours. These times are chosen because they offer cooler temperatures, making it more comfortable for both the passengers and the animals. Additionally, animals are more likely to be active during these periods, increasing the chances of successful sightings.

A knowledgeable safari guide usually leads the game drive, serving as the driver of the vehicle. They possess a deep understanding of the area, its wildlife, and their behaviours. The safari guide takes on the role of introducing guests to the wilderness, providing informative commentary, and ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. Overall, a game drive provides a thrilling opportunity to explore the African bush, encounter wildlife up close, and gain a deeper appreciation for the natural wonders of the region.

Game Drives - Zambia

Choosing Between a Game Drive and Safari Hide

When it comes to choosing between game viewing hides and game drives, it ultimately depends on personal preferences and interests. For individuals who prefer a more stationary and relaxed experience, a safari hide would be an ideal choice. Hides are particularly suitable for those who do not wish to navigate rough terrain or spend extended periods driving around. They provide a tranquil setting for photographers to capture wildlife and bird enthusiasts to observe their favorite species.

On the other hand, a game drive offers an adventurous and immersive way to explore the bushveld. It allows visitors to actively search for animals, witnessing their daily activities and experiencing the thrill of close encounters. Game drives offer a dynamic and mobile safari experience, providing opportunities to explore different areas and encounter a variety of wildlife.

Opting for a combination of both activities can provide a well-rounded safari experience. This allows individuals to enjoy the best of both worlds—being out in the bush during game drives and also having moments of relaxation at the lodge. Nantwich Lodge in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, offers guests the option to indulge in both game drives and visits to safari hides, making it an excellent accommodation choice for a comprehensive safari experience.

Ultimately, the choice between a game drive and visiting a safari hide depends on personal preferences, desired level of activity, and specific interests.

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