“The eye never forgets what the heart has seen.” – African Proverb
The African Sundowner is more than just a happy hour watching the sun dip in to the magnificent horizon. This is a cherished and time-honored African tradition as well as a daily essential part on safari. The ‘sun-downer’ is a time to relax, wind down the day in the bush on a game drive or back at the tented camp when you savor a cocktail or glass of wine, socialize with other travellers about the day’s experiences as you anticipate the feast to come. At Tima Tours and Safaris we offer a complimentary private sundowner at some of the ideal locations in Serengeti and Tarangire National Parks where you can enjoy drinks and light snacks as you take in the magnificent views over the scenic plains and watch the African sun sink slowly over the horizon.
The ‘sun-downer’ is an interesting part of safari life that dates back to the time of the great game hunting safaris of the 1920’s when cocktails were always served as the sun began its descent. Today, even though the hunting days are gone, the tradition of the sundowners endures with good reason to celebrate each day on safari. There are different places that are ideal to be at and our team of driver guides know them well and they will get you there in good time for you to enjoy the breathtaking beautiful experience to end the days’ activities.
In East Africa, the sun begins its descent at roughly the same time all the year round between five and six pm so your sundowner experience will begin with a gentle evening game drive – ideally timed to catch the wildlife gradually walk into the cool of the evening to seek shelter. The evening sounds of the Tanzania bush will slowly quieten as the wildlife settles in for the night. Looking in silence over the vast sweeping plains, your eye is drawn to a herd of majestic elephants. It’s quite different to watch the wildlife in the evening; they are seen in groups and you can clearly see the matriarch lead the group to a gleaming waterhole.
Arriving at your chosen sundowner site as the light turns to gold (ideal for photography), you can sip your drink and enjoy our selection of light snacks as the sun slowly drops below the horizon, typically leaving the sky streaked in lilac pink and gold. At Serengeti, the wildebeest trudge up the escarpment slope to the ideal settings for the night. Zebras and giraffes amble past each other creating a magnificent wild backdrop. Quirky warthogs go down on bended knee to forage in scrubby bush and at further back you might spot jackal sneaking ever closer to catch dinner - it is a sight never to be forgotten.
Normally at dusk after your late afternoon game drive, following a hot shower but before sitting down to a delicious dinner, guests gather around the fire, help themselves to a drink, sit and share stories as they quietly relive the excitement of the day, all the while taking in the magnificent view and celebrating the spectacular sunset. A staff member of the Thorn Tree Tented Camp in Serengeti or Sangaiwe Tented Lodge in Tarangire National Park places lanterns on the ground to light the pathways and welcomes guests for dinner after the sun rays completely disappear. This is a glorious time to relish the daily ritual of life in the wild as it unfolds naturally before you.