One
of the many memorable things about a safari is the sundowner. Sundowners, as
the name suggests, are game drives that take place late in the afternoon and
often extending into the evening, and is a tradition that dates back to the 1920’s,
when an elegant cocktail was enjoyed while admiring the magnificent African
landscape.

The
mid-day heat in Africa makes for lazy afternoons when you’re on safari. The
animals lie low, trying to stay cool and you do to. We usually used this time
to relax in our tent or lounge in the common area, getting to know some of the
other guests.

When the temperature cools down in the late afternoon, we load up
into the jeep and go out for the evening game drive. As
much as you hope to see the Big 5 – lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino
– much of the thrill comes from driving in the all-terrain safari vehicle as
you hunt for the animals.

After driving for a while, the driver finds a safe and scenic place to park the vehicle, spreads a table
cloth over the hood, and sets the “table” with a selection of beverages and
snacks.

We were given the choice of wine or champagne, though Mr. Man often
choose a local beer, such as Tusker, Windhoek or Lion Lager, and for the little
ladies there were juice boxes or soda. The accompanying snacks ranged from
fruit, potato chips and chicken wings to foods more commonly associated with
Africa, such as biltong.

When
we were finished with the sundowner, we would pack up the vehicle and return to
the camp. Sometimes, when we were lucky, we would get a glimpse of a nocturnal
animal that our eagle-eyed driver would spy. Other times, we would just ride in
silence, lulled by the rattling of the jeep, anticipating the campfire and
evening activities at the camp.
The
sun has set on another amazing day in Africa.