Much of the fauna that populates African natural parks (although it is somewhat extensible to jungles of other continents) is eminently nocturnal.
The large predators go out to hunt at night and do not tolerate the heat very well, reserving energy during the central hours of the day that they take advantage of to take a championship nap.
Therefore, the best times to see animals while on safari are very early in the morning and in the afternoon around sunset. It coincides with the end or beginning of the day for multiple species, both in mammals and in birds or reptiles, and we will have more possibilities to observe the great protagonists of our trip in action.
Therefore getting up early is not an option but an obligation when you are on safari. At noon we will listen to the cicadas singing and little else (although I have to admit that the best nature scene I have seen in my life was at that precise moment).
As in life, much of what is interesting happens at sunrise or sunset. And, above all, at night when with luck we will hear the lions roar if we stay inside the parks or nature reserves.