So you and your loved one have signed up for the Sundowner game drive, a well-loved African safari experience that all your friends back home have called an absolute ‘must-do’. You’ve packed your warm jacket and beanie, the camera has fresh batteries and your ears and eyes are keenly tuned…
After setting off on the familiar Land Rover into the cool African bush, your excitement begins to grow as day turns to night. The camp’s expert driver and guide know the terrain like the back of their hands, and have in mind the perfect place to witness one of the planet’s most beautiful sights – an African sunset.
The driver strategically parks the vehicle just as the bright red sphere slowly begins it’s descent. From out of the trunk comes a table, canvas chairs and a well stocked cooler box. Soon two glasses appear with perfectly mixed gin and tonics – a drink traditionally drunk at African sunsets since colonial times, due to the mosquito repelling qualities of the quinine in tonic water. A bottle of the finest Cape Chardonnay sits on ice, along with a fine selection of Africa’s favorite beers like Lion Lager, Windhoek and Black Label.
To accompany the selection of thirst quenchers are snacks long associated with Africa. To start with, biltong – a traditional Afrikaaner snack of spiced, dried meat made with either beef, ostrich, kudu or other game. The Dutch Voortrekkers used this method to preserve their meat when covering long distances in their wagons. Other typical snacks include dried fruit, assorted nuts and a selection of canapés from your safari lodge’s kitchen.
As you sit enjoying the sounds of the night jars and other night birds, the big red African sun reaches it’s resting place for the evening. The energy changes as animals return to their hides while the larger predators begin to awaken from their heat induced slumber. Smaller, nocturnal animals such as the incredibly cute bushbaby (or nagappie) also come out from their daytime dwellings and are visible for the first time. The sights and sounds transform as darkness envelopes the African landscape.
You return to camp content as the roars of the male lion echo in the distance…
To see more wonderful images of African sunsets, check out our Pinterest board here.