Kruger Park Night Drive – Your Best Chance to see Nocturnal Animals

A Kruger Park night drive is a particular type of safari tour on offer in the game reserve (the other types are morning and sunset drives). Night drives leave from rest camps in Kruger National Park. You must be staying at one of the following rest camps in order to go on these night drives:

Departure times vary throughout the year and depend on the when the sun sets. Night drives depart when it’s dark and last for 2-3 hours.

In that time you’ll be driven around the park in an open-sided safari vehicle. It will be the only vehicle on the road after dark! It’s quite amazing and sometimes daunting to think about the reality of the situation – one 4×4 vehicle in the midst of a park bigger than some countries with wild animals lurking in the darkness out there!

It’s not possible to drive yourself around the park at night and because the vehicle you’re in is the only one on the road, you’ll come across an unusual array of animals which have settled, undisturbed, in the middle of the road.

On one such drive our way was barred by sets of eyes. As we got closer the owners of the eyes were revealed to us – a family of hyenas!

On night drives, a Kruger Park game ranger drives you around and provides very interesting commentary about the vegetation and animals that you come across. You can ask the ranger any questions that you may have too. The ranger will also give spotlights to passengers in the vehicle. They use them to scan the bush for animal eyes reflecting in the light.

Spotted eagle-owl at nightThe ranger will help identify any animal that you see. You’ll come across a good selection of nocturnal animals during the drive, such as nightjars, servals, African wild cats, springhares and owls.

What you actually see depends on the vegetation in the particular part of the park that you’re in and what crosses your path at the time.

You won’t just see nocturnal animals on a night drive though. You could see any type of animal.

It can be cold on night drives, especially in winter, so make sure you take warm clothing with you if you go on one.

Children must be at least 6 years old to go on a game drive.

If you want to book a Kruger Park night drive in advance, you may do so by phoning the rest camp that you’re staying at on the night of the drive.