Watch as this lioness takes centre stage on a night drive at Nambiti…
Along with her breathtaking beauty, another thing you may notice about the lioness in this video is that she seems very relaxed and unaffected in the presence of the game vehicle. The main reason behind this is the clever use of a red filter on the night drive spotlight.
The science behind the red spotlight
There are two types of light-receptor cells in the eye: light-sensitive rods, and colour-sensitive cones. Most mammals have more rods and fewer cones than humans do. This means that their eyes are more sensitive to light and that they have better vision in low light conditions.
When faced with artificial light for which they’re not prepared, light-sensitive animals are effectively blinded, leaving them unable to function properly.
Why a red light?
Most mammals are partially colour blind and are unable to see the colour red, so many mammals don’t see the red spotlight at all. Using the red light instead of a white light means that the animals aren’t blinded, and are more comfortable in their surroundings. It also prevents interference with the animals’ hunting activities.
Did you know?
- It can take up to 35 minutes for an animal’s eyes to recover from blinding white light.
- The expression “a deer in the headlights” says it all – an early game capture tactic was to dazzle animals with spotlights to disorientate them so that they would be easier to catch.
Tips for taking night drive photographs
- Increase your camera’s ISO (sensitivity) setting to at least 1600
- Increase the aperture to the maximum setting (preferably 2.8 or 4.0)
- Set your shutter speed at 1/40
- Switch your flash off
- For editing purposes – add exposure, remove the red/tint and add a touch of sepia
Why go on a night drive?
Night drives at Nambiti offer you a unique look into the world of predators and other secretive nocturnal animals that seldom come out in daylight.
The only way to experience this mystical midnight world is to come and experience it for yourself. We look forward to welcoming you on an exciting night drive at Nambiti.