During the winter months the early morning drives can be very cold. This means that some of the animals do not come out of hiding until later in the day, when the sun is a bit higher in the sky and the mercury a little further up the thermometer.
Rhinos especially, prefer to remain hidden in dry riverbeds where they are sheltered from the wind. They’ll usually only make an appearance at around eight in the morning.
One morning last week we were rewarded for rising with the birds and braving the cold, when we came across some lionesses lying in the road. Moisture doesn’t form on dirt roads, which makes them the ideal surface for lying on while soaking up the early morning sun. The roads also have the added benefit of retaining the previous day’s heat a lot longer than the grass does, another excellent reason for the animals to use them as a ‘chill area’.
This in turn makes it a lot easier for us to find them when out on morning drive. 😉