You’ll find that most safari vehicles have three rows, giving you three choices on where to sit on safari. If you are staying at a lodge for a few days, you’ll be going on several safari drives. Unless you’ve booked private drives you’ll be sharing the vehicle with other guests. Remember to move around the vehicle. This will allow everyone to experience the different seats. So, where is the best place to sit on safari?
There are many benefits to sitting at the front of the vehicle. You’ll be able to speak to your ranger easily. The front is also much more comfortable. This is because you’ll bounce less. The view in front of you will be largely unobstructed, without anyone moving a big camera in front of you. Another benefit is that you will be able to hear your ranger clearly.
The main disadvantages of the front are that it doesn’t have an elevated view. And you’ll not be able to see behind the vehicle.
The middle of the vehicle always seems to be the least popular. Whilst it’ll be a bit bumpier than the front, it’s still comfortable. The middle row will have some elevation. It’s perfect for the more sociable guests, who’d like to be able to speak to everyone on the vehicle.
The downside of the middle is that you’ll have people in front and behind you.
The back row is my favourite! The back will have the highest elevation, giving you a good view ahead of you. You tend to feel more exposed, which adds to the excitement. There is nothing behind you, which gives you a completely unobstructed view.
The back is not for everyone! It can get very bumpy in the back. If you suffer from back problems, you should sit in the front. Another drawback is that it can be hard to hear what the ranger is saying. If the other guests have massive lenses for their cameras they will often obstruct your view.
The Passenger Seat
Sometimes the passenger seat will be empty on your safari vehicle. This is usually when you just have a ranger with you, who is also driving. In my experience, it is better for everyone to leave this seat empty. Let me explain why.
If a guest sits in the passenger seat, they will likely end up chatting to the ranger. This will distract the ranger. Having someone in the passenger seat also reduces the rangers peripheral vision. I think it is fair to say that having a guest in the passenger seat can negatively affect how much wildlife you might see.
There are always exceptions, and I think that if there is an elderly person or someone with a medical issue like a back problem then it is best for them to sit in the passenger seat. If you find yourself in the passenger seat then try to assist with spotting as much wildlife as possible.
Where is your favourite seat and why? Please let me know in the comments section.