Night game driving is not permitted in the National Parks of Tanzania or in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area – so when the sun goes down all guests have to drink up their sundowner and head back to their lodge or camp before dark.
But there is another way – sink back in a safari chair in the middle of the 35,000 acre Manyara Ranch Conservancy – watch the sun go down – enjoy the sundowner and then ask for another one! Watch as night descends on the bush and hear the sounds of monkeys chattering and squabbling as they go up into the trees to sleep – this is hunting time for the leopard. It is also time for the nocturnal species to go about their business – aardvark, aardwolf, honey badger, genet cats, striped hyena, spring hares and porcupine as well as the king of the jungle himself – usually announced by a mighty ROAR.
This is when it is time to go night driving – with spotlight at the ready – a whole new safari takes place. Even the birds so colourful and bright by day are now replaced by ghostly nightjars and owls – it’s a whole new world and one not often seen by normal safari goers. Certainly this is one of the advantages of staying ‘off-piste’ but still in the middle of the northern circuit.