night vision binoculars - help!

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Jan 31st, 2006, 04:41 PM
  #1
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night vision binoculars - help!

I've never been on a night game drive, so don't really know what to expect. We'll be going on a couple in June, so I've got some questions.

There are some good night vision binoculars for sale, but I don't want to spend the money if they're not really needed.

Also, can you use a personal flashlight, or is the spotlight provided by the outfitter sufficient and all that is allowed?

Help!
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Jan 31st, 2006, 05:08 PM
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Hi wjsonl,

Not sure where you are off to and I have been on a drive where an english fellow had those binoculars, hideously expensive but from what I saw quite good.
I do not think you need them. The tracker has a very good spotlight which is used and I would think, certainly in Sabi Sands are, they would not allow you to use your own flashlight. They should not be using them on impala, or any day time animals, which includes cheetah.
Kind regards,
Kaye
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Jan 31st, 2006, 05:27 PM
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Thanks, Kaye. We'll be doing night game drives in Lake Manyara NP and just outside the Serengeti border, so don't know if that makes any difference. I expect that the rules are pretty much the same from one place to the other regarding flashlights. Jack
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Jan 31st, 2006, 06:08 PM
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wjsonl: The spotlight is much more powerful than a flashlight so no need for one on drives. The spotlight will give you good viewing of close up animals so the only place night vision binoculars would help with are animals that are far off but that would be tough in a moving vehicle.

I think they could be fun to have - especially for viewing out of my tent but you do not need them and it would be a very unnecessary expense.
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Feb 1st, 2006, 02:22 AM
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I agree
You don't need night vision bins or a flashlight for night game drives.

But I do remember seeing various dark shapes from my lodge window. Some I could id, others I couldn't. After staring in the darkness for more than an hour I thought I saw Kangaroos out there!

So in that situation a night sight would be good. But personally I could not justify the expense.

Talking about expense, the cost of a night game drive in Manyara if I have worked it out right is $155. But that includes bush dinner!

Breakdown
$25 park fees
$50 night park fees
$55 game drive
$25 bush dinner
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Feb 1st, 2006, 03:14 AM
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who do you get to organise a night game driven around lake manyara ? where else are game drives allowed ?
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Feb 1st, 2006, 03:48 AM
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Hi Janischa,

We're using the outfitter for our safari, Green Footprint Adventures, who also set up night drives in Lake Manyara NP. I think they are the sole provider for night drives in the park. The other night drive we'll be doing is while at Ikoma Camp, and it's located just outside the Serengeti border, so they can do their own night drives. Since you're spending a couple of nights at Ikoma Camp, all you have to do is ask Sunny to set it up for you.

all the best,

Jack
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Feb 1st, 2006, 08:10 AM
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I don't think you "need" a flashlight on game drives but I carried one with me at all times at night. I found it came in very handy and mine was much, much brighter than the ones provided by the camps (for looking out the windows at night, walking to your room after dinner, looking for stuff at night without turning on your room light). I used this one http://www.pelican-cases-flashlights...ealth-lite.htm

It is very bright and I did use it to spot game after dark and it has quite a strong beam that goes very far in the darkness. On game drives I didn't actually shine it at the animals like they do with the spotlight. I just used it to scan the brush to look for them.

I just googled "Pelican" to find which model I have (2400 Stealthlite) and looked at 2 websites. One was $32 and this one was $24. (I don't know anything about this company). This website shows the batteries last 4 hours so you would need spares.

I "stole" this flashlight from my husband for my safari in '04 and have been sticking it in my bag when I travel anywhere.
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Feb 5th, 2006, 08:33 AM
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wjson,
If you have extra money to burn, why not get yourself a pair of night vision binocular. I have a great pair of night vision binoculars which I enjoy using around camp after those night drives. It's amazing what you see after all those drinks around the camp fire!! Ha! However, during night drives, the only time you could really use them is when the car comes to a stand still. And, then you have to be careful that you don't burn the sensor when the tracker is using the light spotter. This can destroy your binoculars. Otherwise, use the money to purchase a good set of binoculars. Make sure each family member has their own!!
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Feb 5th, 2006, 08:58 AM
  #10
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Jiggylou, my stomach started jiggling when you said at the end, "Make sure each family member has their own!!" And I'm sure you're a loan officer at a large bank!
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Feb 5th, 2006, 09:26 AM
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If I am staying at Lake Manyara Tree Lodge (within the national park) and I have my own private guide and vehicle, I should not be charged any extra for night game drives, right?

Of course, I will put in an e-mail with my operator, ATR, just to be safe.

Thanks.

17+ days and counting until departure.
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Feb 5th, 2006, 09:53 AM
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Sorry I don't know about tree lodge as I will sluming it at Serena. I did read somewhere that tree lodge does night drives but I also read green footprints only are allowed to do night game drives. I think an e-mail is a good idea! 8 days and counting
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Feb 5th, 2006, 09:58 AM
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Net warrior,
Springhares look like kangaroos.


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Feb 5th, 2006, 10:11 AM
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Nyamera: I wish, I haven't seen springhares yet.
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Feb 5th, 2006, 10:39 AM
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I think you did when you "saw kangaroos" after an hour staring in the darkness.
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Feb 5th, 2006, 03:36 PM
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Spring hares are adorable!

Rocco,
Are the night game drives operated by the Lake Manyara Tree Lodge? If so, then I think you'll pay for them separately as your vehicle and guide are from MKSC/Tanganyika right? Let us know what ATR says.
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