Night Drive....Full Moon

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Sep 3rd, 2005, 12:39 AM
  #1
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Night Drive....Full Moon

I am going on safari next June, and was wondering if you can see more when the moon is full. Thanks for your help.
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 02:33 AM
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Hello,

You may be able to see the landscape more clearly, but you are unlikely to see any predators hunting -- the additional light makes hunting difficult for them. If you want to see a hunt, the full moon is the worst time to go.

Cheers,
Julian
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 02:37 AM
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To clarify -- you are very unlikely to see any nocturnal predators (leopard). However, if you are in an area where there are diurnal predators (wild dog, cheetah) occasional sightings of them hunting by moonlight have been reported.

Cheers,
Julian
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 10:04 AM
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You can see more with a full moon, which is good if you are hoping to see some of the smaller nocturnal creatures. It is quite uncommon to see animals hunting so I would not plan around that, but Julian's points are well made. However arriving at a camp just after good hunting conditions may mean you don't see any Leopards because they may all have been successful on one night and no one has spotted them enjoying their prize, we think this happened to us at Mala Mala this July. So even though conditions were good for hunting, it seems likely that we missed the night of action. Its only a theory, the moral of the story is, that no matter how much planning goes into it, what you see is generally a matter of luck.
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 01:16 PM
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bwanamitch
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I enjoy it sitting in front of my tent, drinking a beer and listening to the sounds of the African night before going to sleep. I prefer doing this during full moon nights because you can better see the landscape and any unexpected visitors.

Mitch
 
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Sep 6th, 2005, 07:20 PM
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Thank you guys for your help. Mitch, I love your idea about the beer, but for me it's Merlot. Napamatt,I agree that what animals I see will be about luck. So, here's hopeing I get lucky in Africa
Cheers,as Julian says.
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Sep 7th, 2005, 06:23 AM
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I am afraid that what has been posted about the full moon is a bunch of hog wash.

Predator/prey studies by Dr Gus Mills in the Kruger National Park have not been able to conclude that the phase of the moon has any influence over a predators abiliity to hunt successfully.

Predators feed when their bellies are empty, and some even hunt on a full belly too! Lions & leopards are opportunistic and will hunt whenever they are able. Typically though their activity levels pique when the ambiient temparture is cooler, consequently are mostly active in the cooler hours of the night. If the day is cold it is not uncommon to find these same preadators on the move too.

You can and will find predators at night, full moon or not, this is however dependant on your guides ability to assess the spoor and track them down. Naturally with a full moon you will see more, however with the spotlight turned on your eyes are less likely to adjust to the softer moonlight. Have your guide switch the light off for fifteen minuutes and you'll appreciate what I mean.

Also: The southern sky at night is a fine sight best appreciated on amoonless night!

Go enjoy
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Sep 7th, 2005, 08:42 AM
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Predators certainly seem to be more successful on rainy and or windy nights, so my next trip I shall co-ordinate with the prevailing weather conditions to ensure success.
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Sep 8th, 2005, 07:31 AM
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Hi loveintravelin. We were on Safari in Sabi Sands during the full moon this past June and I have some stunning pictures of the rising full moon (we had stopped for our drinks and I was able to put my tripod on the hood of the vehicle to get them). We still saw plenty of animals, including a beautiful leopard that we saw every day in a tree with her impala kill (we even got to see her bring it back up into the tree when it fell out). I agree that the stars in the Africa sky are fabulous, so hopefully you will also get to see some starlit nights. Have a wonderfully, fabulous time in Africa. I just wish I could go back tomorrow, but I'm afraid the bank account needs to build itself back up again (and there are other wonderful places in the world still to get to).
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